First off, Happy New Year! I am not going to lie, I am super excited about kicking 2020 to the curb.
Also, thank you for all the dialogue during the past few months. We have had numerous thoughtful conversations with many of you and your input has helped shape this communication. Our top priority is to support our coaches, students, and families. As you know, the situation concerning COVID-19 is fluid but we have prepared a safe and effective strategy to get back to riding with our students.
We are pleased to announce that the Washington Student Cycling League has elected to resume our programming in 2021 and will be opening up registration for the Spring League Program in January!
I think we all agree that kids need be outside and riding now more than ever (and adults!). They need the physical exercise, the friendships, camaraderie and the guidance of a trusted coach now more than ever.
Positivity is Always Going to Make Any Situation Better
We want to go ahead and get us all in the mindset that the 2021 season is going to be different. Embrace it. Get excited about the new opportunities. Know your kids and coaches are thrilled to be out of the house, around people that they don’t live with, and part of a team they love doing an activity they love. Let’s all agree to focus on what we CAN do and not what we can’t. Embrace they joy.
How Will Spring League be Different in 2021
Okay, if you have taken any of our coach clinics, you are probably aware of the PCP technique, or what we call the POOP Sandwich. For those of you that don’t know what that is. it’s a positive followed by a constructive and sealed with another positive. Well, this is your POOP Sandwich.
We get to ride in 2021 and as coaches you can move the needle now more than ever with your students! Your participation in this program has never been more important than now.
The Constructive (the informative – yep, I am going to just rip the bandaid off…)
We are breaking up the normal Spring League into 3 sessions versus one long one.
Coaches and students can opt into 1, 2 or 3 sessions depending on open spots.
No indoor practices.
Everyone must abide by strict COVID-protocols.
Group sizes are 1:5 (one coach per five students).
There will be multiple groups at a location, but no congregating in the parking lot or at trailheads.
No statewide racing – we know, this is a big one. However, we are working on alternative competitions – see below.
In the fall we beta-tested this format and here is what we learned.
Student attendance at rides was higher, a lot higher than the average Spring League team ride. We expect that this was due to the shorter session (6 weeks versus 24) or possibly due to smaller group size.
While coaches missed seeing the entire team, they felt like they got to know their students better and most coaches said they preferred this format. They said communication was easier, there was more riding and less herding of cats, and the consistency of attendance made for a more impactful experience.
Students felt a stronger connection to their coach. They also mentioned that having a smaller group helped them get to know their riding mates better – no social cliques.
We know from our survey and from 10 years of experience, that competition is an important element and serves many purposes. Thus we are incorporating a series of “virtual” competitions. No, not virtual as in “online”, but competitions facilitated by coaches or on the student’s own time. All competitions will be program-wide and include individual and team overall standings and awards.
Because of state, county, city, local health department and land manager requirements, the League will need to submit a COVID plan and a consistent ride schedule.
The number of student registrations will be capped based on the number of committed coaches that we have. The demand is high, spots will be filled quickly, and we will have a wait list for all students that don’t get in.
Please consider leading rides for 1, 2 or all 3 of the Spring League sessions. Here is the Coach Interest Form which will enable us to plan more effectively. Please submit your interest form ASAP, even if you don’t plan to participate in Session1.
If you are a coach and you have a child in the League – your child will have the first option of student registration, whether they ride in your group or another group.
There will be no team registration fees for 2021.
This is an enormous change in our programming and we know that you and your team of coaches will have lots of questions. I would like to extend a personal invitation to schedule a call to answer your questions, address you concerns, and help dial in the details of your rides.
Due to the smaller group size, we need more coaches! Please help us recruit more adult volunteer coaches to help get kids out riding!! Think about reaching out to to your program graduates as well.
More News You Can Use
We have done a neutral roll-out of our new website! We hope you find it easier to navigate and insightful. The site is still being developed, so thank you for your patience.
Yours in health, happiness and a brighter 2021,
Lisa Miller, Executive Director and all of us the Washington League!