By Jeff Kluever, Director of Programs
COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in countless ways, not the least of which was moving all Iowa schools to online delivery for the rest of the spring semester, and the cancellation of all high school spring sports. The suddenness of this change caught all of us off guard, and coaches were no exception. Coaches, teachers, and parents must help guide their students through adversity, and cope with stress and loss, including the loss of a season. We asked Drake Women’s Basketball Coach Jennie Baranczyk to share a few thoughts with coaches on how she dealt with the sudden cancellation of her season.
One way to help students cope with the loss of their season is to help them think positively. For coaches interested in some sort of activity to provide positive closure for a team who lost their season, consider asking your team to write a letter to their sport. In this letter, they should write about what they’ve gained by participating on this team – the lessons they’ve learned, friendships they made, skills they’ve developed, and so on. As an example, you may share the letter Kobe Bryant wrote to basketball, found here: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/dear-basketball.
Nothing will replace a lost season, but hopefully this activity can help your students think about not the season they lost, but all that they gained by participating in your activity.