So we are facing an interesting time right now with COVID-19 causing widespread shut down. We have even hit a point where sports leagues have been canceled and suspended indefinitely to prevent the spread. So the question then is what are you doing in your down time? In times like this you have a couple different choices. First choice would be to do nothing, second would be to continue to train.

So here is my question, what happens if you choose to do nothing? How will that impact your performance moving forward? Will it be beneficial to you when you start playing again? In some regards it can be, in others it might be detrimental. On the one hand, the time off is useful for rest and healing. During a long season we often don’t give ourselves enough time to rest and recover. As such when as the season wears on we might be more prone to injury or our performance will decrease due to fatigue. On the opposite side of that, it can be detrimental to us in the sense that we might not be prepared for the season to continue. Come the restart of the season, those of us that haven’t been working or training might be a step slower whether mentally or physically.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, what will happen if you continue to train? And what are different ways in which you can train? On the one hand you can train physically, on the other hand you can train mentally. So let’s dive into this a little deeper.

Training physically is fairly straight forward. You can exercise at home. Body weight exercises are a great way of staying in shape when you have nothing else to do and they don’t take much space. They can also be done while doing other things like watching TV. You can also do stuff such as yoga and stretching. These are great ways of staying in shape, staying loose and healing.

On the mental side there are many things that can be done. You can read. Reading different books will keep the mind active and keep you focused. You can pick any book from sci-fi to fiction. You could even pick sports biographies or mental toughness books if you are so inclined. You could also watch sports on TV. Now I know most leagues are currently suspended or canceled, but we all have access to the internet. You can go to Youtube or find other clips from games to watch. And while you watch. While you watch the game you can also analyze the game to keep your mind sharp. Look at what the players are doing, think about what they should do and think about what you would do instead if you were in that situation.

You can also do mental toughness training such as visualization and goal planning. Practice visualizing what you would do in matches and in different game situations. This can play off of the above comment of watching sports online. By practice visualization once you get back into your game it will allow you to be more mentally focused and prepared to return to practice and games. Goal planning can be used to help plan where you want to be and what you want to accomplish.

These are just a few ways to keep yourself occupied during the next couple weeks. The question becomes what do you need, what do you want and what will help you get to where you want to be.