One Year With COVID-19: 5 Sports-Themed Silver Linings

To say it’s been a challenging year is an understatement. The closed sporting venues, the unexpectedly long offseason and overall uncertainty about the future of amateur team sports has weighed on all of us, kids and adults alike. There’s still a lot of uncertainty. We’re figuring out how masks are impacting youth sports and how to stay socially distanced while spectating. Hopefully, we’ll be turning a corner in 2021, as more vaccines come available and we find new ways to keep ourselves and our families safe.

After one year of dealing with COVID-19, we’ve all learned a few things — beyond how to wash our hands for 20 seconds and how to log into multiple Zoom meetings per day. As we begin playing sports again, we can apply some of these lessons both on and off the field.


We’ve learned things don’t always go as planned

In sports and life, things don’t always go how we plan. We might have practiced all the moves and studied all the strategy only to be surprised with a maneuver that throws us for a loop. The key is to keep trying and never give up.


We’ve learned how to pivot

We’ve heard this word a whole lot during the past year. But knowing how to pivot is a valuable skill. Consider other words for pivot: rotate, swivel, revolve, spin. Think about how we might move in these ways while playing sports or doing activities. When things take a turn, we can turn to meet them — on or off the field.


We’ve learned to solve problems

The past year has propelled us to be creative in how we approach our hobbies, our jobs and our relationships. Maybe we’ve done virtual workouts with our team to stay active during the shut-down, or maybe we’ve turned our backyards into temporary soccer fields or volleyball courts. By working our brains as much as our bodies, we can solve tough problems. 


We’ve learned the value of communication

Being on a team requires strong communication. Sure, right now we’re doing a lot of communicating over screens and from behind face masks. Yet we’re still able to express ourselves and meaningfully connect. Whenever we’re back at school, work or sports, we can take these heightened communication skills with us.


We’ve learned that we’re all in this together

It’s easy to take sides in sports, and there’s no harm in a little friendly competition. Yet, this year has given us the ability to see one another with a bit more empathy and kindness. We’re all hoping for an end to the virus, a return to a bit of our old ways of being. This experience has been challenging, but it’s also been a reminder that we’re all human, and we’re all in this together.

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