Articles tagged with: COVID-19

  • Interview with Margot Page & Willy Manigat / Kascius Small-Martin & Daniel Caldwell – Planning and Building Through Challenging Circumstances

    We sat down (virtually) with Margot Page, Head Coach of Brock Women’s Hockey, and Willy Manigat, Head Coach of Brock Men’s Basketball, to chat about their webinar, “Planning and Building Through Challenging Circumstances,” that will be held on March 23 at 7 PM (EST) on Lifesize.

    In our interview, we had a chance to speak with Page and Manigat about the challenges that coaches are facing during COVID-19 and what attendees will gain from attending their virtual event.

    We also had the pleasure of hearing from two members of Brock University Men’s Basketball team, Kascius Small-Martin and Daniel Caldwell, who spoke about their experiences being athletes throughout the pandemic.

    Margot Page and Willy Manigat

    For those unaware but interested in attending the webinar, could you provide a brief description of the challenges that coaches have faced as they coach through COVID-19?

    During the COVID-19 pandemic coaches have been faced with many challenges. Some examples include inability to access gyms and fields to conduct in person training, the number cap creating separation within the team and continuity, less contact points with the athletes, less contact point for the athletes with their teammates, and difficulty holding team members accountable to the team’s usual norms and expectations.

    Why should people attend this webinar?

    Coaches should attend this webinar in order to get a perspective of the difficulties other coaches share with them regardless of the level they are currently coaching. We hope to provide some of our solutions to some of the difficulties based on the age group or level they [attendees] are working with (i.e. club coaches, volunteer coaches, university coaches, etc.).

    We also hope to provide some insight on how coaches can move forward through this pandemic as we work closer towards normalcy and a return to competition in what we hope is the near future.

    What does coaching through these challenging circumstances look like in practice?

    Due to health and safety protocols, during the pandemic our teams and programs have had to train while keeping social distancing rules. Our practices and training sessions consist mostly on the game fundamentals, our spacing concepts and a lot of skill development.

    What is the webinar going to look like for the average participant?

    The webinar will be laid out as follows: We will begin with a discussion on Coaching Struggles, then move on to Commonalities, Solutions for Practice and Culture Building, and then end with testimonials from coaches and players.

    Can I contact the speakers after the event if time restrictions don’t allow all questions from participants to be answered?

    Willy Manigat will be available to answer questions via email after the webinar if time restraints do not allow all questions to be answered.

    Kascius Small-Martin and Daniel Caldwell

    What are the most valuable transferable skills that you have learned through COVID-19?

    Daniel Caldwell: Teamwork. 

    Kascius Small-Martin: Leadership, teamwork, communication, and discipline.

    Have you felt any changes in your team culture as you train/practice/play throughout COVID-19?

    Daniel Caldwell: The team is less of a unit as we would be in this time of year having an entire season behind us by now. Instead, the lockdowns have separated us and although we take opportunities to bond together individually through forms of virtual communication, it is not the same as spending every day for the last 8 months physically together in practices, games, travel, meetings, and workouts throughout the university. Being a team going through a culture change and trying to find its culture, it is difficult to build that [culture] during the lockdowns and separation. Although the culture has not been impacted negatively, it has not had the opportunity to grow as much as it would during a regular season. 

    Kascius Small-Martin: Somewhat of a change due to distance and only being able to see each other online for the most part. 

    Think about your training/practice style as it was before COVID-19, now think of what it’s like now. Do you miss any aspects of how things used to be? If so, can you explain?

    Daniel Caldwell: Currently our practices are individual skill-development based due to social distancing and restrictions. Given basketball is a team sport, the most missed aspects of the old practices is being able to play 5-on-5 in the half-court or run up and down 5-on-5 full-court, whether that is situations and running through plays or just playing to get cardio in, the inability to simulate games is the missing aspect.

    Kascius Small-Martin: I miss every aspect of the training and practice styles before COVID-19 because training and practice isn’t the same without being in the actual facilities (i.e. Bob Davis, BSPC, the zone) or being able to scrimmage and play contact.

    What do you think coaches have done well as they coach through COVID-19?

    Daniel Caldwell: I think our coaches have done extremely well given the circumstances. They know how difficult it is for the players and we know how badly they want us to get back to normal. But the focus is on individual development and a complete year off is the perfect time to focus on the individual needs of every player on their team. [Coaches have also been] ensuring their players that the issues going on in the world are bigger than the game of basketball as people are losing their lives and [have been] reminding us that the rules and restriction on practices are there for a reason. Our coaches have set an example by not bending the rules for us which leads for us not bending the rules outside of team/practice time and doing our part in preventing the spread of the virus.

