Student athletes work to stay in shape

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has turned nearly everyone’s life upside down. From restrictions on public capacities to waiting in line in order to enter the grocery store, simple everyday activities are no longer easily done. Along with activities such as graduation and prom, sports seasons across the country and world are being postponed or even canceled. From the NBA to children’s little league baseball, no athlete has been able to escape the wrath of the coronavirus. So in an ever-changing pandemic, how are athletes and their coaches coping with these adversities and pushing through?

¨I have tried to stress that during this time people should focus on the things they can control like what they eat, the amount of sleep they get, and getting daily exercise.  Control what you can, don’t stress about the rest, and try to stay positive,” said track coach Tyler Hansen.

Through technology and social media, coaches and athletes have been able to communicate and stay in touch with each other. Although due to social distancing, practices are not being held, some coaches have been able to share workouts and drills with their athletes to help keep them in shape.

“I have posted several workouts on Instagram for students, athletes, or just anyone looking to stay active.  They are mostly bodyweight workouts, or if they are weighted, I give examples for things around the house you can use to replace a dumbbell or barbell,¨ Hansen said.

While some may think these workouts are harder to do without the guidance of a coach or without the energy of their teammates, most athletes have still been able to stay on their A-game and push through these troubling times.

¨I have been running six days a week to stay in shape with one day of recovery. I do different workouts when I run. Some days I’ll go longer, which is about five to seven miles. I’ll go to the track and do different workouts like 200m repeats, and I also will do different pickups and tempo runs when I’m on a normal day, about three to four miles,” said varsity girls track and cross country runner, Maddie Kubas. ¨These workouts have been effective because they are very similar to what I would be doing in track and what we do for cross country. I’m still training for track with the hopes of it returning, which is why I have been so on top of running six days a week.¨

However, some athletes have also been recovering from injuries during this time. Although they are unable to participate fully in their sport, it is important that they care for their injuries properly through icing or other rehabilitation tactics.

¨I had surgery about a week before tryouts started, so I’m still recovering from that. I’ve been going to physical therapy twice a week, and I’d say it definitely counts as exercise. Other than, that since I can’t do too much on my feet, I’ve been doing a lot of core and upper body based workouts. If I could, I would for sure be going on runs, but that time will come eventually,” said varsity girls soccer player Gia Marrero. ¨The workouts I’ve been doing have been very effective especially at physical therapy since I haven’t really done a lot of the stuff that I get to do at physical therapy in a while because of my ankle. It’s not only helping me physically, but mentally too. It’s really nice to be able to see people outside of your family. Caitlin Bender, our athletic trainer at North, is there helping me recover, which is really nice as well.¨

Some athletes have been struggling to keep a positive attitude during these difficult circumstances. Many athletes want to play and see their teammates, but are unable to.

¨It can be really, really difficult to keep a positive mindset right now, but as a spring athlete, you have to just hope that you’ll have some kind of season this year and take this time to keep in shape and stay healthy in case we do have a chance to play. We have also been doing weekly zoom meetings as a team to keep in touch and kinda make sure everyone is alright,¨ Marrero said. ¨A worry for me, and I’m sure a lot of juniors, is that this would be our time to start talking to more scouts and trying to figure out if we really do want to play our sport in college and where we may want to go; however, I’m hopeful that everything will work out.¨

Although all athletes are suffering and upset about their seasons being postponed or even canceled, senior athletes are taking this moment in time especially hard. While some athletes are continuing their sport in college, there are also athletes who will not be continuing their sports. Even so, many students are unhappy to be missing out on senior nights, team dinners, and their last season as an athlete in high school. 

¨As a senior, I’m really struggling with possibly not getting to have a final track season, especially because I was out injured all last season with both of my Achilles nearly rupturing. The girls track team at North has a really special bond with one another, so that is something I am going to miss. Early in this season, the team was already having an amazing start and talking about having a record-breaking season with this year’s group of girls, so it is sad that might not happen,¨ Kubas said.