Coaching Amidst Global Pandemic

In this time of lockdowns and social distancing due to COVID-19, it has caused unprecedented change. While work and school have been shut down and moved to at-home, it has also impacted basketball players and coaches. Courts of the World talks to college coach Ryan Ansel about dealing with the abrupt end of his season and transitioning to online coaching.

Ansel Coaching In Person Before the Pandemic

At the end of any season it is always a bit strange and sad, but I am usually excited to have more time to train and work with young athletes. Without practice every day I can help athletes as they strive to improve before their next season.  This year was different given the abrupt end to all seasons due to COVID-19. My first thought was, “Kids won’t have school and they will have additional time to train and work on their game.” As the weeks progressed and parents continued to ask me to train their kids, unfortunately I had to start saying “No” to parents for everyone’s health and safety. Kids had time, but I couldn’t be there to coach them, so I had to find a way to help from a far.

Ansel uses the Homecourt App to help keep track of students progress

ONLINE TRAINING was the answer. Typically, I only did online training for clients from far away. Now this HAD to become the new norm and I needed to build a program for my athletes. I now use technology and motivation to empower athletes to take their game to the next level, during this time of uncertainty and isolation.

The framework of my program is simple, Goals + Hard work = Achievement. My program includes:

  • A GOAL SETTING video call to create a VISION and set goals (weekly/monthly) providing inspiration each day
  • DAILY TASKS and WEEKLY CHALLENGES (basketball drills, strength/condition workouts, nutrition, reading) providing a structured plan
  • An INTERACTIVE SCORECARD to log shots and chart completed workouts to hold each athlete accountable
  • Live LEADERBOARD to track progress and compete against other athletes

As coaches, we must find a way to connect with and motivate athletes from a far. During this time, kids (like all of us) need structure, feedback and encouragement. We will get through this together, but we must commit to bettering ourselves.

Ryan Ansel is the Assistant Basketball Coach at Swarthmore College and the founder and CEO of Ryan Ansel Basketball. He played at Davidson College before playing professionally in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The coach also the #1 CoachUp basketball trainer in Pennsylvania.

Learn more and book an online training session at


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