Sean Jensen Shares Keys to Encourage Young Athletes in the Midst of COVID-19 Challenges

Minneapolis, Minn. — COVID-19 cases are rising nationwide, and many states are starting to take aggressive measures to slow the spread — and youth sports is being sidelined once again.

Minnesota governor Tim Walz on Wednesday evening exercised his emergency powers to close bars, gyms and restaurants, and pause youth sports. On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health shared in a news conference that 10 percent of all cases in schools are associated with sports, with 46 outbreaks from hockey, 41 from volley all, 35 from football, 20 from basketball and 15 from soccer. States such as New Mexico and Oregon have also implemented tighter restrictions, along with cities such as Chicago, New York City and El Paso, Texas.

Sean K Jensen - Model Student Athlete

Sean Jensen, who works with children in multiple capacities, outlined six keys to helping young athletes navigate the challenges of COVID-19: The importance of being grateful, active, engaged, agile, positive and not focusing on perfection.

“These are daunting and frustrating times for adults,” he says, “so imagine what our children are experiencing and feeling. All of us who interact with children need to listen to, and intentionally encourage and empower them during this difficult time.”

One of Sean’s keys is the importance of being agile, which derives form the Latin word agilis, defined as “nimble.”

“Things change so quickly and fluidly,” he adds, “and adults have an opportunity to model agility right now.”

About Sean Jensen

Sean is the author of the Middle School Rules, published by BroadStreet Publishing Group, a series that tells the inspirational childhood stories of professional athletes Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman, Skylar Diggins, Jamaal Charles, Vontae Davis and Thomas Morstead. He is the head junior varsity coach and an assistant varsity coach at a Minneapolis high school, and a coach and board member of a suburban Minneapolis soccer club. He is the host of Winning Is Not Everything, a weekly podcast for young athletes and their parents, and the creator of Model Student Athlete, a video series that highlights key character traits that help a young person be their best on and off the field.

Sean was adopted from South Korea and raised in California, Massachusetts and Virginia, mostly on or near military bases. Given his unique background, he's always been drawn to storytelling, a skill he developed at Northwestern University and crafted for 17 years, almost exclusively covering the NFL for major newspapers and websites. He was featured on local and national radio, television, magazines and websites, including KFAN, ESPN, Good Morning America, Men’s Health, CNN and the NFL Network. He lives in a suburb of Minneapolis with his wife, two children and dog.


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Sean Jensen
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Minneapolis, MN