COVID-19 has changed a lot of things about American culture. In most places, the schools have shut down. Playgrounds, too, are closed. This has created challenges for many parents. When it comes to staying in touch with friends, today’s kids have social media and video messaging. But education, including physical education, has become the responsibility of the family. Luckily, several services that help with this have emerged.
In the UK, Joe Wicks has been releasing Phys-Ed videos daily via YouTube. Known as “The Body Coach,” his videos are about half an hour long. At home, whole families often work out with him to keep their spirits up. Here in the U.S., the NBA has begun to release a series of videos called “Jr. NBA at Home.” These videos are designed as a tool specifically to help young athletes hone their basketball skills. Current players like Trae Young and Myles Turner are a part of the project, as are legends Mugsy Bogues and Horace Grant. WNBA players like Jewell Lloyd are also involved. Renee Montgomery of the Atlanta Dream has also shared an easy-to-follow circuit workout herself.
The videos are short, but effective. For example, Montgomery’s is just over a minute, with sped-up footage of each move. It includes instructions on how to perform some moves for up to a minute at a time. Athletes are instructed to repeat all these moves five times. All the workouts are designed around skill sets that are important in basketball as a whole. They even include conditioning moves athletes use in almost every sport. For example, one features a Chicago Bulls player doing crunches. Other workouts are about improving dribbling and other ball-handling skills. Some are focused on shooting basics, and others are designed to help kids learn to hit a three-pointer.
These workouts are available through the NBA’s social media on the Jr. NBA accounts. They are all designed to allow youth athletes to get more basketball-related workouts in while maintaining good social distancing. For kids who really love basketball and want to keep their skills fresh, these videos are a great gift. In addition to the NBA and WNBA, the Harlem Globetrotters have also released some educational content. With this kind of content, they are sure to be in tip-top shape when game time rolls around.