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National Capital Amateur Football Association
National Capital Amateur Football Association

COVID-19: What can Football Players Do?

By Jesse Card, 03/23/20, 6:45PM EDT


What can Football Players Do?

In these unprecedented times, we are all experiencing a major disruption to our daily lives. Whether that’s working from home for the first time, helping our kids get in a full school day from home, or just finding the mental fortitude to get through another day of disheartening news, we have to adjust to a new, albeit temporary, normal.
PRO TIP: Be sure to grab the 3 best tips for Athlete's at home during COVID-19

Where do things stand at this time?


The status of the outbreak around the world is dire. Although the number of infections and the number of deaths remains low, relative to the total population, the fact that we still don’t have a handle on how many are truly infected is very concerning. Because infected people shed the virus for days before they show symptoms, and because in many cases the virus only causes mild illness, not knowing who is infected allows for the virus to be transmitted rapidly to large numbers of people. 

How long is this likely to last?


At this point, it is still very hard to say for how long the outbreak will disrupt our lives. In a best-case scenario, we hope that social distancing and self-quarantining are taken seriously and the health care system can handle this outbreak. Another scenario has cases continuing to move through the population unchecked for months, stretching into well over a year. There is simply no way to predict right now.


How can athletes train without putting themselves at risk?


Some modifications can mitigate the spread of this disease and protect individual athletes. As much as possible, athletes should train in their own home or outside by themselves—at most, accompanied by one or two other athletes. Check out Titan Performance's virtual training videos online for motivation and assistance. 

Social distancing is of the utmost importance. When training together, athletes should keep adequate space between them so as to avoid accidental infection by an asymptomatic training partner. Similarly, sharing water bottles or nutrition is strongly discouraged.


What can athletes do to protect themselves?


Apart from social distancing and maintaining good hand hygiene, there is really very little that athletes can do to protect themselves from COVID-19 infection. Maintaining vigilance and awareness of those around them, so as to avoid people showing symptoms, is also a good idea. Unfortunately, there are many theories percolating on the internet and social media, several of which lack any veracity. Here are a few examples:

There are no nutritional supplements or specific diets that boost immune function or promote immunity from viral infection of any kind.

Regular training will not suppress the immune system and make you more likely to contract COVID-19. It is true that higher intensity, longer duration efforts MAY transiently suppress immune function but if the athlete maintains appropriate social distancing and hand hygiene then it does not matter.

Being physically fit does not confer protection from either infection nor from serious illness if infected by a novel Coronavirus. Athletes must not assume that because they are in better shape they are somehow safe. While it is true that older people with pre-existing illnesses are more likely to get sick and die from COVID-19, being physically fit does NOT protect you from infection, prevent serious illness or help you avoid resulting death.