PEORIA (HOI) -- Staying connected is more important now than ever. Plenty of families, groups, and organizations are using technology to get creative on how to stay in touch.
Peoria FC United is home to about 40 different youth soccer teams. Their season would have started in April, but just like so many, the coronavirus has put it on hold.
Meaning there's 40 teams worth of kids that are at home with energy to burn. Fortunately there's things like Zoom.
"We just really don't want the kids to be left behind or miss out based on circumstances," said Peoria FC United Director of Coaching, Jason Pena.
Twice a week Peoria FC United is able to hold 40-minute Zoom workouts for each team.
"This was really important to us, being able to find a way to still connect and see everyone and get some quality instruction," said Jenna Alwood, a parent and Team Manager for her son's team.
Whether indoors, or outdoors, kids are able to work on their soccer skills with help from their coaches. Sometimes things go smoothly, but it's not always perfect.
"Sometimes it takes longer to log in than others and you know weather conditions, we've run into the wind and tripods toppling over, batteries running out. There's all kinds of things that you problem solve and learn as we kind of learn this new skill too," explained Pena.
He says the support from players and parents has been great. They weren't sure whether this would work out, but now it seems like their workout for the foreseeable future.
"Players missed hanging out with each other. The coaches, we miss our relationships we built with these kids over time and this is a nice way to be able to see everyone on the same screen together," continued Pena.
"It's just really nice that the boys are getting that camaraderie again. They've given us a lot of tools to try and keep our boys active and training in preparation for hopefully a season ahead," added Alwood.
Pena says normally the team is traveling throughout the month to places like St. Louis, Chicago, and Champaign. Alwood says it's been an adjustment for their family not to be traveling, but enjoys the nice days when they can all get out and bond over soccer.