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Parenting & Sport Lockdown Blog Edition 6 (May)

Parenting & Sport at Home: Edition 6 
Time to start thinking might not be that far away now?!

Hi everyone and welcome to Edition 6 of the Parenting & Sport at Home Blog. As always, I hope that everyone is well and managing to keep their spirits up as the lock down continues. 

I thought that for this week's edition of the blog I would focus on the positives and think about what actions might be taken in the next few weeks for sports provision as we aim to break the lock down. It seems that there is every chance things will start to be unpicked over the next few weeks with a return to some kind of outdoor life likely for the end of May or early June. I have even just seen on Sky Sports Golf that there is some live golf being broadcast on 18th May featuring Rory McIlroy among others, to raise money for Coronavirus support charities. Working from this hypothesis, I have tried to outline some ideas for what might be on offer via Live Love Sport when we do get back to normal so that everyone can be prepared nicely in advance and booking lessons will be easy to do. 

Elsewhere in the blog this week, you can see the video highlights from my first Cardio tennis/HIIT class last Saturday. It was great to see people tuning in and joining the fun, although it turns out that many people decided to just watch me sweating rather than take part themselves! I am going to carry on with my online classes every Thursday at 4pm and then cardio/HIIT every Saturday at 10am until things change for whats possible outside our houses.  

Finally, my Parenting & Sport comments this week are about home gyms and what the future holds for us all in terms of how we exercise post lock down. A colleague of mine wrote a great article on this on LinkedIn this week and it stimulated my thoughts in this area. Is the future of gym use as we know it under threat from a Coronavirus inspired home gym movement? Its really interesting to think how we have adapted in the last 6 weeks to staying active and how important it will be to try and carry on with all the good habits we have put in place for ourselves and our children. 

Hope you enjoy reading the blog once again. Have a great week and see you Thursday or Saturday for some virtual tennis if you can make it - no ducking out this week though!

Live Love Sport - Post Lock down Plans
The first section of this week's blog is more informative for players and parents that participate in activities that we run in SW London. It appears that the lock down will be eased towards the middle-end of May with a possible starting date back for schools on 1st June to tie in with the first week back after half term. This seems to make sense in everyone's opinion but of course, going back wont mean going back to normal. It will be a long time before we can think that way I'm sure. In terms of general sports provision, this is how I see it:

Phase One - Golf Courses and Tennis Clubs will aim to open in mid-May for members to use the facilities. This will allow for small scale participation with booking times restricted and no clubhouse access points. All current social distancing and hygiene protocols will be enforced. Games will be restricted to 2 players only. 

Phase Two - Public Sports Facilities will open in late May or early June. This includes communal tennis courts and possibly outdoor gyms and play areas. This will not include football pitches or training centers. Driving ranges will re-open but bays will be spaced apart and balls will need to be cleaned before use. More typical numbers could resume for all outdoor activities such as running or triathlon clubs, tennis doubles or golf fourball games. 

Phase Three - Small scale training for outdoor team sports will come back in late June but with strong stipulations on contact. If the Premier League returns successfully then team sport activities might be able to be re-instated for July/August.

Phase Four - Gyms, pools and indoor public health facilities will be the last centers to re-open during the later part of the summer in August but could stay closed for much longer depending on the impact of the previous three phases. 

Live Love Sport's tennis program in Wimbledon Park would fit into Phase Two of my hypothetical unraveling of lock down. If the council are given the green light to re-open the courts at Wimbledon Park then we would be able to start to run the following services from late May/early June. 
  • Private Tennis Lessons
  • Family Tennis Lessons
  • Shared Lessons (2 players max)

We would also hope that we could run a 6-8 week term of groups lessons from June 1st to July 26th for our junior and adult group programs but with group sizes cut to a maximum of 4-6 players per class. This would also apply to summer holiday camps which would be run from the end of the school term. We would also install a series of operational procedures based on government guidelines that allow players to feel comfortable with their surroundings and the activities being conducted in the classes. This includes hygiene procedures but also covers elements such as the exercises that the coach chooses to do in each class. 

Live Love Sport will start to engage more closely with parents for booking classes from Monday May 18thThis includes lessons for the may half term holiday as well as course bookings for the shortened summer term starting on June 1st. 

For parents interested in Dream Team Soccer School camps, we anticipate that we will be running football camps from August onward. Dates will be set in the next 2 weeks based on accessibility of the facility and again, on government guidelines for the provision of junior football activities. If there is no clear path for the provision of football, then Dream Team Soccer School will be opening for after school classes from September 1st instead. 
Live Love Sport Online on Facebook Live 
Lots of different exercises in here using just a racket and a bit of space to move around. Just add your own music!
You can see from the video that I gave it 100% in my cardio lesson on Saturday!! Hope you managed to try and few of these exercises at home this week or join in the fun on Facebook Live.

Thanks to everyone for joining in and staying in touch - it is always so nice to hear from people who are taking part and giving it a go. But more than that, if you do some practice at the moment then you will be ready to go when we do return. Things like the ball toss are easy to try and master in a small space or in the garden for all types of players. It could be that you look back on this time and realize how much the extra practice on your technique or fitness has counted towards your improvement. 

