The coronavirus has impacted sporting events worldwide, with several major meet cancellations. In order to limit the spread of the virus, large gatherings are being limited. This includes suspending practices and activities for many swim teams around the nation. In light of these challenges, Executive Director of Gulf Swimming Julie Bachman and Sport Development Director of Minnesota Swimming John Bradley have put together a resource guide for coaches and coach-owned teams.
The guide gives advice on finance and budgeting for clubs, online learning and meeting resources, and how to keep engaging athletes and parents throughout the suspension of in-person practice and activities. For the last few weeks, with the possibility of closures looming, Bachman and Bradley have been discussing possibilities for actions that could be taken and how they could use their responsibilities as LSC staff to help swimming communities.
Bachman is confident in Gulf Swimming’s ability to come together as a community. The Houston area has a long history of rallying together in the face of adversity, such as hurricanes or floods. Teams have been helping each other through this time, as some continue to get in the water but others aren’t able to. She supports local decisions on whether or not to continue to hold practices and they’ve talked through those decisions. There’s a universal feeling that the swimming community wants to stay connected.
Bachman believes there are unique opportunities to come together and continue learning online. It could be a chance to dig deeper into things coaches and swimmers haven’t been able to focus on as much in the past. She wants clubs to continue sharing ideas, helping each other, and being sensitive to different scenarios during this time. Open and clear communication with parents can go a long way in keeping teams connected. Bachman said, “when you have community like we do, I think the future is always gonna be bright no matter what.”
You can check out Bachman and Bradley’s resource guide here. They’ll also be hosting their brainstorming web meeting with coaches on Saturday, March 21st.