Coaches, Trainers and Families Simplify Staying Active During Coronavirus Outbreak


COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — The CDC continues to spread the word of staying home in hopes of slowing down the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Many communities are taking that advice, closing schools, and non-essential businesses, such as gyms.

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However, that leaves many, whether it’s parents or student-athletes, without access to their accustomed traditional exercise.

“It’s strange,” Starkville Academy high school head baseball/softball coach Thomas Berkery said. “It puts them in a place they’re not used to. For a lot of people, they don’t really care how nice the gym is they just know it’s their place. It has the machines they’re comfortable with.”

When Berkery isn’t coaching at Starkville Academy, he runs the Starkville Swing batting cages. As a former Mississippi State Diamond Dawg and minor league player, he knows how vital consistent practice is for young athletes. That’s why Berkery has left the Starkville Swing cages open.

“It almost resembles what it’s like when you’re in pro-ball. During the off-season, your coach sends you home, and your organization sends you a packet they want you to be working on, and it’s up to you to do it. I’m sure there will be kids who slip away and get lazy on us, but a lot of our guys get after it,” Berkery said.

Houston head football coach Ty Hardin can relate to that. With the cancellation of spring football, Hardin has been using social media to post workouts and keep his players active.

“I know they’re probably bored at home,” Hardin said. “I know they’re going to find some way to work out and have something to do. I’ve had several kids text me saying ‘coach, I’ve knocked my workout out today. What else can I do?”

Hardin isn’t only focused on keeping his players up and moving, but also his four-year-old daughter, Evie.

One way Hardin has been doing that is by implementing the “Corona Combine,” where Evie has been showing off her 40-yard dash.

“As a football coach, during season, there’s not much time you get to spend with your family. I’m trying to use this time to create some memories you might lose in the future,” Hardin said.”

Social media has quickly become a trend and a tool for remaining active. Challenges such as the “see ten, do ten, send ten” are popping up all over social media.

“Just to see other people going through the same thing, they’re going through and pushing each other to work out is very beneficial,” physical trainer Glenn Parker said.

As a personal trainer, Parker has taken to social media to promote exercise in the home and show his clients simple movements that require no equipment.

“Squats, jumping jacks, jump rope if you have it, push-ups. There’s plenty of things you can do without equipment. I incorporate that into the workouts,” Parker said.

However, Berkery says the most straightforward exercise that families can do is merely getting outside together.

“That’s what my kids love about it. When we get out in the yard and see me running around or jumping, rolling in the mud. I think it makes it more exciting,” Berkery said.