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We'll all missing sports, whether we're fans or athletes

As some of the restrictions that were put in place to keep us safe from the coronavirus are lifted, it’s easy to start dreaming of life BC (that’s the new lingo for “before coronavirus,” I’ve been told). Much of that life — beyond school and work — revolved around sports for my children and me.

Unfortunately, spring sports were completely scratched this year; both recreation and high school teams either never formed or barely got beyond a couple weeks worth of practices. A lot of emphasis has been put on the loss of professional sports and the enjoyment of the fans, but, arguably, recreation and high school sports is having just as much if not more of an impact on daily life for many of us.

I’ve coached just about every fall and spring season for the local recreation soccer league for the last nine years. That is, until this spring.

I miss seeing the young faces light up as they make a good pass, shot or save. I even miss the sourpusses when I would tell them we are going to run one more lap, just to make sure we are in top-notch shape.

It rarely mattered if we had a winning season or not — the kids always looked forward to their practices and, especially, the weekend games that we had to structure our lives around.

Sports, especially for kids, can be a great way to forget about a tough day at school or home, even if just for a couple hours. It’s also a source of friendships for many, and, what better way to fend off a virus of any kind than being healthy and strong?

For now, I’m worried if and how kids’ sports will be able to come back in the fall. Some summer sports camps are already being canceled out of an abundance of caution. What will happen in about two months when high school teams would normally start conditioning, and a month later when tryouts would usually happen? Who knows.

For now, I’m trying to keep my own two kids motivated (actually, they are the ones keeping me motivated) by running or bicycling a little just about every day. There’s also backyard basketball or tossing around the lacrosse ball. To that end, I also encourage the dozens of kids I’ve coached over the years to take time out every day, even if it’s just for 15 to 30 minutes, and practice some of those wonderful soccer drills you’ve learned, or just pass the ball back and forth with a sibling or parent. Stay fit and stay healthy. Hopefully, soon, when it’s deemed safe, I’ll see everyone back on the pitch.

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