Engaging and Motivating your Players in Lockdown
As sport across the country is once again placed on hold, the need to stay connected, engaged and motivated as a team will be a crucial factor in maintaining the mental and physical wellbeing of your team, as well as ensuring everyone is ready to hit the ground running when the time comes to get back on the pitch.
Here, we offer a few ways to keep your team engaged throughout the next few weeks of lockdown.
Virtual Team Training
Keeping your team training together virtually will really boost morale and confidence for the restart of team training and matches. There are multiple ways in which you can train together using online platforms, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. It will be a great way for them to keep themselves ready for their return to sport, whilst being supported and connected to their teammates. Here are some fitness, skills and tactical based training ideas for you!
Staying physically fit will be key for your athletes whilst they're not playing their sport. Arranging regular virtual group fitness sessions, whether it be yoga, HIIT, Pilates, or anything else, will help them achieve this. You may well have someone in your team or club who is experienced enough to run these, or you can find plenty of workout videos online, including Fitness Blender, who have loads of free resources.
If your players have access to some outdoor space, or a safe and big enough indoor space, then you could run some virtual skills sessions. These sessions could focus on executing close control skills, with players learning to manipulate the ball in new and exciting ways that they may not get to practice regularly in their usual team-based training environment.
Players may have more time to learn and reflect in news ways during lockdown, so why not use the opportunity to help facilitate this. If you have video footage of your matches, that you haven't had time to share during the season, you could work with players to watch, review & reflect on this together as a team or in small groups. You could give each group a specific focus to think about, for example pressing, goalscoring or set plays. Each group could then share their thoughts with the team for discussion. If you don't have video of your own games, you could use footage from professional/international matches (for example, hockey clubs can find plenty of matches on the FIH Youtube Channel).
You could even use Teamo to schedule these sessions and gage availability! You could also share videos and keep discussions going using Teamo chat. Perhaps plan your team's virtual training at the same time as their usual training to give your players a chance to maintain normality and structure.
Competitions and Challenges
Competitions and challenges are a great way to keep your players motivated and engaged. These could take the form of fitness challenges or even skills challenges.
You could create a Strava running club within your team and set weekly challenges for distances or times. See the table below for some running challenge ideas!
|Beginner||Get out and do two runs this week - any distance, any time. Just get running!|
|Jog for 3 mins, walk for 3 mins. Do this 5 times|
|Intermediate||2km run - How fast can you do it?|
|Run for 3 mins, walk for 1 min. Do this 5 mins - How far can you go?|
|Advanced||5km run - How fast can you do it?|
|Run for 4 mins, walk for 1 min. Do this 5 mins - How far can you go?|
|Elite||10km run - How fast can you do it?|
|Run for 2 mins, walk for 1 min. Do this 10 times - How far can you go?|
Why not divide your team into groups (e.g. based on positions), so they can feel some collective responsibility and gain points for the extra work they put in along the way, as shown in the table below.
|Running||1 point per kilometre you run||Cycling||1 point per 5km|
|Skill work||1 point for 10 mins|
|250 jumping jacks||2 points|
|50 push ups||2 points|
|2-minute plank||0.5 points|
|40 min yoga/flexibility||1.5 points|
|10 min fitness/HIIT video||0.5 per 10 minutes|
|Setting a personal best on a 5km run||2 points|
|Tagging the club on social media doing these||1 bonus point (max 2 per day)|
Alternatively, you could set your team some skill challenges, such as a keepie-uppies contest or how many of one skill players can do in a certain amount of time. You could give more ownership to the team by getting a different player to come up with each challenge so that they could play into their own super strengths!
Teamo's chat function allows you to share videos of skill challenges, where other players could also post their attempts too!
Virtual Social Activities
If you and your team haven't already taken part in a few quizzes during the first lockdown, why not use this resource from the Radio Times to create your own to test your team's general knowledge, or even write your own questions about the team to see how well they really know each other! If you're not a quiz fan, then perhaps branch out to other games such as Pictionary or charades, which can be played easily over video calls. Furthermore, lots of board games and card games are now available to play virtually, such as Monopoly, Uno and Cards against humanity.
Connect and reflect with your athletes
The next few weeks could be a difficult time for some people. Have organised or spontaneous virtual coffee chats with individuals or groups. Get together and talk about topics other than your sport. Be open and ask open-ended questions to understand where each team member is at. Use this time to reflect with them on how they are going to keep mentally and physically healthy, what challenges they may face, and how they can overcome these.
What our users have been saying
“I haven't used anything like it before. It’s so easy to use and a great idea. It’s definitely made my life easier for communicating with my players each week.”
“teamo is really useful with regards to seeing who exactly is turning up to training, fixtures and other events. It's a great and easy way to organise my team."