    Kascius Small-Martin: They have kept the training programs going virtually from the very start of COVID-19 and have kept everyone optimistic that we’ll be getting back to it, [we] just have to be patient, stay safe, and do our part.

    What are some ways that coaches can improve their coaching style during COVID-19?

    Daniel Caldwell: I feel like a lot of coaches at high-level basketball do not care to get to know their players on a deeper personal level from what is going on in the gym. Most coaches just care about the type of basketball player a person is and have no interest in the type of person the player is, which could result in understanding that player more and being able to get the most out of each player on their team.

    Kascius Small-Martin: They can make the game enjoyable and fun again and let us play contact and compete.

    For those interested in attending the “Planning and Building Through Challenging Circumstances” webinar, register for March 23 at 7 PM here.

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    Categories: Blog, Webinars/Forums

  • Emma Fedorchuk: Starting a Role With the CSC

    Emma Fedorchuk is a fourth-year Media and Communication Studies student at Brock University. She is interning with the Centre for Sport Capacity this Fall and Winter as our Marketing and Communications Assistant.

    Hello, my name is Emma Fedorchuk! I was recently brought on board with the Centre for Sport Capacity as a Marketing and Communications Intern and will be working with the Centre until April. I am currently in my last year at Brock as I work to complete my degree in Media and Communication Studies and am really trying to get the most I possibly can out of my final year. I am currently enrolled in a course titled “Internship in Communication, Popular Culture, or Film” (COMM 4F00), which allowed me to get involved in a part-time placement related to my field of study. The class gave us a list of placement opportunities and the CSC as well as the Brock-Canada Games positions immediately caught my eye. My interest and love for sport, paired with the tasks that both placements planned to assign to interns (social media upkeep, website management, marketing, event support, etc.) made me extremely excited for both roles. I worked on my resume and cover letters with Anneka Bosse, the coordinator for the course, and after multiple weeks of implementing various changes, I finally sent them off. After conducting the interviews, I realized that the Centre for Sport Capacity internship would probably be a better fit for my skill set, and happily, I was offered the position and eagerly accepted.

    Although I am now a retired athlete, sport still holds an irreplaceable space in my heart and I am forever indebted to the lessons that these games have taught me. Whether it was hockey, soccer, rowing, or badminton, I was always excited to pack up my bags and head off to a practice, a game, a race, or a match, not only because that meant I got to play the sport I loved, but because I got to be a part of the various communities that surround these games. In the past, I have worked and volunteered in various sport-related positions, whether that be reffing 5-year-olds on the soccer field or coaching young girls in development hockey camps, so I was very excited to get involved with the CSC to further my sports involvement, and to put the skills that I have accumulated through my schooling to the test in a workplace setting.

    I am lucky enough to have also secured a position with the Niagara River Lions as a Journalism Intern, which will provide me with even more insight about working in the world of sport. In this position, I am responsible for interviewing coaches, players, partners, etc., and developing, writing, and editing articles for the team website. Already this position has exposed me to the inner workings of a sport organization and continues to demonstrate how sport isn’t just about what happens out on the court/field/ice/water etc., rather, it is overwhelmingly about bringing communities together and giving them something to cheer about.

    There are many reasons why working with the CSC peaked my interest: their impressive list of research projects, the fantastic forums and webinars that they host, and their focus on knowledge mobilization, just to name a few. But I was especially excited about the fact that the CSC is still a relatively new organization who have only just begun to establish their brand. Joining the team at such an early stage, and being able to bring the ideas I have to the open ears and minds of the CSC team, has already energized me and motivated me to want to work diligently within the organization. In turn, I am very eager to help come up with new ideas that will showcase all of the amazing things that the Centre has to offer.

    I believe that the contemporary perspective I have surrounding social media and marketing will be helpful to the Centre, and will aid in making the content that the CSC produces more accessible for a larger audience to consume, participate in, and enjoy. As a member of Generation Z, it is no surprise that social media is a part of my day-to-day life, as my daily usage report on my phone will attest to. In my days of scrolling through the multitude of platforms that the individuals in Silicon Valley have so carefully crafted to keep my attention, I have been exposed to not only the various emerging trends that seem to pop up on a daily basis, but also to the dos and don’ts of implementing and maintaining a brand image that will be effective in engaging a specific audience. I think that I’ll be able to provide the CSC with a fresh set of eyes when it comes to getting our message out to our community.

