In the wake of the lockdown due to coronavirus, Stingray Swim Club head coach David Pursley has come up with other ways for his athletes to train, with access now banned to pools across Cayman. To compensate for the lack of pool time, Pursley has created a YouTube channel, where he conducts daily training exercises consisting of aerobics, strength and core stability, as well as metabolic workouts. The coach has worked to make the sessions entertaining and useful.
“My YouTube videos are absolutely ridiculous but they do have an element of seriousness to them when it comes to the workouts,” said Pursley. “I figured it’s not just about keeping [the athletes] fit but also keeping them in the right state of mind and I think the comedy helps with that.”
At a government press briefing this week, Cayman’s Chief Medical Officer John Lee confirmed that the protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 included a ban on using public pools. However, that prohibition did not extend to personal pools, and athletes could use their own.
“If that pool is solely used by that one household and nobody else, there is no problem,” said Lee. “So that would be a private home pool where only the private household uses it. But we have said no to strata pools and no to public pools.” Pursley said his new way of training has been welcomed by his athletes.
“So far, the kids are responding to everything, doing really, really well. They are checking in on WhatsApp, sending pictures and videos when they’re doing the workouts, just holding themselves accountable.”
Stingray swimmer Alison Jackson said the shift in training has been encouraging. “This has been great,” she said, “as we still act as a team, even though we’re not training together in person, and if you watched any of his (Pursley’s) videos, you’ll see all the time and effort he’s put into making them fun, as well as effective.”
“Everyone is in the same boat as us. So, as long as we keep our heads right, we’ll come out of this in a good situation…everyone needs to remember; It’s not just you that’s stuck at home, it’s not just you that can’t train, it’s the entire world.” – David Pursley
Pursley has also tried to take something positive from the lockdown in Cayman. “This time hasn’t been that bad for us so far,” he said. “Obviously, as it continues to go on, it’ll become more and more challenging, but we normally take a break around this time of year after CARIFTA anyway. “From a global perspective, everyone is in the same boat as us. So, as long as we keep our heads right, we’ll come out of this in a good situation. That’s what everyone needs to remember. It’s not just you that’s stuck at home, it’s not just you that can’t train, it’s the entire world, and the amount of resources for coaches around the entire world is massive right now. Everyone is sharing their ideas and it’s been pretty inspiring actually.”
The coach added that his swimmers should use the enforced downtime to get more sleep. “A lot of the swimmers get up at 4:15am when they have school, to go work out. So, the fact that they’re getting their sleep will do wonders for their recovery and their bodies, and help them come out of this maybe even stronger.”