Student-Athletes Look for Motivation as Sports Move Online


A Latin baseball player completes his daily workout from home

McKenna Fellows, Staff Writer

With the second week of online learning in full swing, many student-athletes have taken to working out as a way to release some pent up energy. However, the inability to practice with a team has taken a large toll on the community. Immediately, the school realized this, and since then coaches and captains have worked hard to simulate a season virtually. For many, though, it is simply not the same.

Junior Marianne Mihas shares, “For me, this was going to be the most important season of my high school career for college recruiting, and in such a numbers-driven sport, me not having certain times which I feel like I could have hit this season really strikes some places off my lists.” Mihas is not alone in this sentiment, however, even those without collegiate aspirations are feeling the impact of life without sports. Regardless of any serious plans for after high school, there is no doubt that every athlete has felt the nostalgia of a spring season that may or may not resume. And though it may be difficult, the fact that many have continued to stay active in spite of the circumstances speaks volumes about the dedication of each individual. “It’s certainly harder to get through hard workouts and long runs knowing all that pain might go to waste,” Mihas notes. “I’m trying to stay hopeful that maybe I’ll get to at least run a few time trials before the season is over, but who knows.”

Team-wise, the most glaring challenge to date has been keeping the motivation alive. Many groups have found it difficult to keep everyone inspired with all of the discussion surrounding a postponed season, or even no season at all. Mihas admits, “I’m really not sure how much impact I’m having on the rest of the team. I have no idea if people are doing the workouts the other captains and I have constructed.”

Evidently, many factors contribute to this decline in participation, including a lack of resources and locations used to train. The most unfortunate reality is that for some sports, even a few weeks of regression can have a sizable impact on one’s progress and skill, and for some, it can feel as if all of their hard work has been for nothing.

“When we meet on Zoom calls for soccer, we often go over plays and talk strategy and it just seems a little hopeless right now,” sophomore Zoe Weiss shares. “We are all so eager to get on the field, but we also know how important it is to stay safe inside.” Nevertheless, both coaches and captains have made it a point to emphasize the importance of staying active and positive regardless of the outcome.

“Myself and all of the other track captains have been in contact pretty frequently to make sure we’re communicating with the team, and it has definitely helped to have other really great captains who also want to make sure we stay connected and keep encouraging everyone,” Hardiman says.

Similarly, senior Lily Weaver adds, “I do feel as if facing this level of adversity has strengthened my leadership and communication skills.” This seems to be the common thread among the leadership on each team, and it will undoubtedly continue this way until further notice.

As the world moves rather blindly into the future, athletes are still holding onto hope for any form of a season. “More than anything I’m just trying to take things one week at a time,” says Mihas. “I’m trying to stay positive about the world’s current situation and daily life, and frankly for me running is a great break from all the negative news that seems to be always breaking.”

Deep down, everyone knows the gravity of the situation, and they can only do so much athletically speaking. “I wish there were more interactions, but with COVID-19, I don’t see that as a real possibility,” senior Sean Gorman says. More than anything, it seems as if people just yearn for the bonds that sports have provided for so long.

Hardiman comments, “I miss my teammates and working out with them every day after school, but I also understand that the best thing to do right now is to stay home and stay safe.” For now, that is all anyone can really do.