Staying in playing shape
As we begin to see more events canceled or postponed as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis shows no signs of slowing down, questions for athletes around the world have started to appear – how to stay in competition without access to your regular training facilities?
We have seen some who have been able to take a unique approach to staying in shape – football players have received home routines in which they can practice, we see F1 stars turning into virtual Race options to keep them alive while waiting for blockages – but hockey players are more limited than most. Many games currently scheduled have been canceled or postponed until mid-April, it is likely that this expansion can last much longer than that.
Hockey players find themselves in a much more difficult situation – as they cannot go to the rinks for training, we are already seeing that some people say they have a difficult time and feeling of loss because they cannot train – and as such, apart from eating well and trying to stay in shape, the practice just isn't open to them.
And that will start to raise the question – if things change quickly enough and the games can continue in a relatively short period of time, what form of play will the athletes be in?
Event organizers will attempt to reschedule matches as quickly as possible in order to recover losses with extended lockdown – there are many others who will want to get things started too, betting companies that rely on sporting events now rely on many casinos that are not on gamstop to cover their losses, hotels and restaurants will welcome increased pedestrian traffic and stadiums will want to be packed again.
With such haste to get things done by so many outside forces, however, this may not give the players themselves the opportunity to return to the form they want to be in.
It is safe to say that they would all welcome a quick return on the ice, but this could result in some setbacks – without the possibility of getting a good practice time, we might see periods of time when players suffer increased injuries as they play out of shape, some big upheavals in the matches because the stars have not yet had the opportunity to get back in shape, and even for us, the fans, big delays in what would be regularly scheduled matches.
As things stand, the Elite League was canceled as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, which means that the season dead became less of a concern for an extended downtime, but mentioned above, it is of course still possible that this will continue for a few weeks, leading to prolonged delays.
There will be a lot of effort on the part of the teams to keep their athletes in the best shape possible, but we may see some teething problems once things start up again.