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4 Quarters with Coach Mark Mandell: Coaching During COVID-19

Today, I'll be focusing on one aspect of normal life that not many people realized they would miss until it was gone... I'm of course talking about sports. The football season is underway here with the Northville Mustangs, and I thought it would be interesting to answer some questions on the reality of coaching during COVID-19.

How Did Your Team Prepare for a COVID-19 Season?

In all my 20 years of coaching football, I've dealt with many adversities. Whether it be playing a good team, a bad team, bad weather, players personalities clashing, etc. I felt comfortable handling any obstacle in my way... but I was not anticipating COVID. This has been a unique experience and it has brought its own logistical issues considering it's a contact sport. But when my team and I received the call that our season was back on, it was honestly one of my happiest moments as a coach. We've taken this situation seriously, following the recommended guidelines since day one, but our number one focus is our team's health and safety.

How Do You Deal with Adversity in The Courtroom?

Like other situations in coaching, facing adversity in the courtroom is a very routine thing. Whether you're hired into a case already at trial or the odds are seemingly stacked against you; experience wins games and experience wins cases. In 20+ years of legal practice, the odds have been stacked against me on numerous occasions. But before I get to the court room, I already know what to expect. My discipline in my practice and research into my cases have given me an advantage and have always proven to be successful.

How Did Your Players Feel When the Season Was Cancelled?

I don't think I will ever forget that day... I was in court and the players were already practicing. I received a message about the situation; and as soon as I got out, I raced to the High School because I knew the team needed support. It felt like a helpless and hopeless situation, some coaches took it hard, but the players were devastated. We just love this game so much and try to give it everything we have, but when something comes up that is completely out of your control; it's very difficult to process.

How Are You and Your Players Dealing with The Response to COVID-19?

Our players have handled the response tremendously, honestly, they're just happy they can play! What started as a complete nightmare, turned into a positive situation. In the summer, through the Governor's orders, we were able to get back out on the field to condition, facemasks required. Coaches had to wear them 100% of the time on field, but players could take their masks off when they were running drills. At first, the masks were a complete issue for me personally. Now I barely notice it, but if wearing a mask helps keep my team safe and there can be High School football, then I'll wear it all day long.

In addition to adjusting to our new precautions, I was not expecting the tremendous support we would receive from the parents. Just ecstatic their kid could get back on the field, play the game they love, and could watch them knowing we are doing absolutely everything in our power to keep their athlete safe.

If you're facing a criminal charge, you can't wait another second, beat the final whistle and contact Coach Mark Mandell and the Fausone Bohn Criminal Defense team at (248) 380-0000.

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