The fallacies of individual exercise

The pandemic has left  many athletes with no choice but to work out individually or risk their health to continue working with their teammates. 

While practicing individually is the best alternative that athletes can turn to during this time, individual workouts do not offer the level of exercise that team practices do. 

One major drawback of individual workouts is the inability to practice with contact, which is a vital part of training for many sports. For example, football players cannot practice tackles. For a sport as contact-heavy as football, not being able to consistently practice tackling will deduce  a player’s skill and become a safety issue once back on the field. 

While some drills used to maintain physical fitness and agility can be done alone, the most useful ones often involve strategy and cooperation to recreate  in-game situations. If the athletes are unable to practice some of the most important skills of their sports, how can they be expected  to succeed in competitions?

Another deficit in the effectiveness of individual practice is motivation. Most athletes agree that it’s harder to self-motivate when you practice alone. During in-person practice, teammates  encourage each other, each athlete putting in their best effort and keeping each other motivated for the general good of the team. None of these factors are present for solo practice.

It can also be hard to stay focused when exercising alone. It is very helpful to have somebody there to guide 

It’s no surprise that the lack of camaraderie during at-home workouts has led many to quit their teams. 

In addition, solo practice lacks immediate feedback or advice. During in-person practice, coaches can make corrections to an athlete’s form and give them pointers on what to change so that they don’t learn movements the wrong way or hurt themselves while training. However, when practicing alone, athletes must use their own judgement and simply assume they are performing workouts correctly, which could lead to diminished effectiveness, or even an injury.

Exercising alone is not a sustainable option for those in team sports. In order to play any sport, regardless of whether it involves contact, athletes need to be able to practice realistic scenarios while getting feedback along the way, neither of which can occur at an individual level.