Bob’s Blog – Lessons Learned from COVID

It’s been over a year since the Covid-19 pandemic began. We all felt its impact in one way or another. Cancelled seasons, the uncertainty of what to do, missing those smaller moments with friends in competition. This fall gave you all that much needed return to normalcy. Looking back now at our first 3 months of the school year I cannot help but feel so incredibly lucky to be here, to feel like we have all been through something together and I also feel like collectively we have benefitted from the experience.

I wanted to pause here for a moment – before talking about the wonderful accomplishments of so many this fall – to reflect just a little on what I hope stays with us and think of some of the lessons we learned from these past several months. I do hope everyone in this room understands and appreciates just how fortunate we are to be on this campus. The support and guidance, perseverance, and consistent informative communication we have all received has made our community function in ways that other schools’ envy. We are still being tested, as this pandemic lingers in the media and the threat of a resurgence makes enough people nervous. All of us need to continue to listen and hear what’s being asked of us, be confident that we live in a healthy community, and be vigilant about your health both on and off the campus. I’m excited for these next few months as I hope you all are too.

Here is what COVID has taught me:

  1. I know I can be adaptable with any circumstance. We look for positive solutions. We make the best of any situation that comes are way. To not do this lets others down.
  2. There is more than one way to coach and train. Get off the treadmill and go outside for a run. Do push-ups and wall sits in your room. We’ve all had to change something and I’m hopeful that some new discoveries were found and there is a little more “grass-roots” thinking in all of us now.
  3. You can only control what you can control. Initially I struggled with this… what an important life – skill for all of us to have. We couldn’t control when we could compete again, but we learned how to focus and get the most out of practice and what we could control.
  4. You have made the choice to grow and get better – adversity builds strength and resilience. Learning to persevere through hardships and challenging times is so important to developing character. Now that we’ve made it this far learn to never take things for granted…
  5. Relationships require maintenance. Before the pandemic, we might have taken for granted the time we were able to spend with people and didn’t dedicate enough time to keeping up with them. We’ve learned to reach out more readily to one another.
  6. Sport isn’t just about the physical benefits. Sports and activities are not just here to provide an opportunity for exercise; it benefits young people by giving you community, a sense of belonging, and wellness.
  7. Gratitude is critical. In challenging times remember to be thankful for all that we have. Now, in good times continue practicing gratitude – it helps you stay positive, appreciative, hopeful, and optimistic. We dug deep to bring gratitude to the forefront a year ago when things were admittedly uncomfortable. Why not practice this and the previously mentioned initiatives all this year. We have lots to think about – exciting stuff for sure – so it takes extra effort to remember the strategies and techniques we used. My ask today of all of us is to not ignore these lessons and keep on including them as we gain greater and greater confidence as a healthy community. Let’s have a great winter Deerfield!

Go Big Green!