Changing habits of a lifetime can be hard enough for adults, let alone for young soccer players who have just scored a goal after months of sitting on the couch.
Merewether coach Tegan Eckford found that out on Saturday when her under-10s put one past Medowie on the first morning of grassroots football this winter.
"We do practise COVID-safe, and they do it at school and we do it at training and at the games. But the goal got the better of them and they got a bit excited," she said.
"I did tell them when we're celebrating we have to keep it to a minimum, because we can't be jumping around and touching each other. But they're so young, and I think they just forgot about that."
About 20,000 Hunter soccer players are returning to the park in the first two weeks of July, and most other outdoor winter sports will follow on July 18 and 25.
Ms Eckford found a few post-goal hugs and high-fives were not the only habit that proved hard to break in the "trial and error" of a post-COVID world.
One of the team's parents brought oranges for half-time, which the players happily devoured.
"They shared oranges out of the same container. One of the mums who used to do it last year, it was just a habit to bring it.
"I've just said we'll hold off on the oranges and parents will hold on to their drink bottles at the games."
Ms Eckford said clubs, parents, players and coaches appeared to be doing their best to maintain safe practices.
"Merewether were really good. They were very strict. They kept emailing us what we can and can't do.
"Before we had our training session we were in level B, and there was nothing I could do. I couldn't do headers, they couldn't touch the ball. They were just going to do fitness. Then the restrictions were lifted on the day of training so we were able to start training normal."
The Hunter has not had a confirmed coronavirus case in 74 days, but the Melbourne outbreak has shown how quickly the virus can spark back into life.
Many clubs have not reopened their canteens. Most have distributed safety plans to volunteers, but it is clear that kick-starting the season at short notice with new protocols has not been easy.
"I think you either play or you don't," one parent and volunteer told the Newcastle Herald.
"It's just not practical to police all the rules."
IN THE NEWS