Tips for When Kids Start Playing Sports - During the Pandemic and After
The world is slowly opening back up, and there are things we’ve all missed. Getting “back to normal” isn’t going to happen overnight; but it’s reassuring looking to the horizon and seeing more and more things slowly returning to pre-2020 standards.
While we’re dreaming about going out for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with friends, maybe going to the theater, or traveling, our kids want to get back to playing their favorite sports with their friends. They want to get rid of all of that energy, feel their little legs pounding down the field, throw a ball farther than ever before, and turn one dizzying cartwheel after another. And most of all, they want to play with their buddies.
You want them to have those experiences, but keeping them safe ranks pretty high, too. So how do you navigate kids and sports during the pandemic and the transition period afterward? Our tip list can help you dive back into the world of kids’ sports.
Local statistics on infection rates are what matters most. If the whole country is doing better, but your community is seeing numbers rise, then you need to err on the side of caution. After all, it’s the occupancy rate in your local hospitals that you really need to be concerned with.
People are pretty excited and anxious about doing things that feel normal. If you think that it’s just too soon and you’re not ready, then you have to trust yourself. Throughout this pandemic, there have been many times when the guidelines were confusing and sometimes conflicting. This will most likely continue through the transition and recovery, so your instincts are still fundamental.
Hygiene, Now and Always.
One thing we think will change permanently is the level of hygiene awareness. Hand sanitizer and washing stations will become more commonplace. Fist or elbow bumping may take the place of handshakes and hugs for a while. Individual treats will probably replace community snacks and beverages. And your kids will learn to be just as strict about coughing into their elbows as they are about putting on seatbelts.
In addition to separate snacks, part of this trend might include separate sporting equipment – when possible. There will be less sharing to decrease the odds of germs spreading. For you, this means you’re spending more on sporting equipment, water bottles, snack containers, towels, sanitizers, etc.
Using Name Bubbles Sports Labels Packs is a smart way to keep track of your stuff, so you don’t have to keep replacing lost items. Not only that, but they come with different sports themes, from soccer to baseball, and they’re waterproof and incredibly durable. Put down the Sharpie and masking tape – you’re going to love this solution .
The CDC is still recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others after they’ve been vaccinated. They’re suggesting that vaccinated people follow all of the same precautions as they did before. This means your children will probably be wearing masks when playing sports.
If you’ve already picked up some cute sports-themed masks for your little ones, make sure you add iron-on name labels to them, so there’s no accidental mix-up with the masks. We think team masks will become part of the uniform, so reliably secure name labels will be essential.
Encourage “Distance” Sporting.
This is going to be difficult for some kids and their families. Some sports have more contact, like wrestling and basketball. And it’s going to take longer for those sports to be seen as safe. Sports like tennis, soccer, baseball, gymnastics, etc., naturally allow for social distancing. If you can, encourage your child to stick to these sports – at least for the time being.
Be a Good Example.
Your kids look to you to learn how to do just about everything. That means you need to continue to practice social distancing, wearing your mask, using good hygiene techniques, and everything else you expect them to do. This is not easy during sporting events because you want to chat with your friends, but keeping your distance is still important. Like they say – Monkey See, Monkey Do.
Focus on Fun.
Teams will probably be smaller, there will be less travel, and cancellations will become more frequent. Serious competition is taking a real hit during the pandemic, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Letting go of the need to be the best and to beat everybody else can be liberating. And everybody knows that having fun is…well, fun. Please encourage your children to enjoy playing and exercising and enjoy being around their friends.
It’s easy to get discouraged and to dwell on all the things we can’t do and the events we’ve missed out on. This has been a long haul for everyone, and the recovery is proving to be slower than expected, but that’s even more reason to make a big deal out of the little things. Embrace the world the way it is and learn to appreciate what you have. It’s time to be the tortoise and not the hare.
Thank you again for joining us in another edition of The Weekly Bubble! Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any tips about how you’re sports this spring.