Hello everyone, Katie here! What a week (and future?). How are you doing?

Hello everyone, Katie here! What a week (and future?). How are you doing?

Hello from my home “office.”

As the communications director for ASA I spend a lot of time interacting with people, writing stories that feature kids, taking photos at soccer fields/futsal courts and other activities that involve, well, people.

Like you, in light of this global pandemic, the ASA staff is working to find a new rhythm and a new normal as we face the unknown future. (I’ve found this livestream very calming in moments of stress). Turns out there’s not a how-to guide for handling this unprecedented scenario and it is our hope that you are finding solace and comfort in small things, while keeping the anxiety at bay.

I’m adjusting how I communicate with people and working on a few virtual activities to take the place of things that would formerly have been done in-person. In light of yesterday’s announcement from Governor Northam we know there are a number of unknowns but we continue to be optimistic that play can resume in time for an amended spring season.

In last week’s newsletter we wrote that this time is helping us understand the true power of sport, which we have found to be the relationships and interactions between friends, teammates, coaches and parents, both on and off the field. We know that this community will return from this immense challenge bursting with excitement, ready to play and to reconnect. We’re doing everything we can now to prepare for that day!

I haven’t physically seen my ASA coworkers in over a week (which is a big change when I’m used to sitting about four feet from them 40+ hours a week!) so I thought I’d check in to see how everyone was handling their time at home (aside from work!).

Some of the staff had lunch “together” last week. Chris shared that his “WIFE(!) is keeping him sane/happy/connected/energized.”

When polled, the biggest challenges my beloved coworkers seem to be facing revolve around the balance of staying active and engaged while working from home and juggling different responsibilities… such as overseeing distance learning for their children or ensuring that their dog’s bowl is full of snacks throughout the day.

What has surprised you most about your time working from home so far?

Mark: “We’re very fortunate to have a high-performing front office team at ASA. Not a surprise here but it’s been awesome to see everyone eager to keep pushing ASA’s mission forward in any way possible in the current climate and preparing to get back on the fields/courts ASAP (whenever that may be).”

Jim: “I eat healthier and I sit next to a window (which is nice!).

Cindy: “My desk chair is uncomfortable. Haha”

Peja: “I’m surprised at how many times I can juggle toilet paper!”

Mark, Peja and Peter check in from their home offices.

Will: “The time at home has served as a good reminder about what is most important to me in life and to push myself to grow both physically and mentally through self discipline and positive thinking.”

Tim: “My biggest surprise is learning how dependent I am on human interaction each day. Whether it was coaching my players, climbing in a gym or playing soccer, I hadn’t realized how social I am.”

Jennie: “The days have gone a lot faster than I expected!”

Ben, Cindy, Jim and Chris along with various pets and kids!

I have found the days to be quite fast as well! Time flies, etc, etc.

Aside from the surprises, I also wanted to poll the crowd to see what tips and tricks each person is using to staying happy and connected. Most of the ASA staff spends much of their “free time” (ha!) coaching so just like the kids, we’re finding other ways to fill our time and stay energized. In no particular order, a list of home-bound activities that are keeping the staff sane:

  • Daily walks
  • Espresso
  • Podcasts
  • Getting outdoors and going on runs
  • Working with others who are available to interact (comments, G-chats, phone calls, video chats, etc)
  • Mario Party 8
  • Cooking healthy meals
  • Playing guitar
  • Reading
  • Watching highlight videos and documentaries about different players and teams
  • “Militant optimism” — which includes practicing gratitude, mindfulness and self-care
  • Tending to plants
  • Playing FIFA

When asked what they all miss about their “past lives” the consensus was generally that we all miss the office banter, coworkers, our soccer teams and kids, English Premiere League soccer, sports in general and getting outside. Except for Mark, who mostly just misses his lunch trips to District Taco.

Stay tuned for a few exciting virtual initiatives coming from us soon! I’m also working to keep this page updated with great soccer and non-soccer activities for kids (scroll to the bottom). Thank you for navigating this interesting time with us. We sincerely hope you’re staying safe, healthy and sane—we realize families are being impacted in many different ways and we’re here to help if we can!

We’re doing everything we can to provide support for our kids and are finding new ways to have an impact in their lives, although we can’t wait to see them on the field….. in the future!

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