South Walton A.D. working to help is student-athletes cope these days

SANTA ROSE BEACH, FL (WJHG/WECP) Area student-athletes continue to deal with the harsh reality of seeing their spring sports seasons end prematurely. And that is certainly weighing heavy on area coaches and athletic directors.

South Walton coach and A.D. working to help his kids cope these days

Case in point, South Walton Athletic Director and head football coach Phil Tisa.

He is working with all the school's coaches in trying to help the students and the student athletes deal with the over-arching problems caused by the pandemic. Certainly the ending of the spring sports schedule affects him and his football players in a big way. They should be into spring practice these days, but that's not happening.

I spoke to coach Tisa Saturday and he started our conversation with how the shutdown of spring sports hit him the day, and some others around him, the day before!

"You know I think it really hit us when like, last (Friday) night was supposed to be Senior Night for the baseball team. So that's when it really kind of set in that some of these kids their playing careers were cut short. So there's a lot of that. But also trying to pick these kids' spirits up and trying to whatever we can to make them realize that they're not forgotten."

And that brings to bear a coach's ability to be a psychologist, which coach Tisa says is really nothing new.

"You know it's unprecedented. Nobody knows how to deal with it but one of the things I've learned about coaching, in 17 years, is 90 percent of the job is psychology anyway. You have to know how to reach these kids, you have to know how to motivate them. You have to know how to get all of them to do what you need to do to be successful. So I mean that's what coaching is, it is psychology and I think it's just letting them know that we care about them. They're not forgotten, they are important."

The coach says not having spring football practice is going to be tough on all area football programs, and there are some specific things he and all coaches will have to bear in mind once they get the signal that allows them to get the kids back on the field, whenever that is.

"We're missing that time frame for their body development, for these athletes. People are going to have to take that into account. You know the conditioning, the weight room time that is missed. Everybody is going to be on the same playing field as far as it goes to actually working on football. But you know the physical body part of it, that's something that people are going to have to keep in mind."

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