Bad times come unannounced and that is what happened with Covid’s arrival. It took down the world by storm and businesses were forced to shut down. We didn’t let it hold us back and were ready to take it on and find alternate solutions.
I sat down with my team and told them that we needed to survive this crisis at all costs. It required us to stay agile and innovative and look for ways to pull through. One thing I was adamant about was that we will not close down. Closing down meant giving up and dying eventually. A lot of other academies in Dubai simply shut down their doors and posted emails saying “Closed for Covid.”
We were not ready to give up and let Covid destroy us. We came up with a substitute plan. Fouad suggested a brilliant idea of starting online classes. With Covid closing down everything, kids had nothing to do. They wanted to pursue their passion and get their dose of football even if it meant online classes. It looked like the perfect solution and we decided to go ahead with it. We subscribed our kids to online sessions and did one on one training sessions with kids from all age groups.
The subscription response was overwhelming. It suggested that kids wanted to stick to football and if they couldn’t do it by being physically present then they were ready to do it through virtual training. Parents also wanted to keep the spark of football alive in their kids so they wanted them to do whatever they could to stay relevant in football. In the end, online classes proved to be a successful plan and helped us remain in touch with the kids.
The next positive step was that the authorities allowed us to do one-on-one sessions as personal trainers. Fouad, I, and other coaches got our old football bags out and were ready to be back in action even if it meant individual training. We went house by house doing one-on-one sessions with our players and it was all worth it. This allowed us to continue to have an income and keep the boys active as well. That is how we survived Covid.