Return to Play: A Coaches View
It may be awhile before we find a new normal, but the concept of Return to Play is something a lot of us are looking forward to. Georgia was one of the first states to reopen and Demosphere’s own Dannelle Lewandowski was kind enough to share her experience as a Roswell Soccer Club Coach as players registered for tryouts, aimed at getting coaches and kids back on the pitch.
Keeping social distancing protocols in mind Dannelle’s club offered a return to play option for players to simply return to their previous teams upon registration. However, there were tryouts held for new players of all age groups and the entire U13 age division since it was the first time they were being placed into select soccer.
Roswell Soccer Club worked with Roswell City officials to set up Return to Play procedures for their tryouts that followed state and local mandates as well as CDC provided recommendations. These included:
- Daily pre-arranged small groups of players that do not mix with other groups
- Organized drop off carpool line with temperature check
- Staggered check-in times
- Hand sanitizer before and after you enter the field
- Social distance water breaks and whenever possible
- Players were required to bring their own 2 colors of shirts
- Protocol for if a player were to get sick during tryouts
- Parents were not allowed on the field
- Carpool line for pickup
Using Demosphere’s communication tools, Roswell Soccer Club provided their coaches and players with emailed “packets” of information which included recommendations from local, state, and federal agencies and instructions on how the club planned to execute their return to play interactions with players and their parents as the club got back to business.
Everyone was excited to get some degree of normalcy back. Dannelle commented:
“Being on the field for the first time in nearly 3 months was exciting, yet also felt strange. When we arrived, there were health screening questions, temperature checks, and hand sanitizer performed by people in masks in a quiet and orderly manner. Once we were all on the field it was like magic again, giggles, smiles, and energy filled the fields and for a period of time we ran, enjoyed ourselves and played soccer. I can’t wait until the next practice!”
COVID-19 has changed how we interact with each other, perhaps some of these precautions will start to feel normal as we move into the future. Keeping our kids social, active, and healthy is always a priority. Thank you, Dannelle for sharing your experience with us. A well-designed plan and good communication are the cornerstones of getting back to play and remaining happy and healthy along the way.
Email us to tell us how your organization is handling return to play procedures – we’d love to share your story!