As the nation continues its lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, sports teams are making adjustments so that athletes can stay in shape and connected while continuing to practice virtually. The pandemic has taken over and changed the ways of life of many people. Despite this, high school athletes are staying motivated. Many teams have continued practice online in order to stay in shape, stay on a schedule, and boost morale. Different teams are handling this differently.
Some sports teams have turned to online practices. Through Zoom or Google Meets, they get together as a group. Philadelphia’s crew team, Philadelphia City Rowing, has multiple meetings almost every day. Some of the meetings are spent working out, while others are just spent talking and checking in with the team. Although they are not required, they are recommended, as sticking together during this crisis can bring the team closer together and they can come out even stronger than they were.
Other teams are not meeting virtually, but are posting workouts on a schedule for their athletes to complete. These workouts may include running, core, or cardio. One of these teams, Philadelphia Rock Gyms, has a tri-weekly live class in which they do some of the aforementioned workouts. This can help ensure that the physical health of athletes does not decline. As many people are staying inside all day, completing workouts posted by their coaches can play a role in keeping them from getting out of shape. If athletes do not work out, when they return to their sport they will likely be ill prepared and need to spend a significant amount of time getting back to where they were before the pandemic.
During this difficult time, others have found it important to focus more on making sure team members are doing well. Philadelphia City Rowing has split up athletes, and different coaches check in by calling them. While there is still concern about losing strength or falling out of practice, the physical and mental health of the athletes remains important.
Some school district teams are not doing anything in particular and are trusting athletes to do what is best for them. Rmani Justiano, a member of Central High School’s track team, said that there are no workout requirements or group calls. However, he and other people on the team have been running on their own. Sophia Matje, who plays softball for her school, also said that her team does not have any meetings but she is doing core workouts.
When the lockdown is lifted and sports return to their typical schedules, it is unclear what will happen. Perhaps everything will be the way it was prior to the pandemic, but there are many things that student-athletes will likely struggle with. Some concerns include a decline in motivation due to the time they lost, or having trouble getting back on a schedule in which they must be active frequently. In order to prevent these issues and others, it is important that teams do the best they can to remain connected and healthy.