Unless you grasp the critical information in these 3 lockdown legacy tips I’m about to share with you, your troubles are only just beginning…
Tip #1: Uncertainty Creates Anxiety
A huge point that sports coaches keep overlooking is the fact that anxiety increases your members’ risk of injury.
Everyone needs to understand that because of all the uncertainty around COVID, lockdowns, jobs, being able to see family members and everything else that we’ve all struggled through in the last year and more, anxiety for many people is through the roof – and that means that injuries are more likely than ever to happen in your sessions.
Sports coaches need to understand this tip spells the difference between success and failure because the pressure on you to keep your members safe during your sessions is immense now – and the referral network of the NHS and private injury clinics that you used to rely on are now in danger of being overwhelmed as they deal with the backlog of patients created by COVID.
Your next step here is to be more aware of the additional anxiety you might be creating within your training. Even something as simple as the word “should” can feel like additional pressure to someone who is already anxious, which might mean the difference between coping or not, or injury or not.
Tip #2: Everyone Is Hiding Something
The quick idea on this is that people are selective about who they tell their deepest darkest secrets to. As a sports coach, you might not be one of them.
Everyone needs to understand this means unless you want to appear intrusive or like you’re prying, you just have to accept the fact that your club members won’t reveal all their feelings or everything that’s happening in their lives to you – and you shouldn’t want them to either, that’s not your job.
Sports coaches need to understand this tip is key because your members are not likely to reveal to you just how anxious they feel about money, the uncertainty of their job, relationship strains and other situations that may have been amplified over lockdown, which increases their risk of injury.
They might also be hiding minor aches and pains because they are so desperate to get back to the club sessions that they love.
So now as we’re emerging out of lockdown, it would probably be beneficial to most club members to go easy on the intensity of the sessions for the first few weeks. Exercise is a stress to the body in just the same way as anxiety and the additional strain might be a step too far for some.
Tip #3: Keep Things Physical
This tip is critical for your success: the emotional and physical cannot be separated.
We’ve already established that anxiety is likely to be high for your club members right now, and that they’re unlikely to reveal the full extent of it to you, but there are certain physical behaviours, postures and body language that can give us clues to the level of someone’s anxiety levels – and these are the same early warning signs of injury..
And what this really means is you can SEE someone’s feelings and potential injury problems coming, BEFORE they become a big problem!
This spells the difference between success and failure for sports coaches because you are in the unique position of being the ONLY person in a position of authority who actually sees a patient before the pain happens – and when you know what to look for you can take early action to stop it developing into something worse.
Which means you can help your club members avoid injury AND save the overwhelmed healthcare systems from having to deal with yet another non-urgent issue when they’ve got more important things to be focusing on right now.
Getting started is simple. All you need to do is become an observer. Watch people around you moving. How do they behave when they’re happy? Does that change when they get stressed?.
Regardless of how you choose to use these 3 lockdown legacy tips, don’t just sit on this new knowledge and forget about it. Put it to good use so you can help club members avoid injury, which is really what every sports coach wants, right?
Hey, did you realise, if you’re a sports coach who wants to help club members avoid injury and help take the pressure off the NHS, you can get all the training you need to put these tips into practice safely and contribute to an awesome project at the same time? Check out the “Great Coach” Reward in our crowdfunder project “Sports & Fitness Coaches Saving the NHS” right now!