6 Ways the ‘New Normal’ has Changed the World of Sports

The world is still reacting and responding to how the pandemic has twisted and turned things around, for better or for worse. While many clubs, associations and institutes have adapted to different techniques and features that have been brought into the game, many are embracing it with a lot of positivity by utilizing technology to bridge the ‘before’ and ‘after’ scenarios. 

The sports industry has developed new methods to adapt to the game, evaluating the experience of a spectator is one of the areas that has to be considered as it is nothing like the feeling of cheering your favourite team standing in a crowded stand. Below are a few ways of how the ‘new normal’ has changed the game of sports. 

New Training Methods

Many sports teams have explored a variety of creative options by trying different types of methods to train in-house during lockdown. Tech companies have partnered up with sports federations to bring out the best coaching techniques through apps and other platforms for players to train at home without losing focus. Another way is by introducing new exercises for different sports, to get players to train remotely to ensure they stay disciplined with their routine. It has been a difficult journey but thanks to many creative solutions across the industry, it has been successful.

Competing Virtually

Many federations have encouraged clubs and associations to start virtual challenges and competitions on social media and edutainment platforms such as Koach are ideal for such initiatives. Video conferencing, player vs player practice comparisons and challenges have become very popular this season. For the clubs which are not under lockdown, federations have been encouraging clubs and academies to carry out games and competitions with smaller team sizes to keep players engaged.

Health and Safety is Key

Many sports such as football have slowly taken to playing the game physically during the new normal but with many safety measures in place. For example in Singapore, only 4 Vs 4 games could be held for football during this phase of “restricted movements”. Hygiene has become an important element for managers and coaches this season, not just at the player level but also at the infrastructure level to ensure that the stadiums are cleaned, equipment is sanitized, shared facilities are disinfected before and after each game. For example, in football, the ball is regularly cleaned to ensure health and safety.  

Virtual Cheerleaders and Spectators

Post lockdown, rules have been implemented such that only a limited number of spectators can be present to watch a game. These spectators are required to wear masks and be socially distanced at all times. The usual full house stadiums are unlikely in the foreseeable future at the  least. How has technology been used proactively in this aspect you may ask. Edutainment platforms like Koach have introduced “match day score boards” on mobile for parents and fans to keep abreast of the game virtually. Koach also provides a Club with Koach Theatre, a streaming platform where all past matches, behind the scenes footage, interviews, etc could be hosted on.  Bigger sports associations also stream live matches for wider audiences.

Health and Safety Advisories

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has prepared a document for sports federations with step by step instructions on how to re-open clubs safely while addressing high to low contamination risks and possible Do’s and Don'ts to adhere to. For example, players have been advised to refrain from celebrating with physical contact like hugging, or in any other form. 

Fewer International Competitions 

Due to traveling risks and high flight costs, international competitions have been postponed or cancelled  until the pandemic abates. For some of the competitions that are still being held, to minimize risks of infection and spread, national players live in isolation or a “bubble” so training can continue safely. Players are also avoiding public gatherings and public transport for safety considerations as advised by experts. 

Do you know how any other ways have changed the sports industry during the ‘new normal’? Drop us a message with your thoughts. We would love to know what you think.