In the digital age, information can spread instantly across the globe. Viral videos and stories dominate social media feeds, and the Buffs football coaches hope to use that to their advantage.
With the spread of the novel coronavirus that has spawned a global pandemic, sports across all levels have suspended play. But just because the games have temporarily stopped doesn’t mean the athletes have stopped too.
McAlester football coach Forrest Mazey has been using social media to reach his players for a while. Whether it's to share motivational quotes and videos or provide his team with updates, Twitter has become a new way to connect with players.
"Its so much different than when I was in school,” Mazey said.
Since Oklahoma has closed school buildings and facilities and canceled sports for the remainder of the academic school year, Mazey and his staff have been working hard to find new ways to keep their players active while still staying safely at home.
"They’ve been blowing my phone up,” Mazey said. "It’s never been a situation where these facilities are shut off to them.”
So now, the Buffs are going digital. Using Twitter and text messaging, McAlester coaches are able to continue providing players with workouts, motivation, and important updates while practicing social distancing.
"Twitter is a great resource,” Mazey said. "You don’t have the team aspect, and you’re not sure when can get back into facilities, so it’ll be up to them to put in the work.”
Even if they can’t currently hold an organized practice, Mazey wants to make sure his players stay healthy and in shape. He knows how dangerous it can be to return to athletic competition without being properly conditioned.
"The safety of our athletes is a priority,” Mazey said. "We want the kids and parents to feel safe as well.”
As the situation continues to evolve, so will the Buffalo coaching staff. They’ll continue to confer with each other and adapt to whatever environment the team will find itself in as the days and weeks go by.
"We’re all at the mercy at this thing,” Mazey said. "It’s just the logistics of when we get the kids back, and in the meantime what are we able to do with them."