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Making the 'Covid experience' count

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

by Shaun Fuentes

The coronavirus has dramatically changed our lives. One thing it has shown us -- we don’t really need as much as we thought we needed back in February. But, there are still things we do need, maybe more than ever. We all had big plans as sporting enthusiasts, officials and athletes. We were finally going to take a different approach, a more professional, transparent, accountable one. We were finally planning to engage the best professionals, the right programme with the best conditions. We were about two and a half months into the new year, fresh with motivation and ready to tackle 2020, when our entire world was turned upside down by a new virus. Championships, tournaments, overseas assignments and so much more were cancelled. Outside closed indefinitely. There are so many things were waiting on the year 2020 to do. What quarantine has taught us is a bitter but necessary lesson. We need to stop waiting for a right time or an occasion to do what we believe to be the right things. The reality is that pandemic or not, none of us ever knows what tomorrow holds... coronavirus has forced us to face that.

The Covid period has shown us a lot in terms of things we need and those things that we don’t necessarily need. I will not be able to list all but I can touch on a few.This pandemic has shown a bright light on a very human need -- the need for other humans. When this thing is over, everyone who lived through it will have a new appreciation for the moral, physical and spiritual support other human beings offer. The pandemic has reminded professional services providers of the importance of entrenching themselves in other people’s business whether it be the needs or ambitions of athletes, sporting organizations leaders, coaches or youth.Maintaining relationships  like sports and entertainment, staying visible – is paramount to retaining and developing business, both now and in the future. Showing an understanding of what an athlete or an official is going through and being able to provide the appropriate professional guidance can go a long way. Persons, especially athletes, will remember those who adapted by finding meaningful ways to engage with them during a challenging time. The Covid has taught us we don’t need a packed schedule of unnecessary social engagements, shaking hands or cash but we do need internet, exercise and time to reflect.  And in reflecting we can learn more about what really matters and how much or how little we've actually been engaged in something that can benefit us. And for those involved in sport in whatever way can realise  the reasons in which engaging in sport is a vital part of our development.

Sport teaches tenacity. The ability to fail and learn from the setback and move forward is a vital life skill. Learning that failure is not the end, but part of the learning experience has far-reaching implications, affecting our self-esteem, our resilience, and our mental agility.. Sport teaches teamwork. Even if you are naturally someone who is happy with your own company or more introverted, there are times when you will need to collaborate. Sport encourages the development of this skill set.  Sport teaches discipline.

Motivation is finite but our capacity for motivation can be bolstered. Evidence shows that people are less likely to suffer from depression and experience greater life satisfaction. These last few weeks have shown us the value of investing more in reading, science and technology programs because it's all we could partake in while being barred from outdoor activities. It is evident that where the educational

benefits of sports shouldn’t be overlooked. Sports mirror life and the workforce. For example, in sports you sometimes get a bad call from the referee or umpire. When that happens, you can either let it get to you and lose the game, or you can adapt, put the bad call behind you and do your best to win the game. Perhaps we may think Covid was a bad call.

Others may think it was a call that came at the right time in order to present more time to get things right. Sporting organizations could well have used this period to restructure and adopt better systems and procedures that could benefit them going forward. Athletes may now be better educated on training regimes that suit them best. We all want things to resume to what we knew it to be pre-March 2020. Sports hold a special place in our hearts. It's entertainment and it's an escape. It's means to meaningful arguments and discussions, bond, recall, mesmerize, compete and admire.

It would be a shame if we sacrificed for three months but came out of the starting blocks without much to show for all we've been through or still going through.



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