You are here

Taking sports coaching digital during COVID

Copyrights: Anantapur Sports Academy

Taking sports coaching digital during COVID

Anantapur Sports Academy is using digital technologies to deliver sports sessions to athletes and preparing coaches for a future post-COVID.

COVID-19 has changed the world as we know. In India, all educational institutions, sports academies, gymnasiums and other institutions of education and physical activity remain closed. This has created a huge learning gap especially in children. While many educational institutions turned towards digital learning methodologies, there is still a gap in physical education.

The past decade witnessed an exponential growth in the usage of Information Communication Technologies (ICT). Availability of cheaper internet and mobile devices made ICTs accessible to all sections of the society. Anantapur Sports Academy’s (ASA) latest research “Impact of Sports In Rural India 2.0” shows that 86% of children who participate in ASA sports programs know how to use mobile devices. This encouraged ASA to introduce digital education in sport, leading to adopting best practices and easily accessible technologies to help student-athletes train at home and not miss out on fitness and training sessions. 

Through these digital classes, ASA aims to prepare coaches and athletes for a future post COVID, as most of the institutions are leaning towards digital teaching methodologies. ASA believes that introducing children and coaches to digital learning technologies will build their capacities and prepare them for a new normal future post Coronavirus.  

Through this initiative, coaches remotely contact student-athletes on an everyday basis through Zoom and WhatsApp, demonstrate at-home workouts, and take classes helping children learn from home. “Fitness is very important for every athlete,” says Ananda Reddy, U-15 Football Coach at ASA, “Staying at home for a long time during the lockdown without exercise will have a bad effect on the fitness of athletes, that's why we start our sessions with simple workouts they can do by themselves at home,” he adds. 

The sessions are not just limited to fitness but also include theoretical classes based on sport, life skills and soft skills. “We conduct regular quizzes on general knowledge and sport-based quizzes. This helps children to be engaged, learn new things and gain knowledge” says Murali Kanth, Judo Coach at ASA, who also regularly takes life skills classes for the student-athletes. 

Taking sport online is a complicated process, as the majority of sports offered by ASA are team sports. “It was a huge challenge for us, we started online classes with fitness. We started working on movement skills, helping children increase their agility, at the same time we started theoretical classes on sports laws, game rules, and theories which help children to increase their knowledge about the sport. We also teach skills which can be practised at home and can be used in the field while playing. Children are encouraged to share the photos and videos of their practice with the group, this created very engaging interactions among children, each child improvised with the equipment they had,  we got to witness their creativity in the way they used various things at home in this process,” says P Hindu Kumar, U-13 Football Coach at ASA. 

Talking about the initiative, Vamshi Origanti, Grassroots Manager at ASA said, “This is the start of a new normal, the world had changed a lot with COVID. Sport is one of the most affected fields due to the virus. These online classes will help children to be engaged and learn new things about the sport during the lockdown. In these times, it is important to have people to talk with and be engaged for good mental and physical health. These classes are building the capacities of coaches and children by equipping them with the skills required to function effectively post COVID, introduction to new technologies and digital tools will prepare them for the future, as the world is turning towards digital learning. We hope that COVID ends soon, and we all adapt to this new normal in the meantime.” 


Article type



Monday, July 13, 2020 - 12:31

E-Newsletter subscribe