After many twists and turns, in most parts of Australia we have finally been able to get an amended sports season underway. To all of the wonderful volunteers and organising bodies that made this possible, a huge thank you. As a community we can't underestimate how important it is having even a shortened season underway.
As we have completed a shortened preparation for the season, the difference in your young athlete would be obvious. We have something that resembles our regular routine, seeing the excitement in your young athlete is a great change from indifference or boredom.
In terms of young athletes getting back to sport, it is important to recognise they have been experiencing stress across a range of areas in their lives as well.
Each young athletes’ individual social situation, home environment and how they have managed the transition back to school can all impact their sport. Sport provides important social connections, which have been absent for months during lockdown.
Stress has an impact on motivation and effort - anecdotally I see this from talking with junior coaches who are seeing their young athletes are not quite the same as they were a few months back. One of my best mates has a 12 year old, a mad keen rugby union player was asked recently if he was excited to get back to rugby "yeah, sort of" was the reply - this is a young athlete who played junior reps last year.