Use these five at home practice tips to stay active with your sport during lockdown. This year has brought about some interesting benefits from COVID-19, some are about free play. Nine months ago we weren’t talking about using chairs to dodge around but here we are. 

One bright spot is that we had no choice but to get creative. While youth sports have been an on again off again situation, some bizarre long term benefits are going to arise.  And these changes have been positive and who knows, they may stick around long after COVID-19 is gone.

Tip 1: Using Your Parents to Stay Active

  • So you need to practice, you don’t have another sibling to play against and now you are looking at your parents to help. It is a great time to get active and stay connected. Plus it never hurts to beat your parents in a one on one, maybe you can teach them a thing of two.  

Tip 2: Using Free Play

  • Free play is important, it always has been but we never took a step back to actually think about it. During the past few months, you had to get a bit creative and practice some things that may not have been part of a planned practice. Think about doing trick shots with your equipment, post them on social media, and have fun. One idea on free play is to use a jump rope. It is a great workout, easy to do and you can get some fresh air. How about picking up another sport? Let’s say you play soccer, what about playing some basketball. It is a great way to think about off ball movement and cutting, some of the same things you would do when playing soccer. 

Tip 3: Using a Small Space to Practice

  • Now is a great time to improve your own skills using these at home practice tips. Ask your coach what you need to work on. Remember that practicing your skills requires little space and not much equipment. Need to pretend to move around a defender, get a folding chair. Need to dodge around someone, use toilet paper, shoes, chairs or something else. Get creative with what you have at home and use that. Remember to have fun. Time yourself to make it more competitive. Get your friends to compete against you online. It is a great way to practice with your teammates, stay connected and do all of these things safely.

Tip 4: Using Technology to Stay Connected

  • Speaking of staying connected, don’t forget to use a video conferencing service like Zoom. You can see each other, practice and chat. It is a great way to see your teammates and coaches. Your coach will want to have a more structured practice and video is a great way to do this. Also, you can have 1 on 1’s with your coach. This is a great way to connect and give your coach an update on what you are working on, get some tips and just say HI! 

Tip 5: Use Speed and Purpose to Improve

  • When you are using these at home practice tips, make sure you use speed to do the moves with some energy. You don’t look like you are just checking off a box. And when you add in purpose, you focus on form. Having good form is important so if you are trying to do something new, turn down the speed and focus on what you are doing. When are you doing a drill that you do over and over again, add the speed and purpose so you have intensity and your form is right. Shorten your reps so maybe do something for 1 minute and do it 3 times, make sure you rest in between each rep for about 15 seconds. Remember, when you practice on your own, you don’t have to do 2 hours of practice. Focus on quality over quantity, do a good job, break a sweat and feed good afterwards. 

These easy to follow tips can help make your practices fun, because isn’t that why we do these things in the first place. Good luck!

Thanks to Bleacher Report for this amazing video showing how the world (and several celebrities) have brought free play into their own homes. We love free play and think it one of those things we hope sticks around long after COVID-19.