The SLSG has been hosting weekly “Conversation Matters: You Ask, We Share” spending an hour with sport leaders from across the country sharing information and responding to questions on employment, insurance, leadership, financial management, grief management, and other matters related to managing through COVID-19. With summer around the corner, we have decided to pause our weekly meetings and look forward to re-initiating in the Fall.
In our last session before our summer break, SLSG Partner Dina Bell-Laroche was joined by Stephanie Potter, also an Integral Master Coach, to share some practical tips and ways to prepare for a Holistic Return to Sport. Beyond meeting legal requirements related to public health and safety measures, we know that different people will be more or less ready to return to sport depending on their life experience, how this disruption unfolded for them, their psychological health, and so much more.
- Some of the key lessons shared on the call using interactive technology included:
- Often the simplest way to get a sense of how another person is feeling is to ask them to ‘check in’ using various tools. We played with one such tool and it was helpful to hear participants share how they are finding they are oscillating between different energy states and also between different emotional states, sometimes within the same hour. Our recommendation is to begin your meetings with a quick check-in to humanize the experience and to get a sense of what else might be sparking for your team.
- The gift of powerful questions was reflected in how people engaged throughout the session. By asking people to reflect on their three biggest concerns before returning to work, we were able to address some of what felt heavier and was creating unnecessary anxiety. By asking people to identify what they needed to feel safe, we were able to have them feel more confident in naming what they needed and to also share examples of healthy and healing coping strategies. By acknowledging what people have appreciated throughout their COVID-19 experience and working from home, participants were able to identify some of the new routines they might like to maintain.
- Our conversation also reminded participants that even when external factors continue to evolve quickly, so that every day feels ‘new’ and like we are starting at square one, we can regain some certainty by engaging in dialogue – with ourselves, with our teams, with our families and friends – and co-creating solutions that respond to our needs. We can build a safety net for ourselves and our communities that allows us to be in these uncertain times in a more resourced way … one conversation at a time.
- We reminded participants to have their EAP numbers available for staff and to ensure other helpful support information is made available. We discovered by normalizing some of the anxieties that were surfacing, participants felt more confidence and connected to others through the shared stories and offerings.
- We closed off by sharing that we have developed a number of tools that could be used for administrators, coaches, and athletes to prepare holistically for their return to sport. Our hope is that by creating a safe and welcoming place for participants to share what might be creating anxiety for them, we help them also feel connected to their peers and recognize they are not alone.
Our high hopes for the sector are to re-imagine new ways to deal with the stuff that might be keeping you up at night and in so doing, feel less alone as a result. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it’s that we need each other more than ever to work through some of the complexities of leading, living, competing and volunteering in the 21st Century.
The Sport Law & Strategy Group has been providing strategic insight to the Canadian sport community since 1992. We offer a full range of management consulting, leadership development and legal services to the Canadian sport community. We are accessible, affordable, highly skilled, and we bring experience and common sense to every project. Our mission is to help you achieve yours. To learn more about us please visit www.sportlaw.ca. For more information please contact Dina Bell-Laroche at 613-591-1246 or 613-294-4118 or DBL@sportlaw.ca.