It may not have the teams’ usual huddle, but it’s a way for the school to have its college athletes train even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online sports program “At Home with Green Stallions” was launched by the De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) Sports and Development Office (SDO) last March for its student athletes to make sure that they stay physically and mentally conditioned despite the school going fully online this semester and without any collegiate sporting events likely to happen anytime soon.
Similar to the new normal educational setup, the program engages in synchronous and asynchronous activities from Tuesdays to Saturdays.
The athletes are expected to submit deliverables to their coaches such as a weekly self-monitoring and assessment report, a monthly written reflection report and a one minute video of their workout.
Since the suspension of classes last March 13, the varsity teams have not been able to conduct their regular practices in observance of the community quarantine protocols.
According to J. Rex Atienza, SDO director, the office and the coaching staff had anticipated the long-term hiatus in sports, particularly at the college level ever since the pandemic struck in the middle of the previous school year. Thus since then they had started devising a program for the athletes to continue their athletic development despite the lack of face-to-face training.
But with the prolonged uncertainty of when sports can resume, Atienza said that they have also incorporated values and character formation to the program so that the athletes will also develop discipline and a winning mentality despite the lack of competition.
“We have maximized the use of our LMS (Learning Management System). All the training modules of all the teams under respective coaches are made available through Canvas,” he added.
However, Atienza admitted that it would be impossible in this set-up to take on the skills development and on-court chemistry of the team sports because the true nature of sports is to have physical interaction.
“Right now we are just making sure that the athletes will continue to engage so that when we come back with the face-to-face [setup], we will not start from zero,” Atienza said.
On the other hand, College Sports Coordinator Cecilia Quigley mentioned that they have designed a separate program for the coaches focusing on sports management and on how to facilitate the home workout routines.
Quigley said, “We have engaged them [coaches] on various learning sessions and also tapped them to conduct professional sharing and ask them to discuss and share topics with each other.”
On Saturdays, coaches are expected to conduct real-time training through video conferences with their athletes as the closest possible alternative to their normal pre-pandemic sessions.
When asked how the athletes are receiving the program, Jasmine Knowlton, Taekwondo’s college team captain, expressed that their internet connection badly affects their synchronous training.
“Naexperience ko minsan yung sabay-sabay [kami nagwo-work out], tapos biglang tumigil. Minsan yung iba magdidisconnect na lang. Parang internet lags yung bad guy [dito],” Knowlton said.
She also said that having proper communication with their coach is needed for this kind of virtual set-up.
Meanwhile, the athletes will still retain their scholarships according to the original guidelines set in place before the pandemic struck.