What will be the effect COVID-19 on young athletes?

Quel sera l’effet COVID-19 sur les jeunes athlètes?

(Sportcom) – A decline of motivation, a lot of thoughts and a frame weakened : these elements will deprive the sport community to promising athletes? The possible effects of the confinement on youth sports are extensive, and several points of interrogation are of concern to the people of the community.

“I think the COVID-19 we will unfortunately lose a few athletes who would have been able to climb to the highest level, given that the return will be very difficult, initiates the preparation expert physical Maryse Allard. It’s going to be interesting to the science of the workout to re-evaluate the real impacts on elite athletes.”

“The consequences can be enormous, short-term and long-term”, says the director-general of the swimming Federation of Quebec, Isabelle Ducharme.

It’s that the sporting environment is going through a period of unprecedented. Difficult to know what will be the impacts left by such a crisis, where practice and competitions are put on pause. This spring, out of the ordinary could be both negative and positive, both on participation and on the development.

“The talent is developing less at the moment and the quality of judo is likely to decrease, according to the coach of the junior national team, Jean-Pierre Cantin. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a decline in performance, seen what happened. It was hard for the sports, they took away their candy, what they prefer. It has had a major impact at the psychological level.”

And the development of athletes may be influenced indirectly by other factors, such as the closure of clubs, or the loss of coaches, which would create a domino effect where young people would be paying.

“This is what I fear the most, is that some clubs do not re with this new reality, and losing athletes,” says Cantin.

This fear is real for many disciplines. In the swim clubs, nearly 400 coaches, assistant coaches, and instructors who have been laid off. With the resumption of activities, some of which are returned on a voluntary basis, but these are not all of the clubs are gone.

“We have to return quietly until September with only workouts. We will then see if we can get back to normal, ” says Ducharme. The goal is always to make the competition, without it, it is sure that it puts the sport in danger.”

Back to reality

In addition to the constraints related to the training and the loss of clubs or coaches, youngsters could become discouraged in taking up the sport. The capacity may be less large because of this long pause, and the athletes could have discovered new passions for the containment.

“I think it’s going to be a gradual return. Athletes will have experienced the time free and it can be hard to resume a schedule where you have no life. Is it going to make land?”, questions the guidance counselor Sophie Brassard, who also works in support of student-athletes within the Foundation for athletic excellence.

According to it, the containment has forced a pause that will have done good to many athletes, but the importance of the sport may be re-evaluated. “They have not had the choice to revive the other spheres of their life were put on pause or that were difficult to reconcile with their sport. It may have been good to take time for yourself, and they will perhaps change their priorities.”

For some, the sport occupies a prominent place in their daily lives. For others, they are gifted or not, this flame is not as strong.

“The one who does tripait not, he will be off the hook. How much? I have no idea. Those who went there to give pleasure to dad and mom, I’m not sure they’re going to end up in the pool,” says Ducharme.

For its part, Cantin feared that judo may be set aside by those who practice more than one sport, as combat sports will be the last to resume their activities.

“Those who did it just to see the friends will turn perhaps to a different sport. It will give the time just on the level of involvement of young judokas. We will see who is really addicted to judo and those who want to continue, unequivocally.”

The other side of the medal

Anxiety and uncertainty occupy the minds of all, of course, but the containment could also have positive consequences on the development.

“Studies show that an athlete is better balanced will perform better and will stay in the sport longer,” said Cuff. If the pandemic made it so that it comes out stronger as a person, he knows even more what he likes and why he does this, I see more positive than negative.”

The healing of some injuries and building some skills are mentioned often in the last few weeks. A home workout is a great challenge, but could have positive effects.

“They had to manage themselves, their workload, develop a lot of autonomy and exercise self-assessment. The report of the competitions can become a very big motivation and some will see that they need it in their lives”, said Allard.

With the resumption of sports activities in Quebec, the judo national team have resumed training following guidelines for social distancing and already, Cantin sees a beautiful motivation. “The effect of group gives a boost to the morale. You can see that they are hungry. They want to practice and are highly motivated.”

“Maybe it will have developed the athletes otherwise, and that this will be beneficial. What they were doing by automation will become a necessity. All sports will be affected at the end of the line, but this will be less catastrophic than we think. I think it will be positive,” says Ducharme.

Share Button