In recent weeks we have spotlighted professional athletes Frank Kaminsky and Nick Solak, we’ve chronicled the journey of North Central’s Broc Rutter, and in future weeks we’ll document Kathleen Doyle’s rise to the WNBA. This week, we look at the humble beginnings of any athlete’s journey and see what it looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chelsea Herron: “These kids are getting more individual skill work than they would get in a normal practice. They’re on their own hoop in their own court space working for an hour straight with limited breaks.”
Chelsea Herron is the owner of Pinkalicious and Pink Elite program and club. She has moved her entire business online and has seen it pay dividend with her athletes… even her youngest of customers.
Chelsea: “We’ve been able to show lots of progress from even the youngest, kindergartners, I honestly think that’s the toughest group to do because you have to give them such specific direction. But they are able to pick it up and enjoy it.
Moving to Virtual Training
The decision to move the program online was not one made solely by Herron. She weighed the opinions of her athlete’s families – which come from Naperville, Plainfield and Oswego.
“We sat down and went over all of the options and laid out all of the possibilities from, if we went back into the gym if things were cleared, what that would look like. We went over the different guidelines that we could set up to maintain the proper safety for everyone. But we truly felt that 100% felt that the number one thing was the health and safety of the players, coaches and families that are involved.”
Pinkalicious is one of many programs that have continued developing athletes while unable to hold sessions in person. But it’s a collaborative effort, requiring as many as 15 coaches to handle the workload.
“In our club portion it is much more intense and within our scope of everybody there are about 60 sessions a week that we’re providing in virtual training.”
Even as sports seem stuck on pause at the highest levels, the youngest athletes are still practicing for their chance to make it big one day.
Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Kevin Jackman