The Impact of COVID-19 on College Programs
Featuring Old Dominion University Women’s Head Coach, Angie Hind
Angie Hind is one of the most respected coaches in college soccer in the US and certainly a household name when it comes to player development in Scotland.
A career that has seen her serve as an international player, Grassroots Development Officer, Youth National Team Coach (u19s), Assistant National Team Coach, Performance Manager and Head Coach at Dartmouth University’s Women’s Soccer program.
An excellent coach, she has a reputation for being a ‘relationship builder’ who spends time in knowing her players and staff, and gets consistently high results from her groups.
Held in May 2020, this webinar was aimed at sharing an understanding of the impact of Coronavirus on the college programs:
- What is the current climate like?
- Where / What are your players currently doing?
- Are you able to provide content for your players?
- How are you managing the anxiety of staff and players?
- Is there a plan for when you return?
“Our first priority was towards our kids, we wanted to get everyone home and safe and with their families. This was easier for some than others, we have international players including one from Turkey who we wanted to ensure got back to her family safely.”
This approach has been commonplace to how Angie and her staff work with their players, regardless of the current situation. Strength and Conditioning programs were all provided to the players but Angie makes a clear statement that they felt a responsibility to do more than that in order to maintain their connection and keep the players ‘mentally secure’ during their time away.
Recognizing the emotional toll that this scenario has had on players is sometimes overlooked, especially when these individuals are also questioning what will happen with their studies and finances.
We as coaches are in a place where, like it or not, we are incredibly influential in young people’s lives and so showing a level of attention and care that clearly communicates “I got you”, is so important to their emotional state, and in turn performance levels.
“We have tried everything to keep them motivated, engaged and emotionally present. I don’t think it needs to be ‘heavy’ either. We’ve done remote cooking sessions, and we did a really funny, “bring a family/friend to workout day! Some of the efforts from siblings and parents were hilarious”
Although the landscape has since evolved from the time of recording this webinar, the lessons that Angie suggests will stick with her have continued to revolve around relationships and trust. In closing Angie mentions a podcast for coaches conducted by Julie Fowdy and Colleen Hacker. She references Colleen as a Sports Psychology Consultant to the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team since 1996 and something that she says resonates with her philosophy and was so important during this time:
“You’ve gotta spread laughter, and you’ve gotta smile. Because if you don’t feel good about yourself and there is no-one there to help you get through this, then it doesn’t matter what the situation is it is going to be tough.”
A real lesson in relationship building and growing with your squad, she is a shining example of knowing how and what to do to support the people she cares about, her family, friends, staff and players.