Does the coronavirus shutdown have you feeling the no-sports blues? The Union Star has you covered. Here are a few ideas to help sports fans, fitness buffs, and athletes alike to make it through the current sports drought.

On the plus side, the newest Executive Order – 55 – from the governor’s office does allow for “Engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements.”

Of course, be sure to practice social distancing and comply with all federal, state, and local regulations.

Things for sports fans to do during Coronavirus Shutdown

  • Set up an indoor golf/ mini-golf practice. You can even make your own (see the photo). It might be a fun activity for the kids.
  • Catch up on sports documentaries or sports movies.
  • Work on your cornhole skills. Prepare to crush your friends at tailgating cornhole in the fall!
  • Organize a paper football tournament (don’t forget to practice social distancing). Set it up using your favorite bracket system. All sorts of blank brackets are available online.
  • Watch NASCAR virtual races. NASCAR drivers are stuck at home, too, but they have found a workaround for their own speed thrills and for fans of racing. Watch them online from your own home while your favorite drivers compete in virtual racing from their own homes on simulations of real racetracks.
    • The gaming worlds of iracing and eNASCAR may not be new, but they are gaining much greater exposure during the interruption to “life as normal.” (Disclaimer: I had not ever heard of them before. Have you?)
    Re-watch William Campbell Generals’ state championship contests. Relive the glory and thrill of those moments when all of the Generals fans celebrated the big wins!
    • No need to list the web addresses of those games here: we all know you’ve watched them a time or two (or twenty!) already.
    • Rustburg, Altavista, and Grenta High School fans: you can likewise watch the Red Devils, Colonels, or Hawks winning their place in the VHSL record books.
  • Major League Baseball opening day was to have taken place on Thursday (March 26). Like so many other events, it’s on hold. So MLB teams promoted the social media hashtag #OpeningDayAtHome.
    • On several social media and streaming sites, MLB rebroadcast 30 games, one significant victory for each team.
    • According to MLB.com, all 2018-19 games are available online for free.
    • Teams also took up the Opening Day at Home theme to send encouragement to their fans.
  • The internet abounds with clips and whole games of your favorite professional and college sports teams, whether it’s European soccer, NCAA March Madness, or the Rugby World Cup. Many professional sports leagues are making available--and free--large quantities of past games in order to keep themselves firmly entrenched in the hearts and minds of their fans. All it takes is a little searching on your part.
  • Here’s a novel idea. Talk to your spouse, housemate, child, parent, significant other, or any others who usually wonder if you’ve forgotten their existence during sports season.
    • In case you haven’t seen it, there’s a popular meme now: “Day two without sports. Found a woman sitting on my couch. Apparently, she’s my wife. She seems nice.” Is that something of which you’re guilty?

Things for fitness buffs and athletes to do during Coronavirus Shutdown

  • YMCA online or virtual fitness classes
    • Altavista YMCA may be closed, but the staff is staying busy providing opportunities for people to keep exercising from home. Go to the Y’s Coronavirus Updates web page for links to the workouts (altavistaymca.org/coronavirus-updates).
    • If you’re such a die-hard workout buff that you finish all of those options and still need more, the Lynchburg area Y (YMCA of Central Virginia) has more virtual fitness classes (ymcacva.org/programs/fitness-classes).
  • Go jogging. Or go cycling. The weather is (mostly) beautiful.
  • Play tennis: social distancing is built in. Just beware that you and your opponent will be handling the same tennis balls, so don’t forget the hand sanitizer!
  • Baseball & softball players – hit fly balls, and then go get them yourself (doubles as batting practice and cardio by chasing balls).
    • Work on accuracy by trying to hit them all to the same area, or work on extra cardio by spreading them out.
    • Bonus: listen to Kenny Rogers’ “The Greatest” while you hit fly balls and pay tribute to the recently passed legend.
  • Soccer players – work on your juggling and ball control skills. Check YouTube for at-home skill building ideas.
    • Maybe that’s too old-school for you? If your school isn’t the old school, don’t worry, there’s an app for that. Check out Technefutbol, an app that allows you to do virtual training, whether you have a soccer field in your back yard or you live in an apartment. It can be used by individuals or teams, so you can train together… separately… in your own homes, with plenty of social distancing and camaraderie.
  • Virtual reality training is the next up-and-coming thing in sports training, and it has suddenly become incredibly relevant.
    • Whatever your sport, search online for virtual training – tennis, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, rugby – and there’s a good chance you’ll find something you can use. A few include HomeCourt, Rack Performance, SmartCoach Basketball Training, TopYa! Soccer, DribbleUp Soccer, DribbleUp Basketball.
  • Go old school and do fitness training no matter how limited your space: jumping jacks, sit-ups, pushups, and the like still provide good workouts. Too boring? Hard to stick to it? That’s where online social connections come in. Have a remote group workout with teammates or friends, or make it a competition to see who can do the most jumping jacks in a given time period.

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