All high school student-athletes are facing unique and unprecedented times. Will there be a season? How will they be recruited? And most importantly, how are they developing on/off the field?
The news has painted a bleak picture of the mental stress that the pandemic is causing student-athletes. It is more important than ever to provide them with the tools to engage, learn, and prepare for their next journey.
Over the past few months, I’ve posed this question to Principals, Athletic Directors and Head Coaches across the nation and have been able to receive some great insight and feedback on how they have been able to keep engaged with their Student-Athletes.
Since the pandemic, Schools have been put between a “rock and a hard place” in the slightest of terms. Administrators have been left to deal with the circumstances as they are passed down from the state, district, and county levels. Hybrid-virtual learning environments seem to be the happy medium between states and schools but regardless of the outcomes, the student-athletes are the ones receiving the biggest blows.
Being a mobile application platform, engagement is exactly what Game Plan offers. It allows for the administrators and coaches to be able to stay actively engaged to their athletes as they are no longer face-to-face. It’s safe to say that the average teenager in today’s society has their cell phone and/or tablet on them at all times, so the content is everywhere they are.
The biggest fear, in my opinion, is losing all of the hard work and time you have invested in these kids due to not being able to engage them on an ongoing basis. With pre and post assessments, administrators are able to hold everyone accountable for receiving and obtaining important information ie; COVID Guidelines, Return to Play Protocol, Orientation Compliance. Game Plan allows for the athletes to receive information on the go with short and consumable content. Engagement comes in various forms and shapes but as we continue to battle COVID, virtual engagement should be on everyones to-do-list!
Educating and teaching is a continued process. One of my favorite quotes by B.B. King says “The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” We all know athletic ability has an expiration date as well as our athletic careers. Life skills on the High School level seems to be overlooked at times and this timely information is not received until the student-athlete is in higher education.
“It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks” is the philosophy we have taken with our content at the high school level. As COVID has put a pause on everyday life, we are hearing and reading more stories of how things such as Mental Health, Healthy Relationships, Social Media Awareness, and Race Relations are impacting high school student-athletes.
Pre-COVID, schools were able to have SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) come out to the school and give lectures and presentations to the entire student athlete body in the gym or auditorium. As Administrators scramble to find a replacement to external learning, Game Plan has been able to fill that void. With the content and lessons only being 5-7 minutes long, the Game Plan curriculum serves as a partner for compound learning.
Guiding athletes 100% through their journey is exactly what we do. Uniquely enough, Game Plan has content on recruiting and branding tips for the student-athletes. High school sports are being delayed, with asterisk marks besides them, because things are ever changing now. Adapting to new situations is what athletes do best so in my opinion they are more ready for this change than anyone else.
While we are not able to change the past few treacherous months we all have endured, we all have the power to think and move forward together. Game Plan can be that bridge.
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Up into my senior year in high school I decided to only play basketball and football. I was pretty certain that I would pursue one or the other in college. Oh how I was wrong. Not due to a lack of athletic ability but due to being way better in a third sport I had only done once in the 8th grade.Malik FairAccount Executive
My best friend convinced me to try out for the track team the spring of our Senior year and it paid off tremendously. I went on to run in college, become an All-American, multiple conference and national champion. I say all of that to say, I would have no clue where I would be now if COVID happened when I was entering college or was in my Senior year of high school. My heart goes out to the thousands of student-athletes who are going to be impacted.