Athlete training in socially distanced times – here’s how your sports college can keep students on-track

Wexer Blog

1 October 2020

As students around the world finally get the nod to return to their colleges and universities, there’s a sense that things are gradually returning to normal. Yet it’s unquestionably a New Normal, with social distancing measures ensuring campus life remains a somewhat different experience from previous years.

Indeed, at some colleges, only first-year students are heading to campus; other years are continuing to study remotely. It’s all very far from college life as we know it.

The challenges are particularly marked for sports colleges, where fitness plays a pivotal role in students’ lives; students’ ability to condition for their sport is likely to be significantly and detrimentally impacted by gyms operating at limited capacity, or worse still, by gyms not yet re-opening at all. And that’s without even starting on those students who are still stuck at home with no access to their normal training routines.

But there are things you can do to mitigate this impact and keep students on-track with their training, even when they can’t make it to the gym because:

  1. your (currently limited capacity) gym has had to adopt a reservation system, in which not all students will secure a convenient workout slot
  2. local regulations and/or a COVID spike at college have forced your gym to close
  3. they aren’t even back at college

The answer is digital fitness.

On-demand expectation

Today’s tech-savvy college students are naturally receptive to all things digital, and their online habits will have been further reinforced over the months of lockdown, with vast amounts of on-demand fitness content pumped onto the internet by everyone from social media influencers to global megabrands such as Barry’s and Peloton.

They will now be used to training from home or from the park, following all manner of online programs. The expectation of being able to ‘click and consume’ high-quality fitness content – any time, anywhere – is now more firmly embedded than ever.

And so, digital fitness presents itself as the solution to both sets of needs: your need to keep students on-course with their fitness, even if they can’t make it to the gym or training sessions, and students’ expectation of on-demand fitness content.

 

Fitness in the palm of students’ hands

This is where the Wexer Web Player comes in: a web-based portal that allows students to stream their choice of fitness and wellbeing content to any internet-enabled device, any time, anywhere.

The platform has always included access to hundreds of music license-free, on-demand classes curated from our global content partners – something for everyone, no matter what their interests or fitness experience. That remains the case, and will ensure your students enjoy strength in depth in every training discipline. You can even prescribe specific classes to different athletes, depending on their training needs.

But crucially for sports colleges, where students will be following specific programs based around their chosen sport, you can also create and upload your own content thanks to a new feature on the Web Player: Connect.

Connect effectively hands you your own TV channel through which you can live stream your own content, pre-record and schedule it, or make it available on-demand – or all of the above. It allows you to create targeted programs for students to follow, whether that’s plyometrics for your budding basketball stars, speed and agility training for the baseball team or strength and conditioning for the footballers.

You can also supplement these fitness drills with any other content you choose: technique tutorials and nutrition seminars, for example, or 10-minute bursts of stretching and flexibility that students can do in their room. But why stop there? Game strategy sessions and mindset training are other content you might consider creating, particularly in these times when live training sessions may be limited. Mindfulness workshops, too, to help players be in the moment.

Even live streams can then be saved into your on-demand library, meaning all content is available to students on-demand, 24/7, wherever they may be. And not a reservation requirement in sight!

It’s about offering personalized support for your athletes, even while you have to remain socially distanced.

We white label the portal, too, so students perceive it as an added value offering that comes directly from you. It’s password-protected, so you can offer it exclusively to your students. And data gathered on usage patterns means you’re able to fine-tune the content, tailoring class collections and Connect uploads to meet the specific and evolving demands of your athletes and teams.

And don’t forget about your staff – even non-sports and fitness staff. They can also benefit from Web Player, staying fit and healthy and boosting their immune system by being active.

 

24/7 communal fitness

Finally, to maximize workout options for those who are on campus, you might like to consider creating a virtual group exercise studio – a fitness offering that can run 24/7.

Virtual studios can be created in just about any space, whether that’s an existing exercise room or an under-used communal area: just add a large screen, a high-quality AV system for an inspirational environment, and a Wexer Player.

With over 1,500 different classes led by the world’s top instructors – from HIIT to mind-body, strength to dance, stretching to meditation – Wexer Virtual caters for every possible student profile.

It also dovetails perfectly with the Web Player, whose curated selection of classes can all be found on the Wexer Virtual platform too. It means students can take part in their favorite class in their room, in the park or in your studio – a seamless experience that fits around them.

Wexer Virtual classes can be scheduled, or else you can leave it to students to choose their own class – or a mixture of both.

And all of this on a robust, commercial-grade platform which boasts 99.9 per cent up-time, supported by a tech team who are on-hand 24/7 to quickly address any issues that do arise.

It all comes together to make Wexer the perfect partner for a sports college, catering for a tech-savvy audience who need to stay active for their sport. Even once a vaccine has been found, having bespoke training programs at the touch of a button is an invaluable asset, but right now – when in-person training is limited – digital fitness is an indispensable tool.

To find out more, please contact us at info@wexer.com

 

 

 

 

AuthorAubrey Straton