Arena Sports Academy kicks off online lessons for Siouxland athletes


With just two people on screen, and practicing safe social distancing, the Arena Sports Academy took to Facebook to offer young athletes from all over Siouxland a 35-minute fundamentals workout to keep their basketball skills sharp.

“It’s a weird feeling really, standing in an empty gym with just one other person and one behind the camera,” said coach and Executive Director Dustin Cooper. “But knowing that there’s a lot of people watching you. To be honest it was a little awkward starting out but we got into the flow.”

“It feels great getting back to working out and to have a place like this to work out in,” said North middle school athlete and training assistant Zach Hesse.

But it wasn’t just Siouxland, word got out, and people from as far away as Arizona and New York City tuned in to the virtual training session.

“It’s cool because I was really trying to push myself. And I know that other people are out there pushing themselves too at home and that’s a great feeling. At the end of the day, it’s just you working out and trying to push yourself,” Hesse said. “And all the nervousness goes away when you start working out and playing basketball.”

“Our number one objective is to have the greatest possible positive impact on the greatest possible amount of people,” said Cooper. “And it feels really good to be able to do that.”

Hundreds of people watched live, and even more watched after the stream was over, but for Cooper, it’s about more than just views.

“If two people showed up and were viewing, we’d still be working just as hard,” he said. “The numbers to us aren’t really the main objective here, it’s to be a resource and to be an avenue for positivity in a time that’s so uncertain.”

These sessions will continue every day, in a variety of sports to make sure that Siouxland’s athletes continue to stay active despite everything that’s going on.

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