How not seeing people in person is affecting athletes

As we all know, the coronavirus has affected many extracurricular activities such as sports. Coaches and trainers have been encouraging athletes to stay active at home but, when in a sport, how is a team going to improve without seeing each other? 

By now, some sports are starting to reopen their seasons but have put many regulations in place to keep players safe. To prepare for the season, players have been told to practice on their own time. However, without the guidance of teammates and coaches in person, some have become skeptical of what the season may look like even if teams had been preparing for competitions for months now. 

Not being able to interact with teammates can sometimes affect someone’s mental health. Charlotte Gibson, from ESPN, said, “As many athletes, coaches, sports fans and others process the reality of no sports for the next few months because of the spread of COVID-19, this unprecedented time can cause overwhelming fear, anxiety and stress.” For many, a sport is a way to disconnect with the outside world and plug into something they are really passionate about. Without being able to see others in person, some athletes are not able to go out and refresh themselves from all that’s going on, especially in these times when things can be harder for them to understand.  

While many high school athletes are hoping to start playing again, the process may take longer than expected as the reopening date of schools is still not clear. Although zoom calls and distance practices are taking place, it still isn’t the same for many. Sonia Y. Angell, state public health officer and director, said, “Conditioning and training should take place outside, where practicable, and focus on individual skill-building activities such as running drills and body weight resistance training.” These rules put in place are to protect us but aren’t very helpful for a team that requires everyone to work together. Senior athletes have been affected as many previously open opportunities have been ripped away from them since they are not being given an opportunity to show what they can really do. All school athletes can really do is go to instructed zoom calls for further direction by coaches and make sure they are keeping up to date with any new developments.