Updated: Apr 6, 2020
It has been incredibly interesting to navigate this crazy time. I'm pretty sure that we are all kinda making it up as we go every day. Our routines have changed. Our priorities have changed. For some of us we have realized quite a few of the things in life that we are so accustomed to that we have taken for granted in life. For me personally, I have really come to realize over the last few weeks just how much volleyball was my happy place. I mean I already knew that I loved it, but I never quite realized just how much of a positive part of my day it was until it wasn't there anymore. I have found myself craving the connections with the players and other coaches. I have found myself worrying about those people too. How is their health? How are their families doing? How is everyone's mental health?
Many of our players join volleyball not because they think they will be the best player ever, but because they want to belong to something. They want to be a part of something. As coaches at RPM we have been in long talks and discussions about our little family or players and parents. We have wanted to make sure that each of our players knows that we are there for them. That even though times are tough, they are still important to us, and that we are still wanting to make sure that we are there for them. We want them to know that they still belong to something. How do we do that though? Volleyball is not really in the forefront of most people's thoughts right now. As the number of cases of Covid-19 increases day after day. As more people succumb to the virus. As more jobs are lost and more businesses close their doors for what could be the last time. How can volleyball help?
We have pondered answers to all of these questions to the point where we don't sleep well. We are truly concerned for our RPM family. As we have pondered these questions, one answer for us remains the same. It is important to keep the kids engaged.
Since I started this blog I have had coaches and players from literally all over the world logging in to read it. I woke up this morning to messages from both coaches in China and Brazil who had questions. For those of you looking for things to do with your teams to keep them engaged, here are some of my suggestions. If you have any other good ones, I would love to hear them! I will add them to this post!
1. Run team Zoom meetings/google hangouts with them. Allowing them a place that it monitored for them to all get together virtually is important. They miss each other just as much as you miss them.
2. Find challenges for them to do. So far as a program we have done skills challenges through Instagram stories as well as a team Bingo. Both spread like wildfire and it has been INCREDIBLE to get to see players from 11 years old all the way through our alumni interacting with each other as one big family realizing the importance of taking care of each other during this time. We could not be more proud of the character each player has shown by doing these things!
3. Time capsule. We will be sending this one out shortly. This being a rather historic period in time in the world, we thought it would be a good idea to have players create a time capsule of things that are going on. Thoughts, memories, even writing themselves a letter. Just stuff to help keep their days from all blending together.
4. Team/Program trivia. Not only is this a great way to have players/parents/fans get to know your program, but you can give some of the players a bit of the spotlight each day by highlighting some of their accomplishments.
When all is said and done, whatever it is that you do, it is important that you keep the unity in your program that you had when you went into this whole situation. Below are some great team/family bonding games and ice breakers you can use.
If you enjoyed this post, give it a like. Feel free to check out my other posts while you are here too! There are some good insights on a variety of beach volleyball related topics along with products I genuinely recommend!