By Matt Schwab
Special to Mustang Soccer
Mustang Soccer and NorCal Premier Soccer, as well as other state and national soccer bodies, have adapted well during shelter-in-place orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
US Club Soccer announced on March 30 that soccer activities would be suspended until April 30, effective for all members. CEO/Executive Director Kevin Payne wrote: “We hope all of you and your families, and those close to you, are healthy and safe as we all try to navigate these troubled times.”
Mustang Director of Coaching John Doyle credits club Executive Director Fred Wilson, also a regional coordinator with NorCal Premier Soccer, for acting promptly and providing “good guidance” during the shutdown.
At Mustang, kids’ safety and families always come first.
“One of the biggest things is we’re trying to keep a balance between keeping them active and engaged in soccer, but at the same time every family is dealing with different scenarios,” said Mustang ECNL Director Mike Kelley, a parent of three young children, ages 1, 5, and 8, who is adapting to home schooling as well.
Not surprisingly, the entire Mustang soccer family has used the down time wisely while working in proactive and ingenious ways online. Here are some examples:
· Mustang has partnered with Soccer Superstars, an online virtual platform, to provide an optional virtual platform for kids during the shutdown.
· Mustang coaches and club leaders have been holding regular meetings via Zoom calls.
· Mustang created a Google Classroom to create content for Elite teams, and veteran coaches are even creating video instruction sessions of 30-to-40 minutes and sharing them with the group.
· All the while players have been encouraged to follow all medical and public guidelines, including practicing safe social distancing and washing their hands and faces regularly.
Moreover, Mustang coaches and those from other clubs are sharing information as they rush to create new online platforms. The emphasis has been primarily on nutrition, technical work, tactical work, and game analysis.
Kelley says the biggest adjustment for players is dealing with not being around their teammates. They miss their routines and “being able to hang out with their buddies,” he shares.
ECNL ACTION ON HOLD FOR NOW: The Elite Clubs National League suspended all sanctioned league competitions through April 30, including cancelling the ECNL Girls Phoenix Spring National Event, ECNL Boys South Carolina National Event, all ECNL Conference Selection Program Events, and all ECNL SuperCup.
For additional information and updates on the coronavirus, please visit the NCAA site, at www.ncaa.org; the USYS Youth Soccer Travel and Health Guidance page at https://www.usyouthsoccer.org/2020-usys-travel-and-health-guidance/, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.