Team Bonding Continues Online
November 2, 2020
Before COVID-19, the girls basketball team had been preparing for its upcoming season and welcoming in new teammates
Then things went against the plan, and coaches created numerous modifications to welcome new players and to train the team.
Coach Markisha Coleman had sent an email last month recruiting players, inviting them to a Zoom call. The call took place on Sept. 21, and the team discussed their practices and their end goals.
One of the major changes for this season was moving it from November to next March.
“Starting next week, our program will be offering optional skill development workouts via Zoom,” Markisha said on the call. “We will not have any in-person practices until it is safe to do so.”
Junior Kianne Ferrer, who has a knee injury right now but is still participating with the team as much as possible, said the girls are working out.
“The girls who are trying out or are interested in basketball do skill development and conditioning — practicing their fundamental skills: passing, dribbling, shooting,” she said. “In conditioning they are running, doing pushups.” As a returning player, Kianne said she feels she hasn’t fully connected with the new players on the team.
“I don’t really have any connection with any new players,” she said. “Even with the old players, I’m not connected because of how busy it gets.”
Overwhelmingly, the extra time needed for online learning has taken up a lot of the time that might have gone to any sort of team bonding.
“There is a girls basketball group chat …. It’s not active there because we can’t really bond with each other,” Kianne said. “Our bond is through basketball.”
Due to guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), sports and exercising activities now run via Zoom. In a similar case, Strength and Conditioning teacher Ali Karver has been running her class through Zoom.
“Showing up to the Zooms is the hardest part,” she said, “and since they are doing that, they have already found success.”
Ali said that normally she would be able to walk around class and motivate students individually, but that can be hard on Zoom. She said she can’t stress enough the importance of students asking clarifying questions because it is hard for a teacher to know when a student is having trouble.
“Some kids I’m able to call out individually if I can see them clearly,” Ali said. “The reality is they have to motivate themselves to a certain extent.”
Ali said physical activity is important for all students, whether or not they are signed up for her class or a sport.
“BE ACTIVE! If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself to workout or to do homework take a walk around the block,” Ali said. “Moving your body and getting the blood to flow will always wake you up and help you be more productive in all areas of your life.”
One of the difficult questions for any teacher is how to keep students engaged through online learning. For a team, the connection between students and their coaches is even more crucial to success when they are able to play in person again. Markisha’s goal is to keep in touch with the girls and keep the same strong environment as they created in previous years.
“We will continue to encourage them and support them in any way we can,” Markisha said. “I want every player to improve and feel confident when they are on the court. Great team chemistry, no injuries.”