COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the world of sports.

Global sports have been rocked by the coronavirus outbreak. Everyone from top professional athletes to passionate amateurs has felt the impact of measures taken across the world. Nobody knows what will happen when this will be over, and in what ways competitive sports will change. There is widespread uncertainty and it is a stressful period. But athletes shouldn’t become victims of the situation. They should rather use it as an opportunity to regroup, refocus, reset, and recover. 

Why should you, as an athlete, refocus your time and effort during this period?

The world of sport has grown in intensity and opportunity to compete – leaving few willing to take a break. You push harder. You focus on the next game. You prepare for next season. You give your all! But the grind eventually takes its toll physically, mentally, and emotionally. This forced interruption will most likely impair performances in the short term, but in the long term, it could be the best thing that ever happened to many athletes.

Where should you be applying your attention and why?

  • It is the ideal time to study videos of your sport and how the top athletes compete, to analyse your strengths and weaknesses or target the weaknesses of your opponents, and to pinpoint areas you want to improve. Who knows, this single step could be a game-changer for your sporting career because of this time and the increased understanding it could bring.
  • There is now time to pay attention to and recover from injuries and niggles, and to do some cross-training or functional exercise to offset imbalances or weakness to prevent their reoccurrence.
  • There is a chance for mental relaxation to reset the mind with a psychological break and reflect on sport and performance.
  • Set new goals for yourself. How do you want to feel after this break? What knowledge do you want to gain before you’re able to compete again?
  • Appreciate life outside of sport and reconnect with family and friends who may have felt neglected during your rigorous schedule. This is ideal to help with balance and your mental state.

In a few months, this will all be over.

In a few months, this will all be over, and training will start again. Before you realise it there will be even more competitions than before. It will motivate you, knowing that a lot of competitions will start soon, and rather than feeling under-confident and anxious you should feel ready, confident, and excited. Stay positive, improve each day, and look forward to the new chapter looming on the horizon.

Amy Bathgate
About the Author
Amy Bathgate is the Operations Manager at VS Sports, playing an integral role in product development, innovation, and design, and heading up a team of enthusiastic analysts working towards transforming the way sport is analyzed, scouted, and experienced. With over a decade of expertise in consulting, biomechanics, and performance analysis across various disciplines and levels, she understands that the little details make a big difference. One of her passions and specialties is swimming, and she assists and drives athletes and coaches to achieve their performance potentials using stroke and race analysis to better their understanding of the complexities of the sport in order to go faster and train and perform more efficiently. Amy is also a Dartfish Certified Instructor, certified in Functional Movement Screening, and a former lecturer at the University of Pretoria.