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Grassroots Spotlight Series - Top tips from staff

By Staff, 03/29/20, 3:15PM EDT


In the first installment of this COVID-19 series, the leaders of Ontario Soccer share their top tip for you to stay mentally and physically sharp during this period.

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

At a time, when our soccer community across Ontario would typically prepare for the upcoming outdoor season, the global COVID-19 pandemic has affected all levels of the game greatly in recent weeks. During this unprecedented period of uncertainty, it is pivotal that we all stand together and support each other. Ontario Soccer is doing its part, as we continue to be here for our members by providing regular communication updates, adjusting program and service delivery and replying to members’ inquiries.

In addition to these efforts, Ontario Soccer is debuting a weekly Grassroots Spotlight Series that will help you optimize this period, so you are ready for when soccer season resumes.  Over a number of weekly editions, the Series will provide best practices, strategies and tips from Ontario Soccer’s leaders and spotlight the innovative, outside-the-box work of member organisations to help you better engage with your stakeholders, control costs, deliver programming, manage administration and stay fit.

In the first installment, the leaders of Ontario Soccer share their top tip for you to stay mentally and physically sharp during this period. 

Dave Kelly, Manager, Coaching

Coaches are able to take multiple online course opportunities available to them during this time, from Ontario Soccer’s Game Leader to the Goalkeeper Coach Certificate to Respect in Sport’s Keeping Girls in Sport. During this time it’s important for coaches to stay connected with each other, keep active and healthy and be creative in encouraging players to engage with the game in more creative ways. Visit for information on online courses and to register.

Gary Miller, Director, Soccer Operations

As a Technical Leader in your organization, this is a very stressful time. We are all uncertain as to when we will be able to resume normal soccer activities with our staff, coaches and players. It is at this time when you need to look after yourself and stay connected to the leaders in your organization. It is vital that you exercise daily, for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. You need to eat healthy and not turn to junk food in times of stress. Limit the amount of alcohol. Your mind is needed to engage with other members in your organization to discuss next steps. Get your proper amount of sleep to help alleviate stress. You need to be sharp at all times to have your valued input.

Nicky Pearson, Senior Manager, Match Officials Development

During these difficult times, where everyone is being asked to stay at home and participate in physical distancing we are encouraging you to stay fit and healthy. The importance of exercise is not only seen physically, but also helps improve your mental strength, as well. The following list of exercises and the videos accompanying them can help you start or maintain your fitness goals.



High Knees

Jumping Jacks

Push Ups

Wall Sit

Tom Wilkinson, Manager, Information Technology

To help keep yourself connected to your co-workers and board and productive with your staff and volunteers, while keeping physical distance, consider adopting technologies such as Microsoft’s Office 365 or Google’s G-Suite and use their communication and cloud-based file storage tools. Paid and free versions are available (you might qualify) by becoming a member of TechSoup Canada.  Even if you don’t, TechSoup helps non-profits with technology, providing lower cost access to many tools you might already use.  Membership is free, so consider joining now.

Bjorn Osieck, Director, Business Operations

While we practice physical distancing, we can still connect with our stakeholders in various ways to maintain productivity.  Some ways include having a web-based virtual, interactive Q & A session using a variety of webinar and video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. This can start with the most frequently asked questions and then continue with audience participation. A second avenue would be setting up a phone-based conference call, which is great for reporting, Q & A and even discussion. Lastly, a one-to-one virtual meet-up would be great in that even without online meeting software, you can still connect with supporters via phone, email, text and social media.