Cebu coaches go techie to continue summer tradition

As the old cliche goes, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. And under the Covid-19 cloud that has caused the local basketball scene to stop, it is the tough and innovative coaches who are going.

May is usually the time when basketball camps in Cebu finish their summer clinics with culmination tournaments, but with the Cebu City, and its neighboring cities Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, under Enhanced Community Quarantine for almost two months, local coaches have gone high tech to keep up.

“Everything is suspended: team practice and games. But there are two ways of looking at it: Do something or do nothing,” said Rico Navarro, the athletic director of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and an organizer of numerous youth basketball tournaments and clinics in Cebu.

And instead of waiting for the pandemic to be over, some of the local coaches have gone online for their clinics and seminars.

“The pro-active coaches adjusted and adapted to the times by going into online training clinics. They learned how to do Zoom, Google Meet or messenger chat room clinics,” said Navarro.

Aside from the online meetings, Cebuano basketball coaches has also gotten a chance to hear from basketball luminaries all over the world without leaving their houses, with online web forums held nationwide or internationally like the World Association of Basketball Coaches (WABC), which is initiated by Fiba, the world governing body for sports.

Greg Popovich, the champion coach of the San Antonio Spurs, led one of the online seminars, while national team coaches from Europe also took their turn. Nationally, schools also initiated their own.

“The Jesuits schools have an all Ateneo coaches online forum nationwide with the ADMU (Ateneo de Manila University) coaches as lecturers. There are many of these online forums that you can now choose the good ones from the pretenders,” Navarro said. “I am elated over ADMU’s mantra. ‘We never stopped training.’”

Navarro said one advantage of the numerous seminars is that all of them are held for free. Some of the coaches who joined them, in turn, are holding free clinics.

“The coaches, clubs and centers have set up online clinics for free and for a fee…The passive coaches did nothing,” said Navarro.

Navarro said the pandemic has weeded out the coaches who stood out by adjusting to the situation.

“They were able to adjust in time to start their clinics as early as April,” he said.

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