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Free webinars this week aim to help high school athtletes cope with impacts of pandemic

“We, as educational leaders, need to provide our students with coping strategies and resilience in navigating their current world that has been turned upside down by decisions out of their control as a result of the negative impacts of COVID-19,” Colorado High School Activities Association Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green stated in a news release.
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Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

The Colorado High School Activities Association wants students to take an hour this week to focus on their mental health. 

CHSAA this week is presenting, “Taking Care of You, When Your World has been Turned Upside Down,” a one-hour webinar aimed at providing students with strategies for self-care and ownership of their social, physical and mental well-being in a year that the coronavirus pandemic has upended prep sports seasons. 

The online seminars will be offered from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday.  Registration is available via high schools.

The webinars will be hosted by JC Pohl, who has produced programs such as Teen Truth and the Rising Up Coaching Program, and Caleb Campbell, a former Army officer, an ex-NFL lineman and Teen Truth’s top mental health speaker since 2018. 

The seminars will focus on student-participants “embracing their feelings and creating internal coping skills to deal with the disruptions to their education, interscholastic activities participation and overall life due to the pandemic,” according to a CHSAA news release

CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green in the release stated, “The ongoing uncertainty of when things are going to return normal produces anxiety in us all, but more so for our kids where disruptions have left them questioning their place and identity during the pandemic.”  

CHSAA on Dec. 7 announced it is delaying the start of several “Season B” sports that were slated to get underway on Jan. 4. Instead, practice for basketball, wrestling and others won’t begin until Jan. 25, with the first competitions starting Feb. 1. The decision was made based on indications from state health officials that the season would not be allowed under current COVID-related restrictions.

Season B sports are boys and girls basketball, boys and girls skiing, boys and girls wrestling, girls swimming and diving, ice hockey and spirit.

With the completion of the state football championships earlier this month, CHSAA was able to successfully oversee abridged softball, cross country, football, boys golf and boys tennis schedules in Season A this fall. It initially hoped to schedule the remaining 27 boys and girls sports into a six-month window, but that window has now been reduced to five months.

Season C is slated to start March 15 and includes boys soccer and girls volleyball. Season D would begin May 3 with baseball, lacrosse and other sports extending into the last week of June.

“We, as educational leaders, need to provide our students with coping strategies and resilience in navigating their current world that has been turned upside down by decisions out of their control as a result of the negative impacts of COVID-19,” Blanford-Green stated in the release. “We are excited to offer this webinar series that complements our current mental health initiatives.”