    During my time with the Centre, I hope to learn more about the inner workings of the CSC organizational culture and build professional relationships with various members of the Centre. I am excited to marry the theoretical that I have learned in an educational setting, to the practical that is hands-on work experience itself. I am confident that this work experience will be extremely helpful to the improvement of my hard and soft skills, and will help me expand my knowledge of the unlimited potential that working in sport has to offer. I am extremely excited to have been brought on board and can’t wait to get the ball rolling with some fantastic content!

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    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Noah Nickel: My Time with the CSC

    Noah Nickel is a fourth year Political Science student at Brock University with a Minor in Canadian Studies. He worked with the Centre for Sport Capacity this summer as our Communications and Marketing Assistant for his co-op work term.

    What an…interesting summer this has been (to say the least).

    As a full time student during the fall and winter, I’ve grown accustomed to seasonal full time employment in the spring and summer. But nothing could have prepared me for what this year had in store. However, despite the fact that the pandemic made the job search this summer so much harder for all of us students, to have been able to find an opportunity as personally fulfilling and enriching as I did is truly a blessing.

    Working as the Communications and Marketing Assistant for the Centre for Sport Capacity this summer was a unique experience for me in a variety of ways. For starters, anyone that knows me knows that sports aren’t my forte. Additionally, as a Political Science major, working for a Sport Management research centre wasn’t something I ever expected I would do. But in the end, it turned out to be a better fit than I could have imagined.

    The work that I was able to do with the CSC this summer was all work I have had previous experience in, albeit in a slightly different form. 

    Having worked for some larger research centres and other organizations in the past, the work I did was more laid out for me and procedural; Based on best practices that they had established over several years. Given that the CSC is a newer research centre, I was tasked in part with developing some of these practices and doing some of this foundational work for the first time alongside my bosses, Centre Director Dr. Julie Stevens and Centre Coordinator Cole McClean

    This degree of freedom and responsibility entrusted in me has been really empowering, as I feel that the work that I did will have an impact on the course and direction of the CSC going into the future, well beyond the length of my four month contract. 

    One such project was the creation of the Centre’s website. Having been a page on the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences website since their launch, things had been in motion by the time I started with the CSC to create their own fully fledged website with the help of Marketing and Communications

    My job was to compile all of the content that was to be included on the website and lay out how we would want it to be displayed on the site. I then sent it to Marketing and Communications to build it out in WordPress. Following a series of revisions with Marketing and Communications, as well as taking on some of that work in WordPress myself, we officially launched the website on August 6th. 

    I am incredibly proud of the work I did to create this website. I’m also impressed by the large-scale collaboration that took place between myself, Dr. Stevens, McClean, and the Marketing and Communications team. We were able to work so effectively together that we saw this project virtually from start to finish over the course of just two months.

    I also did some work more closely involved with Dr. Stevens’ research project, the Niagara Sport Database (NSD). I was able to design for her a logo for the project, as well as a variety of other assets to use on projects, reports, letterheads, and elsewhere. 

    I also designed the NSD project template that will be used on an ongoing basis for their economic impact reports that Dr. Stevens will be creating for sport organizations and clubs. These projects demonstrate the positive economic impact that sport clubs have on the regional economy here in Niagara. Having played a role in supporting that endeavour is something I am quite proud of.

    Lastly, I was also put in charge of developing the CSC’s social media presence. During my time with the CSC, we have created a Twitter account, developed a social media strategy to be used for the next 12 months, and began using social media management website HootSuite to effectively schedule posts across their social media platforms and to track analytics to improve their posting and content development strategy on an ongoing basis. While this work is truly in its infancy in terms of its implementation, I do believe that I have laid out an effective roadmap for the future success of the CSC on social media.

    While this only scratches the surface of the work that we did this summer, I think it illustrates perfectly just how valuable and unique this experience was for my personal and professional development. For that, I want to wish Dr. Stevens, McClean, and the entire CSC team well as they continue to grow and begin to take on more exciting projects in the future.

    I would also like to encourage everyone to consider going out of your comfort zone the next time you  find yourself looking for work. Having put myself out there and taken on this opportunity that I originally thought was completely outside of my wheelhouse, I was able to personally and professionally grow in a way that I didn’t expect going into this “interesting” summer, and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

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    Categories: Blog, Students