How has COVID-19 affected youth football?

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How has COVID-19 affected youth football?

(PRESS RELEASE) – This is a hard one! On one hand football development (the technical component) for our programme has not stopped but has changed during the past 4+ weeks.

We have been forced to work within the limitations of this global crisis. Though We are not able to meet and train, we have utilized the technology available to keep the TDFDP & Kick It Destiny! members active and touching the football.

We have issued weekly drills & technique assignments via what’s app hoping the parents encourage/assist the kids in getting them done. Some kids send us their progress some don’t even try but we will continue in this way as our goal is to keep the technique (touches on the ball) up to a certain level so when we restart the kids will not be too far behind where their development stage should have been. One of our assignments is called “20 kicks to beat Covid 19”. This is a 3 part challenge that we invite all able bodies 3 to 99 years old to take part in, each level has age specific instructions and individuals need to complete each of the 3 levels.

On the other hand TRUE football development is not only technical improvement, our programme also focuses on the social & psychological development of the children. Discipline & improving self-confidence are components we employ & rely on in producing well rounded athletes & overall good citizens.

Organized well run academies/clubs youth programmes fill a void that neither the school, church or home could because of the effect & role of sport (both competitive & recreational) on the youth. Covid-19 has for the time amputated this arm of our operations. We are not able to connect with our members as needed, the face to face and personal instruction/interaction is missing. We know that young impressionable minds respond/learn better in this kind environment.

The restart of football post covid 19 will have its challenges, but I think the greatest challenge will NOT be the “football” itself. This issue will be a common factor across everything that has been shut down and that is the “mindset of the people”, the psychological damage covid has inflicted on the wider population will not be easily undone. As health & safety is always the priority, the fear of kids being infected may delay the return of kids to the field even after the all clear has been given. However, I foresee an improvement in the attitudes of those who do return to training. I anticipate that The absence of the person to person experience will increase the desire & demand for kids to be at the field working with their coaches, I believe they will come out hungry for football… we will see!

The coaches & staff of the Trevor Daniel Football Dev Programme, would like to take this opportunity to thank the frontline workers for their commitment & self-sacrifice to our nation. We would like to also express condolences to the families who have lost loved ones, jobs & opportunities due to this pandemic. We want to thank the Sandals Foundation whose pre covid-19 support made it possible to keep our kids active and training during this time. We want to encourage our members & the wider public to obey the protocols in place by the health authorities, stay active, eat healthy, sleep early, be positive knowing that this will not last forever and we will soon meet on the football field again.

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