I talk for a living. Most often, I'm talking to athletes as part of my job.
Those conversations look a lot different these days.
There's no face-to-face interactions, no hugs as we welcome each other back for a new season. There are no casual conversations at their lockers while I make my rounds through the locker room.
All media availability is done through video conferencing and most of my personal interactions are limited to waving or shouting "Hello!" across a football field. Those distanced interactions are better than nothing and important during the current state of a pandemic, but I also feel sad and left out.
Face-to-face conversations are one of the ways I stay connected with athletes, and all the people I work with. I can still do my job, but I wonder about the value I can provide without the same type of interactions. There's a loneliness and tension that's creeped in as a result.
I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm not the only one who's spiraled out as a result and I'm not the only one who needs this reminder:
Sometimes just keeping the lines of communication open is enough.
The conversations might not sound the same, the connections might not feel the same, but having an open line to communicate is important.
Cut yourself some slack if you're struggling and hang in there if you wonder if any of your conversations matter. They do. People need to hear from you.
If you need a way to get the conversations started this week, check out the latest batch of sports #ConvoStarters. They work in small talk, emails and as ice-breakers.