Life always has a certain amount of complications, but COVID-19 has increased the amount and frequency by tenfold. The resilient among us, including children, have been no less affected. This is why it is as important for parents to take this time to create as much normalcy and healthy behaviors as possible. Luckily, the internet is a treasure trove of resources that can promote education, health, and athletic fun!
If there is one thing that can keep a kid’s focus it is sports. Lerner Publishing Group has a literacy initiative called The Lerner Sports Challenge. As their press release states: “The challenge comes just in time to reinforce students’ school year reading practice, while simultaneously giving them the excitement they’ve been missing since live sports have been postponed” (Matvick, May 2020). In this program, children can continue increasing their reading skills while experiencing the excitement of sports. With their imagination, they can be there right in the stands! These biographies and other themed works meet multiple curriculum standards and can be taken anywhere.
Another great resource is at-home workouts. From YouTube to Amazon Prime or an influencer’s blog, the options for getting that cardio going are endless! Morgan Hurd, US Gymnast (SportsEngine, April 2020), has put together a home workout that includes three exercises and only clocks in at less than a minute! Her tutorial includes one leg squats, forward lunges, and Russian twists. The only materials you need are a solid surface such as a wall and a weighted object. Sport Court North is also a fantastic way for you to bring the gym or local game court to your own home! With a free estimate and a fast installation process, you can have the space needed to contain the equipment needed to take your body and your family’s fun to the next level.
Organizational Virtual Training Programs are a fantastic resource as well, taking an at-home exercise lesson and elevating it into a full wellness program that extends over a period of time. It is so cost-effective an intuitive to set up these programs now, that it is very likely that many facilities will include this in their programming permanently. As Sean Jensen from SportsEngine points out, Zoom meetings and regular parent contact are essential, but clubs and team sports are going above and beyond. A Tae Kwon Do studio is holding regular Zoom workouts. Another studio has a video library and a soccer team in New Jersey has this for homework:
- 17 minutes of technical ball work (four-cone ball workout, cone line, figure eights and turns, and foot-skills routine)
- Mini-quarantine home workouts that emphasize functional strength, power, stability, balance and injury prevention
- Reading a feature on former FC Barcelona star Xavi
- Video analysis of Manchester City star Sergio Aguero
- An hour BBC movie on Sir Alex Ferguson’s “Secrets to Success,”
- An article titled “Psychology of Winning Lesson 10″ (SportsEngine, May 2020).
The number of resources to assist coaches in leading their teams and parents in keeping their kids healthy is truly phenomenal. A simple Google search leads to a treasure trove of databases, YouTube videos, and even sport-specific content from ESPN or educational apps. It can be difficult to adjust to a new world, but boredom and inactivity do not have to be a lifestyle. Health and athleticism can still take place, it just involves reorienting how we think and maximizing space. A lot more of the responsibility is falling onto parents, who may not be fully acquainted with how to lead athletic activities or practice. So always make sure to reach out and keep communication during this time, not only to get the best advice possible but to push away loneliness and retain the “team” aspect of team sports. We’re all in this together.
All sources and cited works are from SportsEngines At Home Family Health and Fitness section.