It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic is not over. In fact, more states than not are seeing an upward trend in cases.
On the football field, hopefully, your team is experiencing the opposite and your family is healthy and enjoying all of the things about the sport you’ve come to love.
If your team has managed to stay virus-free or with very few cases to this point it’s for one main reason: The vigilance of everyone involved on the team, from coaches to players to parents to siblings, making sure they are following all of the recommended safety protocols that USA Football has preached from the beginning of the pandemic.
Whether it’s keeping your child home if they just don’t feel right, making sure they always have their own water bottle, or pushing sanitizer like never before, doing so is helping keep the team safe and healthy.
Now is NOT the time to relax. Because as soon as we do, that’s when things will start to go bad for youth football teams like it has for some of the college and NFL ones.
The coaches should be policing themselves and their players, ensuring whatever rules are in place in your area are being followed.
It’s up to the parents to do the same. Masks must be worn, and social distancing enforced. This includes not only in the bleachers or near the sidelines, but anywhere else you might wander during practices and games.
Parents should also try to avoid carpooling if at all possible. But if you do, masks should be worn until it’s just your immediate family left after all the drop-offs.
The best part about this pandemic for many has been the startup of youth sports. It wasn’t easy and there are no guarantees that your team will make it to the end of the season without an outbreak.
But there is one guarantee: Continuing to follow the safety protocols that have worked so far will increase your team’s chances of getting to the end of the season healthy.
Football teams are in the home stretch of a season they thought might never happen. Let’s all work together to make sure they get there.
Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.
At USA Football, we've got your back as you begin to go back to the field. Our recommendations for a responsible return are here – guidelines, infographics, videos, checklists and more.