COVID 19 Close-up: Shaun Feor
Subject: Shaun Feor, basketball coach, Governor Simcoe.
What would you be doing at school now if the pandemic hadn’t hit? Andrew Ferguson (junior boys coach) and I would be running skill and conditioning sessions along with scrimmages, for our players. Jill Stiefelmeyer, Scott Madole and I would also be preparing for the Governor Simcoe Basketball Camp, held the first week of July. My travel season would have been in full swing, coaching the U17 Pelham Panthers boys team as well.
What are you doing now? I have been attending virtual coaching clinics and meetings to better myself as a coach, and learn from others. I have also kept in touch with my players through FaceTime and Zoom to share drills, exercises or just say hello.
What is the biggest obstacle to coaching during the pandemic? The biggest obstacle is coaching or training virtually. It is difficult to see results and measure success when you are not on the court or in the gym.
What do you miss the most about the pre-pandemic world of high school sports? I really miss everything about coaching basketball. I miss the challenge, personal and player development, the emotion, sights and sounds. If I had to pick one though, it’s definitely the face-to-face interaction with players, parents, and other coaches.
What do you miss the least about the pre-pandemic world of high school sports? I don’t necessarily miss the pace of life pre-pandemic. I have been able to spend more time with my wife Ali, catch up with friends, cook at home, etc. Don’t get me wrong though, I can’t wait to be back in a gym with my boys and basketball community.
What is the biggest thing wrong with high school sports that you can reveal without getting fired or demoted for your honesty? High school basketball has not been the same since the NCAA (Niagara Catholic Athletic Association) and DSBN (District School Board of Niagara) stopped competing during the regular season. Tournaments such as The Tribune and The Standard bring the best out of our athletes, coaches and fans but the odd tournament game is not enough. A lot of the traditional rivalries have dried up.
Is there an easy way to fix the problem? The easiest solution would be scheduling meaningful games between Zones 2, 3 and 4 during the regular season and separating come playoff time.
Is there a hard way to fix the problem? The more difficult solution would be going back to the traditional Zone 3 and 4 alignment, however, I do not see that happening with the recent Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association zone changes.
What would be one suggestion to make high school sports better? We have come a long way with buy-in games, football games under the lights and all star games. However, I think we can do even better. Niagara College and Brock University’s involvement is critical. Their promotion of an event, access to larger venues and media coverage, make the experience special for the athletes, draw larger crowds and make a greater impact in the community or to a local charity. BPSN has played a big role in elevating the status of high school sports. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Has the pandemic changed how you will approach your work with the team? Most definitely. Basketball is a tough one because of the physical contact, sweat, saliva and one ball that everyone touches. I think the early stages of a return will look more like small groups, one player to a basket, bring your own ball and water bottle and keep six feet apart.
What is the first thing you are going to do when life returns to normal? The Governor Simcoe basketball program lost its trip to Hawaii due to COVID and I am waiting to see what happens for our family plans for the Outer Banks in North Carolina. When things return to normal, we are definitely taking a trip!
What daily activity do you miss the most? I miss going to the gym every morning and working out with my players and Scott Madole.
What guilty pleasure do you miss the most? I miss going out for lunch or dinner with the team as a whole. We are a tight-knit group and do a lot together.
What is your favourite outfit to wear around the house if you are working from home? Definitely basketball shorts and a T-shirt. I change things up for video conference calls with basketball shorts and a button down shirt…LOL.
What do you do to replace the time spent working with the kids? I returned to my job at Accenture, working from home. My wife and I have spent a lot of time on the back deck and by the pool as well.
Are you mostly likely to be a hunk, chunk, drunk or Sasquatch when the pandemic ends? I wouldn’t want to label myself but let’s just say I enjoy the odd rye and Diet Coke and I am not beach body ready yet.
What is the worst habit you have picked up during the pandemic? I spend too much time in front of the TV. I am hooked on Impractical Jokers.
What is the best habit you have picked up during the pandemic? I swim daily and do a lot of my physio in the pool.
What is something good about yourself you have discovered during the pandemic? I can really cook.
What is something bad about yourself you have discovered during the pandemic? I enjoy what I cook.
BPSN and the COVID-19 pandemic
Like all small businesses dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, BPSN is not sure what the business landscape will look like when things return to normal. Our website is financed primarily through advertising revenues and partnership agreements with many local sports and educational organizations in Niagara. Our goal is to continue providing our readers with the extensive local sports coverage you have come to expect from our site. Since our inception, we have written more than 2,800 stories on our local athletes and teams. Many of our readers have given us one-time donations or send us monthly contributions to help offset our costs. We would be eternally grateful if others would consider doing the same by using the Support Us button located on the right-hand side of our home page below the mosaic.
Thank you for your continued support.
Bill and Bernie.