How to keep connected online
In this time of crisis, many Good Sports clubs are doing amazing work keeping their communities inspired and together, even from a distance. As restrictions begin to lift, staying connected continues to be important for community sports clubs.
People are involved in community sport for many of different reasons, but among them is a common thread where clubs create a space to develop friendships and bonds that can last a lifetime.
Encouraging positive social connections in a club environment can help members to improve and maintain good mental health and manage stress better, particularly during times when they are unable to train or compete.
We know clubs are stronger together – and there are a range of creative ways that we can stay connected, even when we must be apart.
So, how do we do this now, when we can’t get together in our clubrooms or gather after a match?
Inspiration for staying connected
Make your catch-ups virtual
- Schedule virtual committee meetings, quiz nights or team talks. Many platforms offer multi-way video calling, including What’s App, Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Houseparty.
- Have a distance movie night. The streaming service Netflix is offering ‘Netflix Party’, which synchronises the video and creates a chat. If you use a different service, counting down to hitting ‘play’ over the phone and texting while you watch will work too.
Try an activity together
- Try a new skill together. Pick an online tutorial for training drills or workouts. Challenge members to all attempt the same tutorial and share your results.
- Sign up for a fitness class. Many gyms, local leagues or associations and state and national sporting bodies are now offering online classes for home-based exercise that you can sign up for together.
- Learn the rules. Most sporting bodies have online tutorials or webinars explaining the rules and regulations of their game. Now is a great time for players to brush up on their knowledge.
Get competitive (or co-operative)
- Play virtual games. Some club members may have access to sports video games such as soccer or basketball. Get them connected to play against each other online. There are also free versions of classics like chess, dominos and scrabble-type games available to keep you entertained and connected.
- Create player profiles. Club members can interview each other with a set of questions to create player profiles that can then be shared online or in newsletters
Members without internet access?
- Set a regular time to talk. Scheduling a regular phone call with an isolated person can help give you both something to look forward to.
- Ask new questions. It can be surprising the things we may never get the chance to learn about our teammates or family members. There are many lists of questions online you can use for inspiration. Consider things such as: “What’s the most unusual thing that’s ever happened to you in a match?”, “What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done?”, or “What’s your favourite memory of playing for this club?”
Creating a social ‘new normal’
As everyone settles into a new routine, we should take care to make sure our new habits include staying social and connected to others. Although it might feel strange at first, be bold with suggesting new ways for your club’s members to maintain the bonds you’ve all worked so hard to forge in the past.
Some of the inspiration above is bound to lead to a few laughs together, and you might create a fun new tradition with your teammates to keep continuing after this is all over.