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Checking off Steps in a Return to Play

Being a coach comes with a lot of responsibilities. You become responsible for multiple children at the same time, and parents are expecting you to treat their children as your own, making sure they are safe and protected. It can be a difficult aspect of the job to handle, and it is something that is only increasing in importance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Youth sports are beginning to return to play across the country, but with that comes an extra fear players and parents may have. Not only are the kids away from their families for an extended period of time, but they are now interacting with a number of other people they haven’t been around for months. That creates questions everyone involved may start asking. Are those other people sick? Have they been exposed to someone that has been sick? Are they going to get my kid sick and will that then affect the rest of our family?

Coaches will be the ones to help ease the concern these players and parents are facing, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a checklist for coaches to help with that. It provides multiple steps for coaches to take to keep their players safe and ease the concerns of the parents involved.

CDC’s Advice 

Send a welcome email or call parents and/or players. Inform them about actions that the sports program will take to protect players. Remind them to stay home if sick, or if they have been around someone who is sick.

How SportsEngine Can Help 

Coaches and site administrators are able to send out messages to all their members from all of the SportsEngine platforms. Look through these platform options to find the instructions you need.

SportsEngine HQ

If your platform is a part of SportsEngine HQ, then you have the ability to send emails to your team through the SportsEngine mobile app and TeamCenter

TeamUnify

If your platform is a part of TeamUnify then there are two primary ways you can reach all of your organization’s members at once. You will be able to send them an email or send them a SMS message. Keep in mind, though, that each account needs to verify their numbers in order to receive SMS messages.

GoMotion

If your platform is a part of GoMotion then you will be able to send emails to the members of your organization. You will also have the ability to create email groups among your members, and be able to send out different messages to different groups. There is also the possibility of sending members SMS messages, but the members must verify their numbers in order to receive them.

CDC’s Advice

Be a role model. Wear a cloth face cover and encourage parents, fans, officials, and sports staff to wear one during practices and games.

How SportsEngine Can Help

SportsEngine partners with Squadlocker, which makes customer branded facemasks and coverings (along with other apparel) that ships direct to home. That means coaches, parents, players, and anyone else associated with the team can get facemasks with the team’s logo on it sent straight to their home.

CDC’s Advice

Provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to players before and after practice/game, or encourage them to wash their hands with soap and water.

How SportsEngine Can Help 

Providing hand sanitizer before and after games/practices is an important step in helping stop the spread of COVID-19, but there is more that can be done. This article provides more steps that can be taken before and after practice/games to help stop the spread, with the information being drawn from multiple sources.

CDC’s Advice

Educate players about covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their elbow. Discourage spitting.

How SportsEngine Can Help

Another way to help with this is to continue promoting social distancing. SportsEngine has created downloadable floor stickers that coaches can have printed off at any online print shop like Signs.com. Then use those stickers at practice so the players know how far they need to remain apart.

CDC’s Advice

Remind players about social distancing and identify markers (signage or tape on floor, if applicable). Encourage your players to focus on building their individual skills and cardiovascular conditioning, so they can limit close contact with other players.

How SportsEngine Can Help

SportsEngine created a Healthy at Home hub where players and coaches can view content that includes different home workouts. Players can access this portion of the site to view workouts they can do to improve their skills, and coaches can get ideas of drills they can implement at practice that still allow for social distancing.

CDC’s Advice

Check with your sports administrator to make sure they are following cleaning and disinfection recommendations.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces on field, court, or play surface (e.g. drinking fountains) at least daily or between use.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment.

How SportsEngine Can Help

This article contains tips for cleaning and disinfecting uniforms, gear, and equipment. You can also use those techniques on shared surfaces.

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