The reviews on the first week of athlete workouts at Osceola County high schools have been posit — wait, why don’t we just say, “Good.”
The first week of regimented workouts since March with athletes and coaches — conditioning drills only, no sport-specific work yet until July 1 — is in the books, without the paperwork issues some coaches and athletic directors feared. A new online system helped make sure all athletes had all documents signed and submitted.
Once out in workouts, everyone has had a part — coaches and players — in following all the rules of distancing and individual equipment.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Harmony Athletic Director Dan Kerr said. “The coaches have done great with putting all the protocols in place, and the online platform has been a sweet change for chasing kids for paperwork.”
The whole goal of these offseason workouts is to make sure student athletes are physically prepared for the scheduled start of fall season practices on July 27. But, like Osceola volleyball coach Carrie Palmi said, many of her players were working out on their own just to cure boredom.
“It’s been very organized, our athletic director (Jim Bird) has been out there with us making sure kids didn’t have any paperwork issues, we took maybe 15 extra minutes last Monday to verify it all,” she said. “Our kids’ energy levels have been great, they’re excited to get to work out with teammates again.”
A good first week does not ensure everything will go smoothly — this pandemic has been full of bumps in the road in society — but Osceola County Athletic Director Ryan Adams said he saw a lot of positive things at the schools he visited.
“It was great to see students working with coaches and just see them back out there, the ones I talked to were all excited to be back,” he said. “But it’s still very early. We’re working incrementally working toward July 27. We want to make sure our kids are prepared for the fall season without the risk for injury and ensure safety.”
Players will be able to use sport-specific equipment (throw a football, hit a volleyball) with restrictions on July 1. Those restrictions go away July 20 ahead of official practices being able to commence on July 27.