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4 Keys to Connection for Sport Teams during Covid-19

For most athletes and teams, normal training activities are once again impossible due to the second UK lockdown. The pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for athletes, teams and clubs from grassroots to elite. In these difficult times, how can teams maintain meaningful connections?

Below you’ll find our tried-and-tested recommendations. These tips can be used by coaches, teams and clubs looking to support their athletes through another lockdown.

1. Establish clear expectations. Discuss them and revisit them.

It’s important to articulate and reinforce team values while understanding athletes’ education/work requirements, family responsibilities and physical/emotional bandwidths. You could try creating a document available to all team members that outlines your team values during this time (e.g. We trust each other and know we our trying our best during a difficult time”). In addition, use this document to establish expectations and get them in writing. For example, you might outline expected attendance at virtual meetings or training sessions. This document can be a great reminder of your team connection and ethos.

2. Schedule regular check-ins.

Prioritise checking in with athletes and their parents (if appropriate). Ask what is working for them in terms of communication, training plans, support etc. and what could be better. By reaching out and listening you can show that you’re willing to keep adapting to changing circumstances and evolving needs.

3. Acknowledge the situation.

Clubs and facilities being forced to close for another lockdown isn’t great. It can be helpful to acknowledge that zoom sessions and socials are no substitute for seeing your team face-to-face. Conceding this is often better than desperately trying to recreate what can’t be recreated.

4. Spark conversations.

Whether through team meetings over zoom, team group chats or social media, encourage your team to open up new avenues of conversation and connection. You could provide prompts such as…

“What book are you reading at the moment?”

"What are you bingeing on Netflix right now?"

“Share a video of your favourite sporting moment”

“What is your favourite motivational quote?”

“Share a positive news story you read recently”


Embrace Performance is a Performance Psychology consultancy based in the UK. We work with athletes, teams, coaches and clubs to help them overcome the mental challenges in sport. Our mission is to help clients perform and feel better.

Get in touch today to book a free 15min taster session.

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