Matt Moon wasn't prepared to address his team at the end of an eventful van ride home from San Luis Obispo.
Moon, the head coach of the Bakersfield College men's and women's swimming and diving teams, knew things were bad when the Renegades were sent home two days early from the Cuesta Invitational on March 12. After completing the first of three days of competition, the event was canceled amid the spreading Coronavirus.
Tasked with consoling a crestfallen group of athletes, Moon admits he was at a loss for words when the Renegades arrived home.
“It wasn’t much fun," he said. "I really couldn’t say anything to make anything better. It was kind of a bomb dropped in their laps.”
Aside from not getting to compete, Renegade athletes were also facing major workout restrictions for an indefinite period of time after the school closed its doors to prevent a further spread of COVID-19.
Knowing the predicament the entire department was facing, Moon spoke with BC strength and conditioning director Zack Peters and assistant track and field coach Konrad Dahl about trying to devise a workout plan to keep athletes active while they were barred from team facilities.
The end result was the Resilience video series, which debuted on March 22 with the release of four short videos posted to YouTube, gogadesgo.com and the athletic department's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Moon, Peters and Dahl all took part in the tutorials, which were filmed on Peters' phone at his house. Each video has A, B and C sections, all of which contain three different exercises. The goal is for athletes to use the videos as part of a three-week regimen.
"I look at it as an opportunity, a new arena to conquer and to put some energy into finding another way to get better," Peters said. "There's not a lot of positives coming out of this, obviously there's a lot of hurt. But I'm excited for the opportunity to be challenged in this way and I think our student-athletes are ready to be challenged in this way too."
For Moon, the digital training program offers an opportunity to unite athletes who tend to stick to their separate corners during the season.
“Sometimes we get stuck in our own lane where swimmers are hanging out with swimmers and the football players know the football players," he said. "I’m hoping it can evolve into something where they saw a swimmer do the workout, now the football player’s trying to challenge the baseball team and softball team and soccer team.
"Obviously if we’re going to be stuck in this for a long period of time, it would be great if we could get everybody involved.”
Moon truly does mean everybody, as he, Peters and Dahl hope to expand Resilience to the public-at-large, which is also facing limited exercise options.
Knowing not everyone will be able to handle the same workload as 19 and 20-year-old athletes, there have been discussions about filming modified versions of the Resilience routines to be released in the coming weeks.
“It originally started with ‘What can we do for our athletes?’" Dahl said. "Then we were like ‘We need something for our students, let’s try and get something for faculty and staff,’ because we’re basically all in the same position. And it kind of snowballed into ‘How can we do this for the community?’ And that’s where we are now.”
Whether working with athletes or not, the trio of men, who are also instructors in the school's Physical Education department, say they have a set goal of helping keep everyone in shape during a difficult time.
"We just want people up and moving," Moon said. "That's what we do."