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Tips for Returning to Fall Sports

Tips for Returning to Fall Sports
by Kathleen Lloyd, Director of Girls Athletics and Head Coach of Girls Varsity Lacrosse
Tips for Returning to Fall Sports

Athletics, in general, has been extremely challenging this past year and a half, both for in-school and outside-of-school sports. Some schools and club programs have provided many opportunities for their athletes, while others have shut down completely, not offering any time for practice or competition leaving many at a disadvantage as they return to what could be considered a more “normal” fall season. No matter your student's situation, look at this coming preseason as a new opportunity for them to play a sport they enjoy, be around friends and teammates, enjoy the outdoors, and overall have a positive experience.

As students gear up for preseason, whether for school or club, there are several tips to make sure they are prepared and able to perform at their best:

  • Drink plenty of water. 
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat healthy and fuel up!
  • Prepare physically by working out, stretching, practicing the skills of the sport, and encourage some sort of conditioning such as running or other cardio. 
  • Plan ahead and double-check to make sure your student has all the equipment needed for the sport they will participate in. Make sure everything fits and works properly before the first day. 
  • Confirm the details, including the time and location of their first day, as well as the suggested attire if it includes anything in particular.
  • Make sure to arrive in plenty of time before the actual practice start time. “If you are on time, you are late!” Give your student enough time to change shoes, fill their water bottle, pass around, and say hi to friends and coaches. 

Just as important as the items listed above, your student’s mentality when starting a new sport or a new season is just as important as the items listed above. Here are some words of encouragement to support your student throughout the season:

  • Have a positive attitude!
  • Give your best effort!
  • Make sure to be coachable, everyone can learn and improve!
  • Be a great teammate, be supportive!
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself, learn from your mistakes, and move on.
  • Ask questions, either to your peers or coaches.
  • Don’t sell yourself short, make sure you “touch the line”, finish each sprint strong, get in one more pass, and never give up!
  • Tryouts can be stressful, so keep your head up and if you don’t make the team you wanted to make, find out what skills you can work on and improve upon, and set your goals!

Lastly, and I know it sounds cliché, but HAVE FUN! Check-in with your child to make sure they are enjoying what they are doing, enjoying their teammates, and enjoying the experiences and memories they will make! Encourage them to work hard and try their best, but also treat practices and games as “something you WANT to do and GET to do, not something you HAVE to do.” 

With all of this said, I wish everyone all the best this Fall 2021 season. I know I speak for all the Athletic Departments when I say we are so excited to have students back on the fields to compete and represent their schools and clubs. You will do great things! Remember to have fun and embrace every minute of these opportunities given to all of us through athletics!

Kathleen & Ty Lloyd with their son

Kathleen Lloyd started at Bullis in 1995 and is currently the Director of Girls Athletics in the Upper School, Head Coach of Varsity Girls Lacrosse, and Kindergarten PE Teacher. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Frostburg State University in Health and Physical Education and a Master’s Degree from Concordia University-Irvine in Athletic Administration and Coaching. Her husband, Ty Lloyd, has been a member of the Technology Department at Bullis since May of 2000. Together, they are the proud parents of a Bullis alumni from the Class of 2017 — who recently graduated from the Marine Officer Candidate School and will graduate from Virginia Military Institute this December 2021.

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