Hi, Jeff Reinardy, Strength and Conditioning Coach here at Winona State University. Like many of you, this place is still empty. I mean, we’re well over a month into this now. Hopefully there’s an end in sight. There’s starting to be some light at the end of the tunnel, but we still know it’s going to be a long, slow process.

So, a couple of things that we do here to track our athletes and kind of stay in contact with our students are:

Social Media & Zoom Meetings

First, we’re using our social media, as most of you are. We do a lot of Zoom meetings. I know our football coaches spend many hours a day talking with their different athletes and stuff like that. But we do for strength conditioning, I’ve had others interact with them using Zoom to show a little bit of their workout and different things that they’re going through. Again, we provided different workouts. If they had access to a facility of some sort, we provided another one as if there was absolutely zero connection with any type of facility. So, they just had their own body and a space at home to work in. And so, things that we think about as we’re trying to program for those aspects are A) if they do have access to a facility or something, equipment, their home, that makes life a lot easier. Obviously, you can kind of keep moving with the type of program that you’ve done in the past.

But again, if it’s a bodyweight style one, look at things a little bit differently. If you think about just a conventional push-up, hands down, push them back up. Now all you do is put a little more time under tension. So, you slow that down, you make that a five count push up or a 10 count push up something to that effect. That’s going to change how it’s being trained and how it’s being activated in different ways. You can do that with a large number of different movements. We try to vary up between some jumping, some push-ups, some throwing, some punches—just a variety of different ways to get after you end up using very similar movements, but just a different way to approach the body and make it react and adjust and adapt in a wide variety of different manners. So those are some of the programming pieces that we’ve looked at as we move forward.

There’s already talk that in phase one gyms would be something that would open up first. So, one of the first things that might open our gyms now at a university setting that we’re at, my suspicion is it will be a little delayed compared to the conventional public. But we need to in our minds, and then out the different schools, we also work at high schools as well, we need to start coming up with a thought process. How are we going to manage that? Are we going to have to continue with the social distancing? Are we going to have to look at limited numbers in the facility? Start thinking about that now. Start putting that programming thought process in motion at this timeframe. It’s going to take a little bit more time to think about something that we’ve probably have never had to do in the past. But I think once we start moving in that direction, we’ll adjust really quickly to those things. But again, we just look at a lot of different ways that we stay in contact, like different types of programming ideas, as we move forward. Once they get back in here we’ll be back to status quo, but we’ll use a lot of the things that we’ve learned through this strange period to move forward with some of our workouts, and to give them the ability that when they are gone off whatever the case might be, that they’ll have a variety of things that they can do, no matter if they have a limited facility or nothing at all.

Ask Athletes to Send Videos

One thing that also helps to keep them active is we’ve had some people take some video about what they’ve been doing when they’ve been off. One of our players actually put together a complete workout set himself. He had some two by fours, put a bench together, put a squat rack together, found some different components really, very cheaply or completely free, and cobbled together a really cool little facility in his own place. If you want to reach out to your athletes to look at what are they doing to bounce some of those things. They might have a great idea that they’re doing all by themselves in their own little home, where they could share it with everybody. It’s kind of fun, makes it exciting. There are other things that are out there, you know, you can lay out a different type of contest or some sort of push-up challenge. Different things that you can challenge your teams with or challenge a wide number of individuals with. I saw a T-shirt thing where you’re standing on in an upside-down handstand and putting in a T-shirt on. Just simple things to keep it fun, keep it light, keep us connected even though we have to stay separate at this timeframe. So, stay healthy, stay safe and keep working out there.