Photo credit to Laney Walden
Due to COVID, the past couple of months have been a complete upheaval for many; devastating leagues, clubs, and programs across the nation. While those are the main topics being discussed, there are three major aspects that parents need to be taking even more serious for their athletes right now; aspects if ignored could have profound negative effects on their athletes.
#1 - PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH & MOTIVATION
Due to COVID, many athletes have lost their spring seasons AND potentially their upcoming fall season. The psychological toll that many players are going through is significant (even if your athlete does not admit it). Sport is a vital part of their identity. Combined with a drastically altered school structure and social interaction limitations, many athletes are struggling right now. Soccer training can be an excellent alternative for players to relieve stress, stay challenged*, and maintain a healthy motivation; especially while adapting to our current sports landscape.
**It is crucial to make sure the training your athlete is taking part in is properly structured, challenging/ creative, and supportive. Based on local athletes, we've heard many are tired of the repetitive and basic "technical training" that their programs and teams have been holding for the past three months. We need to stoke their inspiration, not kill it with boredom.**
#2 - SOCIAL NORMALCY & INTERACTION
The past four months have been challenging for younger athletes, especially soccer players.
With regular school and social interactions uprooted, the social development that many teenagers require has drastically altered. Soccer is a very social sport and provides fundamental learning interactions with peers and authority figures. While leagues and games may not be possible, working consistently with a properly educated soccer coach and fellow soccer players can allow for a more normal social development structure.
**The University of Wisconsin published a recent alarming study regarding youth athletes. Since COVID begin, rates of depression have increased to 68% of athletes (an increase of nearly 30%) and 65% of athletes reporting anxiety symptoms.**
#3 - PHYSICAL FITNESS & HEALTH
Part of keeping our athletes healthy is keeping our bodies in a strong state of fitness. Not only is it imperative to our mental and psychological health, but an active fitness level helps to keep our immune system healthy. Soccer players (especially younger athletes) need challenged regularly to ensure they develop properly; as athletes and people in general.
**The same University of Wisconsin study also reported that physical activity was down nearly 50% compared to previous studies before COVID**
More than any time in the past, helping your athlete maintain a challenging, fun, and safe training environment is key to their future success; as a soccer player AND adolescent. At Quick Touch Soccer Development (QTSD©), we are aware of the challenges your athletes face. We are taking specific steps to help families, players, and coaches keep motivated, improving, and, most importantly, enjoying the game we all love. Whether through our weekly QTSD© Academy, Custom team training, or 1-on-1 private training, our QTSD© Coaching team has multiple safe training options for your athlete or team.
COVID has taken much from us, but we won't let COVID steal soccer from your athletes too.