How Coaches and Athletes Around the World Handle the Corona-Situation – Part I

IBVCA was interested to know how Coaches and Athletes around the world are handling the Corona-situation and what kind of restrictions they have to face right now. We asked them the following questions:

  1. How is the situation in general in your country? What are the restrictions for the people? And for the athletes?
  2. How are your athletes training at the moment? Are they still able to practice in the normal way?

Here are the first answers of some of our fellow coaches!

Slawa Nyrka (RUS):

The situation in Moscow and in Russia as a whole is normal. There is no big panic. But many restrictive measures have been introduced. Sport and entertainment events have been canceled, all arriving in Russia, regardless of where, should be at home for 2 weeks in quarantine.

Our athletes maintain their athletic form on their own, we recommend that they not visit public places, gyms including

Seba Menegozzo (ESP):

In Spain we have full restrictions. It is only possible to go to supermarket or to a pharmays, and you have to be alone. Everything is closed, even hotels will be closed for the next 3 months.

Athletes are training just “physically” at home (not properly) and no chance to train with ball since 14.03.

Simon Naismith (AUS):

We are unfortunate in Australia at this stage 876 confirmed cases and 7 deaths. We are still playing 2 major professional sports like AFL and Rugby League, all other sports have stopped competition. The government has decrease group gatherings outside of 500+ people and inside of 100+ people. Schools are still open and no shutdown or lockdowns at the moment. Petrol is cheap 🙂 but toilet paper, soap and sanitizer have seen big hoarding in our shops and you can not buy any at present.

We still practice however in smaller groups and at restricted times to decrease number of people on our training site. Are they still able to practice in the normal way? Reasonably normal however what is normal in life at present. We can still sand practice, and we can still use the gym, all other recovery sessions team meetings and massage etc must occur away from our training venue based on government restrictions and regulations. Each day we receive updates and at present every 2 days there seems to be more restrictions placed on our players practice, our work life or life in general in Australia. We understand many of our friends and colleges around the world have more challenges circumstances than we and we are thinking of you and our greater Beach Volleyball family at this time.

Robert Nowotny (AUT):

In Austria is a kind of curfew and people are only allowed to leave their house to do their groceries or to get to work if applicable. It is also allowed to go for a walk. Any practice in public spaces is forbidden by the government, many parks are closed. People are allowed to go running or cycling if they are alone, and of course our athletes try to stay in shape with programs they can do alone at home. Many do their core workout, some have a garden and can even get some touches with a ball with their family or kids. As of today the situation is likely to remain the same until at least 13th of April.

Richard de Kogel (NED):

1. These days/weeks/months are stressful times in the Netherlands. Stress because of the fear for what might still be coming. The fear for not enough IC beds is increasing. Strategy of the government is to create group immunity amongst the stronger people to protect the weaker/older people. Also for this strategy, there are people for and against it.

Related to restrictions, there is no more school for kids. People can still go to work if needed, but it is recommended to stay and work at home. And then, of course, the normal protocol in this situation, like wash your hands, stay more than 1,5 meters away from each other and better avoid contact whenever and wherever you can.

The National Olympic Committee is supporting the government and therefore there is no difference between ‘normal people’ and athletes. Meaning all sports facilities (indoor/outdoor) are closed. It’s not allowed to use alternative group training.

2. Our athletes were given a program as soon as we knew we couldn’t come together anymore for practices. A joint effort by our doctor, S&C coach, nutritionist and technical staff gave all the athletes an individual program to do each day. A part of the program they have to manage themselves, but part of the program we still want to do together. So we have an online platform to connect with each other to still practice the physical part together. That also creates the opportunity to stay in touch with each other and communicate about the situation we are all in together. So, to answer your last question… No, we are not able to practice in the normal way. But, we are proud of the way we’re handling the situation at the moment, facing this challenge all together where we see that other competences have the opportunity to develop.

I’d like to take this opportunity to send strength to everyone in this same challenge! 💪🏻🍀

Terenzio Feroleto (ITA):

The situation is very difficult and tricky in Italy. Today will probably come even stronger measures and tight controls.

Italian athletes of Olympic interest have the opportunity to train, but in federal structures, alone, and with the constant medical check , following very strict rules of hygiene and use of equipment, as well as the prohibition of contact with other people.

In this moment we are training at home, using the available material (since on our return at home the situation was already compromised and the shops were all closed) and adapting the workouts to the home spaces.

We’ve been back from Brazil for a week , where we had organised a stage before the virus spread in Italy, and we have felt the responsibility to blocking the activity and spending the 14 days of voluntary quarantine as requested by our State to contribute to the battle to stop the virus spread. Now it’s important that everyone does their part for himself and other.

Social responsibility first!

Morph Bowes (GER):

1) for us I’m Hamburg, we’re still allowed to go out, but events and gatherings are forbidden. The have started to restrict the number of people in supermarkets at at time (at least it was last night).

For the athletes, they have access to the training center und gym, but on a limited schedule and only in small groups.

2) we don’t have a usual training schedule, due to reduced court space/time no access to training partners. Gym is the same, we can train, but only in small groups and limited time slots. Physio and sports scientists are not really available.