Athletes Face Hurdles during Pandemic

by Cambree Bernkopf

Almost every single little thing in our lives has changed because of this covid-19 pandemic. School has been cancelled, some jobs require work at home, most stores are closed along with restaurants, sports arenas, concerts, parks, bowling alleys, movie theatres… Every spring sport, club and high school, have been either delayed or cancelled. This includes soccer, basketball, lacrosse, softball, baseball, track and field, men’s tennis, dance and more. All athletes, little league to professional, are being deprived of a season they were really hoping to play.

One rough thing about the delay of spring sports applies to the recruiting process of high school athletes. A teenager’s most important time for recruitment is their sophomore and junior year, so these teenagers have to miss one of these crucial years that may be needed to get a scholarship. At this point the virus could affect not only spring sports, but also summer and fall sports. The Ohio High School Athletic Association even started discussing the possibility that fall sports could get delayed due to the outbreak. The NCAA reports, “NCAA championships and related events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, have been canceled.” The pandemic is disappointing all athletes and some have to miss out on their entire season. 

Not all hope is lost! There are coaches and teams that have started doing virtual practices on apps like Zoom or Skype, and some are still training at home. The concept is so smart because while teams are still coaching and keeping in shape, but they’re also keeping social distance. This is great for the athletes that train and work hard on their own because their efforts will show when they come back to their regular season, whether it be this year or the next. This time period could be what separates the athletes that work hard, wake up early, and train and those athletes that don’t do anything in the “off-season.” 

Athletes should be taking steps to stay in shape and prepare for what is to come. Dr. Alan Chu, Chair of the Sports, Exercise and Performance at the University of Wisconsin, gives advice to athletes, “Keeping a routine during this time is beneficial to everyone, not just athletes. However, for athletes, visualization is a great tool to stay sharp in your field of sport.” We all need to keep our heads up and work hard in order to get through this.

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