However, had Pastner risked conducting standard practices that included the unwell player – and had he then tested positive – there would have been no practice for the next two weeks.
“That’s where you are in today’s climate as a coach,” Pastner told the AJC. “You’ve got to be thinking about those things as you coach. You have to be extremely flexible and agile and be able to adjust on the fly.”
Pastner figures that this will be how the season will go, barring changes to the contact-tracing guidelines.
“People get colds, they’re going to get sore throats that have nothing to do with COVID, but until COVID’s ruled out, you’re not going to be able to practice (in the usual way),” he said.
Pastner returned to contact workouts after the entire team tested negative. He sought to make the best of the situation in the interim. The team could work on skills that need improving, like ballhandling, passing and free-throw shooting.
“The one thing you can try to be is in really good shape,” he said. “That’s an area you can control.”
Pastner said he didn’t think of his team as having fallen behind the competition with three fewer contact practices. It’s just the way the season is going to be.
“That is a ’20-21 men’s basketball strategy for all of us,” he said. “Not just us, but for everybody.”