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13/01/24 4

Quarantine strategies

My name is Davide Labanti, for the 2019/20 season I am the coach of A.s.D. Black Bart and Triathlon Kids of CSI Bologna, in my spare time I continue to train to do some races, despite being 42 years old.

Covid-19 forced us to change our habits of life and consequently of sport, we navigated by sight and are still at the mercy of events or Phase 2, as it has been defined.

For non-professional athletes, there are still weeks of sports fields and swimming pools closed, group activities canceled but I remain Coach, Technician, Coach so I have dedicated myself with even more commitment to following my athletes, to literally taking care of them and their problems.

I strongly affirm that the Coach must not only be responsible for drawing up programmes, reorganizing tables and following the athletes poolside or on the track, but rather must be a real point of reference for those who have decided to undertake a sporting path.

In these fifty days I have had more intense work from a relational point of view than in normal times. I found myself paying much more attention to the psychological/motivational and relational aspects, rather than the physical ones.

Starting from children to adults, everyone showed up with different doubts, fears and moods, some with a desire to do and others with their morale undermined by uncertainties and changes.

Change can constitute an opportunity, I always repeat like a mantra, but how can this statement be made practical in a period in which there are no clear timescales or definable road maps?

The role of the Coach, in my opinion, is clear, to be a support and inspiration for athletes to help them pursue their goals. At this moment it is not easy but, precisely for this reason, the delicacy of our role emerges to emphasize the well-being of our athletes and to reassure them, as much as possible.

We can put this into practice by preparing various and differentiated training programs, using our skills and our imagination, but more than this it is necessary to communicate and empathize.

I have implemented different strategies, because each athlete has different peculiarities, so a key word is certainly Personalisation.

With some I am trying to work on the technique, with others stimulating their curiosity and experimenting with variability, I have planned some challenging tests, I could continue, but the lowest common denominator was differentiating, because each of us is Unique.

Coming to the tools used, I must say that through social networks and platforms, I had various possibilities, with Endu Training Channel, for example, I proposed indoor training Cycling and Functional, trying to export a working method, based on programming, to arouse curiosity and follow a common thread through the various appointments.

Another thing I proposed to some of my athletes was meetings to do exercises all together. I have set up timed challenges with certain exercises, fueling the flame of competition, sometimes pushing to find new quantitative and qualitative objectives in a season that, it seems, will be uneventful.

I close this roundup with the Kids project, unfortunately the closure of the structures and schools has penalized them greatly from a relational and motor point of view, but I have committed to offering training from home via Skype, to help me feel close and continue the growth path started together in September. As is physiological, a couple have moved away, due to lack of stimulation and other problems, but with great pride I say that the group has remained compact and indeed someone has joined.

Final summary: the Focus is to put into practice the useful actions to achieve the leap in quality, following a precise path. Which Road? That of every athlete, helping them to pursue their goals or desires, fueling their engine.

Clearly everyone has needs, shortcomings to work on, as well as strengths of course, but the secret, in my opinion, is to always put a drop, or more, of desire into our actions, to mobilize the engine and get straight to our Targets!

Dr. Davide Labanti


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