By Pep Plasin, Head Coach of Girls Area at Academia Sánchez-Casal Barcelona.
Greetings to all competitors. Anyone who has competed in any sport, at any level, knows that the most important thing to compete is to be able to do it in the best tactical, physical, technical and mental conditions. Sometimes the opponent prevents this from happening. Often, we are the ones competing against ourselves, due to our own fears and doubts. All of these factors, and many others, are situations that each and every one of us who have competed at any level, for sure have experienced before.
But, my competing friends, we have in front of us one of the most difficult games of our lives. We are now facing the toughest player anyone has ever faced before: Mr. Covid 19. Because of this, authorities in large parts of the world’s countries have decreed house confinement.
Confinement. What does confinement mean? Health and government authorities have forced all its citizens to stay home. This measure wants to avoid the maximum number of infections and avoid sanitary collapse. I think everyone understands this measure and, therefore , we have two options: get off your arms; or lift your head and do what sport has taught us, which is adapt. What do I mean by adaptation? Well, simply, keep making life as normal as possible. If, as the canons of sport say, one of the most used phrases is “be positive”, okay, perfect, but how can I be positive in such a situation?
We don’t have any other choice. We must try to be as positive as possible during this confinement. We have to get up early in the morning, study, do the routines set by the coaches, be with the family, read, stretch, watch historic tennis games from which we can learn a lot, be creative and look for solutions in the space we dispose, and use your thoughts to search, not to regret. Because regretting will only be the beginning of losing the game.
All these things, along with many others that surely each one has or does, already occupy the day. But the biggest lesson to learn will be that, now that we can’t play or train we will appreciate it more when we will be able to do it again. This, in the end, will be one more lesson of what life is teaching us. It is a very big lesson. For sure, more than one must think “how absurd was the day I did not want to train, or the day I did not want to get up to go to breakfast and to train, and I was looking for any excuse to keep sleeping.”
I am absolutely convinced that the first day that the confinement is lifted and you will be able play sports again, all of you will run to look for the racket and you will run to a tennis court and you will hit the ball with anyone; and that first hit will be one of the hits that you will appreciate most of your lives. For sure, it will not be the best hit, but it will be the one you will feel the most and remember the most. Don’t let boredom win you over. Fight! You have many things with you to win and, when all this happens, I hope that we have all learned many things, and realize that we are more fragile than it seems.
Such a small bug has topped the world. We must prepare ourselves and be ready for the moment when normality returns. Then, all of us together will accelerate and recover the time that our opponent, Mr. Covid 19, has taken from us. I believe that we must learn, in the future, to be more empathetic, to appreciate more what we have, to help others more, in summary, to be more human. Let’s learn!
Head Coach of Girls Area at Academia Sánchez-Casal Barcelona