Athletes During Coronavirus Lockdown
Last week All Star Video Sports had the privilege to speak with two elite sports training experts, Bob Jones and Vahid Assadpour.
Both coach Jones and Assadpour are the founders of two separate organizations that seek to help high school athletes play at the collegiate level. Coach Jones has over 40 years of baseball playing and training experience, and he owns and operates his own baseball club and facility, Between the Lines Elite Sports Academy (Shawnee, KS). Coach Assadpour has played and trained others in the sport of soccer for the majority of his life as well. Assadpour is the founder and owner of VAST Soccer Training with a few locations spread out over the KC Metro (Liberty, Kansas City, and Merriam).
One of the things that has been on mind my constantly during the coronavirus pandemic has been how this lockdown has been effecting high school athletes still looking to play in college. New challenges have arose from everyone being quarantined, but I wanted to know what coaches and athletes were doing to continue to stay ready to compete during this time, and what athletes were doing to continue to market themselves to college coaches. The insight from each of these individuals did not disappoint!
Coach Jones was the first of the two that I spoke to:
All Star – “How has the quarantine effected your athletes overall?”
Coach Jones – “The most effected were those looking forward to the spring season that have not signed yet. Most of our guys had signed already, although 3 hadn’t committed yet. It has been very important for them staying up on making the telephone calls, sending emails, etc. These things have been the most effective for us to at least let coaches know they are still here.”
All Star – “How have your guys maintained their physical fitness during this time and have you given them a plan or routine of any kind?”
Jones – “We have been conducting zoom sessions for working out and given them instruction on things they can do at home.”
All Star – “What is your opinion on video and do you think having a recruiting video is helpful for recruits right now to be seen during the coronavirus pandemic by recruiters/scouts?”
Jones – “Video is the name of the game right now. And it will continue to be after the quarantine because coaches have lost that recruiting time as well. It is very important.”
Jones finished with some encouraging words:
Jones – “I keep reminding them this too shall pass. We will get back to a new norm and it will be better. What that is going to look like, who knows. But it will be better.”
Vahid Assadpour also had some great insight.
All Star – “How has the coronavirus quarantine effected your athletes?”
Coach Assadpour – “Most of our players are high level athletes, so they are used to a high level regimen. To all of a sudden take that away from the athlete, it does affect them.
It is unfortunate, but as with anything you have to learn to deal with it and find a solution. They have to be disciplined enough to make their own routine.”
All Star – “What have your athletes done to progress at their skill level?”
Assadpour – “I have given them specific things to do for a routine, with and without the soccer ball. I have also had some of our athletes send me their videos for consultation.”
All Star – “What are some difficulties that you have seen through your athletes not being able to play this spring?”
Assadpour – “The risk of injuries will go up when they go back to playing. When you go out on your own to run and workout, it is hard to maintain that high level of intensity on your own. It is hard for teenagers to push themselves when no coach is there.”
All Star – “What is your honest opinion about video for recruits right now? Are they helpful for high school athletes?”
Assadpour – “I think they are everything. Unless you are in the top 1%, the coaches aren’t running after you. What is the difference between you and another recruit? You have to do more; The athlete has to market themselves. No league gets you a scholarship. Mom, dad, and the player get the scholarship.
You have to be like a mosquito…constantly giving them calls, emails, videos: constant communication.”
We were so grateful these two individuals were able to inform us more on what has been happening for the high school athlete looking to play in college right now. The bottom line: there is still hope!