Being a coach is a lot more than training correct volleyball techniques. Find out how to stay connected and show compassion to players during unstable times.

Once their playing days are gone, athletes aren’t gonna recall the box scores or striking percentages. They will recognize who was present for them during the most vulnerable moments of their lives. Read on for some tips for keeping team morale high coming from a distance.

Check in on your team

Check in on your team - How to Boost Team Morale Off the Court

Your players’ overall health and well-being must always be a top priority, particularly in times during the crisis and isolation. Make a reminder on your calendar to reach out to them. You can ask how they’re doing mentally and physically and make them aware just how important they are to you.

Refrain from phrases such as “you’re a hard worker” or “you’ve been a good asset.” Rather, opt for affirmations which are particular to who they really are as well as the unique influence they have on the team. “I love how you cheer your teammates,” and “I truly appreciate how you always take the additional time to shag balls in between drills,” are wonderful examples.

Try to create space for socializing

Even though virtual position training and at-home trainings are essential, your players are most likely lacking the casual conversations as well as team time. Conduct these by hosting coffee or tea breaks for the players to get together and speak about life beyond volleyball.

Have some fun together

Have some fun together - Ways to Virtually Build Your Team and Club Culture

At this point, you’ve possibly seen the team pepper challenge in social platforms such as YouTube, Twitter as well as Instagram. However there are plenty of other ways in order to keep your team interconnected and break up the monotony. The teams can make their own versions of popular songs and got to know one another much better via virtual talent shows.

You may also challenge players to think of the best trick shot. Or perhaps host a Netflix watch party. Regardless of what you decide, simply bear in mind that teams with chemistry off the court, perform much better on it.

Send a care package

Send a care package - Ways to Virtually Build Your Team and Club Culture

In case your budget permits, send players anything to make them aware you’re thinking of them. Customize it to each and every individual’s interests and hobbies, or make it general along with a blend of fun and useful mementos. Things such as hand sanitizer (if you’re able to find it), snacks, masks, scrunchies and card games are all excellent contenders.

Or give a handwritten note to inform them you care. We sent all of our players a handwritten note to not just make them aware that we were thinking about them, but to motivate them as they were about to go to their finals week. Every note made them really feel special and they know that we look after them as more than simply volleyball players.

Have a good time with your players

Last of all, keep everybody dedicated to the positive by honoring wins at the team and individual level. Make highlights of the team’s best moments or create one for every player in order to applaud their achievements. This may appear time-consuming, however it’s really worth the effort.

Don’t assume all celebrations are with regards to in-game moments. You may also throw a virtual party or award night to acknowledge your team. When there is a budget, deliver pizza or one more treat into your players’ homes so that it feels as though an end-of-season banquet. Make the awards you usually would and perform that highlight reel you made. Most of all, appreciate being together and provide your players a little sense of normalcy.