Creative thinking: Lockhart coaches and student athletes revamp offseason training strategies
By Wesley Gardner
With schools closed and UIL sanctioned sports cancelled through the end of the school year, Lockhart school district Athletic Director Todd Moebes has found himself in the odd position of trying to keep his student athletes active in the era of social distancing.
According to Moebes, the focus right now isn’t so much on the gains that are typically associated with the off-season.
“We know we were when we left off,” said Moebes. “We’re always looking to build, but at this point in time, not having the accessibility of using all the equipment we normally do, we’re at least looking to maintain.”
Moebes and other coaches have kept in touch with their athletes using a private social media platform called sportsYou that allows them to post work-out videos designed for the students to complete at home.
“A lot of the stuff is body weight [exercises],” said Moebes, “If you can find something weighted, then do it.
“Anything from just filling up your backpack with canned goods. I’ve done a workout where I had drinks in a soft-shell cooler and I was doing front squats with it.”
Moebes said the ability to post videos and comment on them has helped his athletes and coaches maintain a sense of competitiveness amongst each other.
“It’s really inspiring to see the creativity of a lot of our student athletes in what they’re doing and how they’re challenging each other, and coaches alike,” said Moebes, noting one student created a bench press using a rod with two tires hanging on each side. “Our staff is also on there and they post their workouts and what they’re doing and send pictures, so it’s certainly cultivated a sense of competitiveness and closeness during this social distancing.”
According to Moebes, the district’s sportsYou page is currently one large place for all of the athletes to congregate and share information, though he said that might change in the future.
“[The athletic department] intended to have the sportsYou so that each individual sport could have its own section,” Moebes said. “During this time, I didn’t want to do that because I thought it would counterproductive.
“I wanted everybody involved in one thing where everybody could see everybody working out.”
Moebes said the platform would eventually be divided into sports, allowing coaches to easily communicate and share information with students and parents.
“It’s a resource we’re using right now for the current need, but the availability and flexibility that it’s going to be able to provide from an information standpoint is going to be great, too,” he said.
Moebes also noted that as long as social distancing measures are in place, summer training programs would be put on hold.
“Unfortunately, we have to be reactive because those decisions and restrictions are out of our hands,” said Moebes. “Whatever point in time and day that they say we can get back and we can start training, it won’t be long.”
Moebes said that despite the rapid changes, his staff has a done a good job adapting to this new form of coaching.
“With this generation, you always got to keep it fresh and keep it new,” said Moebes. “I think with the constant change, our coaching staff is doing a good job of staying in touch with them as much as we can.”