When Will We Return
Across our club, those of us who have connected with our players via Zoom have been doing so for eight weeks now.
For many, it’s been a time of establishing new norms and new routines. I, for one, am having lunch and dinner with my family almost every day – an unexpected blessing in all this. As I’ve said on Zoom meetings, I’m feeling more connected to the younger teams, especially the 08,09,10,11,12 girls teams. I get to see players with their bright faces eager to learn. It’s a personal connection I’m grateful to experience.
"When do we go back to soccer?" is a big topic of conversation among our families as well as the leadership team. It’s important you know how the Board of Directors is thinking about this.
First, we’ve been doing virtual training sessions: There's a lot of coaches that have been working with their players on technical work. This is great. We've also launched our tactical platform to multiple age groups and usually do Zoom meeting sessions on Tuesday's and Thursday's. We're close to over 100 players participating. The tactical session is a virtual animated learning experience that teaches players situational recognition, team shape and alignment and general principles of play. It's by far the best learning tool experience and we are the only club in St. Louis actively using the platform.
Second, we’re not rushing back to the field: We’ll take a conservative approach for a few reasons. The health and safety of our club is most important. What we don't need is to break the chain. Our responsibility is to follow the healthcare guidelines set at the local, state and federal levels.
Third, we’re using this opportunity to re-imagine the future of soccer training: If we were asking families to jump on Zoom meetings prior to COVID -19 we would have had a lot of hiccups. The platform for training is being revolutionized. You can do group foot skills together. Save on time, gas money and become more efficient. Kids are learning how to navigate technology on their own. This is incredible. I see 7-8 year old players watching a tactical video on Tuesday nights. They are watching and learning and answering tough questions. This is so encouraging to know that our club is continuing the advancement of learning. We will take this to the field, we continue to develop an E learning environment and we continue to push the development platform. I believe our club is separating from the majority of clubs in St. Louis. It's dark out there friends. Clubs are failing fast and falling behind. Their answer is to merge with another club. If you add 0+0 you still have 0. That's what happens to a lot of mergers.
COVID-19 has shown that proximity to a specific location doesn’t have to be a priority for everyone, Zoom meetings can be used on rain out days. If the temperature is too hot/cold you can Zoom a tactical session. This is again a positive outcome. Some teams are using Zoom for the parents to have a virtual happy hour. Again, this is re-imagining the future of youth sports.
Finally, we’ll let you know when to start planning: This will be a coordinated effort, and we’ll communicate to you directly and with plenty of notice.
Let me be very clear: Until you receive official communication with instructions for returning to on field training, all coaches should continue to refrain from field training and continue to Zoom with your players from home.
We understand that try out dates have not changed according to MYSA. That does not mean that try outs will be on that date. It is a placeholder. We will not allow try outs unless it has been approved at the local, state and federal levels. Thank you for your patience and time. Today will be better than yesterday. Count on it.
May 5, 2020, 8:30 AM