These past 12 months have undoubtedly been tough for us all. From dealing with the health aspects of Covid-19 to seeing businesses across all industries struggling to survive. And if that wasn’t enough, our whole sense of ‘normality’ has been tested and challenged.
One core part of our communities that has suffered hugely during the last year has been grassroots sports. Grassroot sports are integral to every community – they’re an absolute lifeline for their members, and provide valuable opportunities for exercise and social connectivity for those aged four to 84 (and above!)
With clubs across all disciplines required to close their doors last March 2020, it’s been a time of great uncertainty with many concerns over the impact of these closures on not only the physical, but the mental health of individuals – and with coaches and team managers having to find new and innovative ways to keep their members motivated, engaged, and connected.
We are exceptionally proud to sponsor some amazing and inspirational grassroots sports clubs across our local community. Sally Bromley, our dedicated Partnerships Engagement Officer, works closely with every one of these clubs and organisations, connecting with them over lockdown to find out just how they’re looking after their players (young and old alike).
For anyone involved in grassroots sports, we wanted to share just ten top tips for ensuring those valuable connections and to help you continue to support both the physical and mental wellbeing of your communities:
- Regularly check in on each other | communication is key, and even just a simple text message, call, or video catch up can be hugely beneficial in keeping spirits up.
- Focus on the positives | encourage every member of your team to write three positive things they’ve achieved throughout their day, and to share with their team mates.
- Be mindful | there are some fantastic free apps available to help you be fully engaged and present in the moment, and to support focus and concentration. This is also something that can bring real benefits to your team once you are back and playing together again.
- Be grateful | ask your group to share their thoughts on all of the things that they’re grateful for and all of the positives they can take from their time in lockdown.
- Get virtually fit |during this period where we’re unable to meet physically for training or matches, why not keep the time in the diary to do a virtual session – even if it’s just introducing some simple skills or fitness exercises.
- Watch sport together | whether your sport of choice is football, netball, or athletics, why not arrange a virtual viewing of your favourite game with a teammate or your whole group.
- Help others | doing something kind for others is a real feel-good thing to do, so why not get together (virtually) with your teammates and share ideas of ways you can support those within your community. Perhaps set a virtual challenge together to raise money for charity?
- Set goals | spend some time setting yourself some goals that are important and meaningful to you, and share these with teammates – this will also not only give others some inspirations and motivation, but will help keep you accountable!
- Coping timeline | chat to one (or more) of your teammates and identify times in the past when you have coped well with stress. Identify the behaviours or rituals that helped you during these times of anxiety and swap ideas with your friend.
- Plan your week | we all need focus and motivation now more than ever, so why not put together a schedule for your week that includes time to work together with your team on some of the above points.
We hope that the above gives you a little help and inspiration… and remember, it won’t be too long now until we’re all back together doing the things we love and we couldn’t be more excited! 😊🧡