An Athlete’s Guide to COVID-19

Graphic created by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Graphic created by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Since early March, America has had wave after wave of shutdowns due to the novel coronavirus. First went the stores, then the beaches, and the restaurants. It was only a matter of time until these shutdowns trickled onto college campuses. With campus doors closed, varsity sports quickly followed. The Ivy League and Patriot League were among the first to cancel their seasons, causing controversy in the college sports world.

After college athletics shut down, many high school programs followed their lead and postponed or canceled their seasons. With nearly all conferences canceling out-of-conference play and the possibility of fall high school sports still in question, it seems as though athletics has been taken out of the equation, but that is far from the truth.

Teams, professional, recreational, high school, etc, have been finding ways to continue to play through the pandemic. High school football and other sports teams throughout the country have been holding restricted practices. The coronavirus has not stopped teams from playing: it has only changed how they play.

Simply put, athletes want to do whatever they can to get back to their sports. Here are some ideas for PC athletes to stay involved athletically, both individually and with their teams.

Individual Training:

Workout Early

If it’s necessary to workout in a public location, working out in the morning is the safest way to exercise. There will be fewer people and distractions, reducing the chance of the virus spreading, and athletes can get through their workouts quicker with less of the equipment in use.

Quality over Quantity

Make the workouts count. Rather than shuffling through a workout at half-effort, put in full effort. This improves athletes’ fitness, while also cutting down on the number of times a workout needs to be done to show results.

Group Training:

Meet in Small Groups

If athletes want to workout with their teammates, the best way is to work in small groups. By practicing in smaller groups, the amount of contact gets reduced, and athletes can still feel connected to their team (and get some more reps in than normal).

Do Tactical Work Online

Rather than meeting in person to go over plays, teams can hold zoom meetings or send presentations to discuss game film and plays. Not only does this reduce contact, but it also allows athletes to learn plays at their speed and method. Personally, I am a highly visual learner whereas some of my teammates are more auditory learners. By holding virtual team meetings, everyone can learn at their own pace.

Everyone’s top priority is to stop the spread of the coronavirus and our future actions have to reflect that. So while this means that sports will not be the same, it doesn’t mean these activities have to stop. Athletes just have to be smarter in the way they train. By practicing safely and social-distancing, athletes can soon get back to playing the sports they love.