There has never been another time like the Coronavirus Crisis in our recent history. The cancellations and postponements are new to everybody, even the adults and the professionals.
This brings with it a time that no other person who was at one point a high school athlete, has ever seen before. Careers have been cut short and playoff runs have been stopped dead in their tracks. Three week long spring breaks and potentially no more meets, matches, games, or possibly even school.
So what can a high school student athlete possibly do during this time? Please don’t waste this time! There are an incredible amount of opportunities for you to learn something, or grow in some way each and every day.
1) Get Quality Rest
When I say get quality rest, I do NOT mean be lazy and sleep all day, every day while school is out. Quality rest means that you are going to bed and waking up at reasonable times, and getting the amount of sleep that you need in between those times.
You won’t have any 6 AM workouts for a while, and you won’t be staying late at the school for a game that will make you stay up even later just to finish school work.
This means that you have a perfect opportunity to be in bed by 10 and asleep by 11, and wake up between 7-8:00. I would almost bet that if you are a high school athlete, on average you go to bed around midnight or 1 am, and wake up at 6 or 7 am. 5-6 hours is not enough sleep. Use these next few weeks to get a quality 7-8 hours a night.
2) Exercise Your Brain
Keep your mind sharp by continuing to challenge it over the course of your down time. Just like the muscles in your body, your mind needs to stay active and be put to work in order to get better.
There are a handful of ways to do this, but reading and writing are two of the best.
Pick some articles from the internet about a topic that interests you or that you know you want to learn more about. There won’t be very many sports on TV to watch either, so this will also work as a great way to pass time if you are bored.
Open up your backpack and go over some notes from your classes so that when you get back, you are ready to pick back up where the class left off.
3) Exercise Your Body
Now that we know how important it is to make sure our mind gets a good workout too, we can talk about getting our bodies a workout.
Your school weight room will most likely be closed, meaning you won’t have access to weights or other workout equipment. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get exercise and stay active without a barbell and a squat rack.
Go outside and play some basketball, offer to walk dogs, go for jogs, or knock out some push ups and sit ups in the living room – your options are almost endless. If you are someone who says you want to play at the next level and be better than your peers, this is the time where you will actually become better (or worse) than your peers.
4) Good Hygiene
It might sound silly and I’ll admit, it kind of is that this even needs to be mentioned, but nothing bad has ever come from someone washing their hands or sanitizing a bit more often.
Whether you want to believe it or not, this virus is contagious and spreads quickly. It has been classified as a global pandemic and is impacting a lot of lives. It is important to protect yourself and your family during this time so please, stay clean.
5) ACT/SAT Prep
This ties in a little bit with #2, but it is more specific so I wanted to touch on it as well. If you are currently a 9th-11th grader, you will have chances in the future to take one or both of these standardized tests.
These two tests will have a large impact on your ability to get in to college and which ones you will or will not get accepted to. They are long, and they are difficult, so they require quite a bit of time and attention beforehand.
If you are out of school for another week or maybe even more, you really need to touch up on some standardized test prep at least for a couple of hours. It will all be worth it when you take it again next time and your score is a few points better, which essentially earns you money for college.
6) Talk to Coaches
Stay in touch with your high school coaches. Ask them what you can do to better yourself specifically for their team during this off period. It will be aching them while they aren’t able to be with you and be coaching you.
If you reach out to them and ask if there are any workouts or any drills you can be doing on your own, they will appreciate that and respect you more than you ever know. It will show them that it means something to you and that you are someone they can trust when times get tough.
Even if you are at home and no where near your coaches, there are still ways to hear from them and receive coaching.
If you are currently a Junior or maybe even a Sophomore, you might be starting to hear from some college coaches that are potentially interested in recruiting you or offering you a scholarship. Spring is a busy time for college coaches as that is when they are typically freed up to hit the road.
Due to current circumstances, I can almost guarantee that schools will keep coaches off of the road recruiting, meaning you might not get to see as many as you were hoping, or maybe none at all. This isn’t the end of the world.
Continue to use Twitter and other technology to contact college coaches and continue your recruiting. Ask for information on majors and campus life, get ahold of your GPA and test scores and be ready to communicate them as well.
8) Eat Right
More time on your hands, will mean that you have more time with your hands. Use them to cook some healthier meals at the house. If your parents have been to the grocery store and were able to get some food, give them a break and take over cooking.
It is a skill that will come in handy when you get to college and once you are done, so you might as well start learning. Cooking will also get you healthier and cleaner meals than eating out at a restaurant will.
Take control of your diet and give your body the fuel it needs. Pop tarts, pizza rolls, and sour gummy worms are not what you want to fuel your body with. If you expect it to do great things for you in sports, you need to treat it and fuel it right outside of sports.
The best way to handle things during the Coronavirus Crisis is quite simple – stay calm, use spare time wisely, and continue to improve yourself day by day. Find new things to learn and new stuff to do.
If you enjoyed this or took anything away from it I would really appreciate a share however you prefer. I made this free because I know a lot of people need to hear this stuff, so please get it to whoever you think may need it!