Remember there are classes running this week on Facebook Live as follows:
  • Thursday 4pm:       Serving & Ball Toss Practice for Mini Tennis Players
  • Saturday 10am:      Cardio / HIIT tennis class for everyone
Bring your racket, a towel, a ball, some water and lots of energy!!...Click here to set your reminder.
Send me your videos guys!
If you are watching the FB Live sessions or are working hard on your skills at home, I would love to see them. I'll also see if I can a make a montage of everything that you guys have been up to so send me videos to  I'll make sure there is a prize for the best video or challenge that I see. 
Parenting & Sport - Coaches Comments 
What is the future for gyms when we love working out at home so much?

As a coach, it is really interesting to hear the many ways in which we have dealt with staying active during the lock down. Most sports retailers cant get their hands on home gym equipment as its so popular! I've had loads of conversations with people who say that they are fitter now than they have been in ages, or they have finally found this time to kick start the fitness trend that they have always wanted to. On top of this, parks have become our running trails, gardens have areas for crossfit or yoga, and our lounge is a yoga studio or HIIT zone. Perhaps most refreshingly, families are embracing the challenge of staying fit together with daily workouts, challenges or fun online classes to follow. The question this just a glorified weekend where we break from the norm of our usual habits, or is this a sea change that will shape our habits for the next few years. 

One thing that will definitely shape our immediate future is our attitude to social distancing and hygiene. I can see that we will gradually emerge from the lock down, but it will take a lot longer for us to trust the places where we need to gather together once again. Gyms will be one of those places where opinions will be split on what is safe and what needs to be avoided. As a result, I think the home fitness trend will have a chance to evolve further and dig its heels in more deeply. Online products and services will have a longer chance to shape the market and give us all a viable option to how we work out and what kind of quality we can access in this area. 
For me, this can only be a good thing. I have thought for too long that we tend to flock to the gym with our eyes closed, thinking that we need to spend a lot longer and access more fancy equipment than is actually necessary. As a 40 something parent, I have been suckered into thinking that I would like to feel like I am 30 again, when in actual fact I need to work on my posture, cardio and strength that will stop me feeling 50 instead. I am far more likely to see gains in this area if I stick with a 30-40 minute per day plan at home, than I am by signing up to the latest new craze at the gym, or lifting the weights that I always dreamed I could. For me, a combination of the gym and home training is ideal but right now I would take home training to deliver what I need first. 

For families, the home is also a place to work on fitness together for fun but I think its also a place where kids can be encouraged to carry out specific training. Again, the lean towards home fitness can only help this as parents join in yoga classes or fitness routines with their kids. I remember having a real reluctance to work on my stretching as a tennis player but I am sure I would have done it more with a willing partner. If we appear more comfortable working out at home, then our kids will see and learn from this and pick up the mantel. It will also help with parents understanding of what fitness requirements their children need as the breadth and quality of whats on offer online starts to grow. 

On the flip side, the pull of gym and the sanctuary that it represents for some parents will still be powerful. Many gyms offer a wide range of services that are far beyond just basic fitness, with kids clubs, tennis lessons and much more all on offer. These places should still grab our attention and beckon us back as places to socialize, develop key skills or compete. I think over time we will be happy to give up our home gyms to return to places that offer a well rounded set of activities. There are also two other main factors that work in the gyms favor - these are our working conditions and the weather. Working out from home as become more appealing because of working from home - simple. We have adapted to what's possible rather than what we want. When this changes and we have a choice again, the gyms will become a shining light once again, drawing us in with exciting possibilities of pruning 10 years from our lives. Second, the weather has been amazing since lock down. Without the sunshine, we would have surely been less active, less positive about our situation, more inclined to veg out that work out. If Coronavirus had hit us in November, would we have been so productive in building our home gyms, staying healthy, even challenging ourselves to raise money for the many good causes out there including the NHS. 

I guess we will find all of this out over time. Today, I am grateful personally for the time that this crisis has given me to re-evaluate how I go about staying fit, healthy and how I can do all of this with my family involved at the same time. I dont intend on changing this as soon as we return to normal working conditions and hope that you can manage to do the least until it gets cold again in November!
And finally...Live Love Sport Classic Moment of the Week

What time is it?!!

If you have been stuck for things to watch in the last few weeks then this week's classic moment will not only inspire you but also push you towards possibly the best series on Netflix right now. 

The Last Dance is a documentary all about the Chicago Bulls and MIchael Jordan and how they went about trying to win the NBA Championship for the 6th successive year in their last season as a team. Tons of memories if you like American sports and were in your 20's when MJ was the most famous sports person on the planet. If if you dont like basketball, its a great watch to see behind the scenes footage of big games, tour bus banter and how driven individuals are to be the best. Enjoy!
Is MJ the greatest of all time?? Who are your top 3 sportsman of all time...Ali, Woods, Federer, Ronaldo. Why not have a greatest of all time sports quiz this week?
Please comment on any aspect of the Parenting & Sport blog by emailing or why not recommend a friend to sign up to the LLS community and receive the blog for themselves. If you have any questions or things that you would like information on, please email these in too and I will include Q&As in future editions.

Thanks for reading and stay safe!
Stay Home / Protect the NHS / Save Lives 
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