Challenges in working with athletes during COVID?

Brant Stachel said 1 year ago
Figured I would see if we can get some discussion going.

I've noticed within my group there are about a third who will train no matter what, a third that are going through the motions but not as maybe I would like them to or with the same vigur that they had pre covid and a third that for lack of a better word have given up. I think in large part this is the case on most university teams at the moment. What are others ( club or university) doing to work with those who may not be training as they should/ would? Is this perhaps more of a systemic long term problem stemming from junior development programs that foster a love of track work and team work over intrinsic factors and love of the process?
Steve Weiler said 1 year ago
I expect age and location come into play and will skew the statistics for different groups.

From the small number of post-collegiates I'm working with, things are going great; there's no real change coaching wise (for online people or Sexton, and I guess I can include myself in there); we have sufficient time and safe areas to run. In terms of the PK Junior group in Kingston, it's solely grade 9s and 10s right now that Leslie and I coach; 2/3 ran April time trials, so a pretty good indication they're keeping at it, though the reports made it pretty clear they were missing the social aspect, which of course is understandable. Those kids are lucky to be in Kingston, as the current situation is relatively quite good. I'd be interested to hear how people are managing in, say, Toronto or Montreal.

Objectively, we will certainly learn about the power of intrinsic motivation, for those able to exercise during these months with no races in sight.
Reply #1
Brant Stachel said 1 year ago
Thanks for the reply. However I would say that "racing" is far different than getting in the daily training grind. Are you noticing a drop off in training amongst the juniors? Racing al be it virtual still allows for some for of extrinsic motivation: comparison to others etc.

Yes Its intriguing Vancouver seems to be one of the lease hard hit metropolitan areas. That being said I am still seeing a drop off in training of that last third that I mentioned! Is anyone else having athletes go off the rails in training chasing strava segments etc rather than sticking to scheduling?
Reply #2
Steve Weiler said 1 year ago
Many of the juniors did other sports over the winter that are no longer taking place; my guess is there's an overall increase in training among that specific group as there are minimal conflicts.

I don't follow enough people to know if strava chasing is an issue; I haven't seen any issues, though every few days I hear from across the room "oh, of course Clara has this CR."
Reply #3
Leslie Sexton said 1 year ago

I don't follow enough people to know if strava chasing is an issue; I haven't seen any issues, though every few days I hear from across the room "oh, of course Clara has this CR."

Yup, can confirm that if there is a segment in Kingston, Clara probably has the CR and most of them are from her easy runs. If someone wants to chase Strava segments, maybe suggest they strategically choose the location/route of their assigned workout (which I may or may do from time to time ;) ) rather than derail their training?

For me both in coaching and in training, these last few months have really underscored the importance of loving the process. Among junior athletes not having the social connection of group workouts is definitely tough, but some adults would have also experienced somewhat of an existential crisis with their training when their goal races got cancelled. I have made a mental note to emphasize intrinsic motivation to all ages and not take it for granted that adults have it all figured out.

This post was edited by a Moderator 1 year ago .  
Reply #4
Steve Weiler said 1 year ago
Leslie and I held our first weekly Zoom chat with the Junior club athletes yesterday and we were surprised with how well it went; nearly 100% of the registered members took part. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over time.
Reply #5
Brant Stachel said 1 year ago
Very nice! I've found zoom to be a great tool. I think it will really change the way recruiting, connection and such is done in the future, it's been cool way to keep connecting with all student's while not on campus- as opposed to before we wouldn't be able to!
Reply #6


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