COVID-19 produced many challenges for athletes during the spring and summer months. These challenges had such a profounding effect on fall athletes. Their training and preparation took a serious hit. The constant wondering if they were going to have a season is one thing, but they were tasked with finding new avenues on how to get ready for a possible season. Athletes all around the world found unique ways of training. With fewer resources available, Division III athletes really had to commit to finding new methods of getting in shape.
One sport in particular put out a social media video that demonstrated how they stayed connected during the pandemic. The volleyball team sent out individual videos of them hitting the ball to each other: “We made a TikTok where we were pretending to pepper and pass it on. It was just a really goofy way for us to stay connected with each other and make the most of our situations at home,” junior Sydney Collins said. While this pandemic took a lot away, it offered everyone an opportunity to break out their creativity in staying connected.
People all over the world were forced to change their routines. An athlete’s routine is critical to their success. Routines and rhythms can not be altered during the course of their training. It throws everything off, and it is really difficult to get back on the routine. Every athlete was forced to break their routine, and find a way to stay in shape.
“With a lot of the gyms being closed back home where I live, I took advantage of the opportunity to train on the public tracks in my area. One of my friends created our workouts for distance runs, and I created track workouts with interval sprints and cross-training. Since we weren’t able to get in the weight room, we were able to find weights and resistance bands, and when those weren’t available, we made the most of bodyweight workouts. While COVID definitely posed some challenges for training, it gave us the chance to get creative with our workouts,” Collins said.
The pandemic took out a lot of opportunities for organized practices and games but as the summer progressed, some athletes found themselves able to compete before returning to campus. Sophomore women’s soccer player Sam Crawford mentioned her chance to play in games: “By the end of the summer, I got to play in some games on a summer league team.”
There was one sport in particular that didn’t see that much of a change in regards to practicing. Golf courses stayed open during the pandemic. Many people turned to golf while the rest of the sports world was on hold. Senior men’s golf player, Chandler Scott, stated “In all honesty, my practice regiment didn’t change all that much even with COVID being a thing. Thankfully, golf courses in VA stayed open all summer long, so I was able to play/practice from sun up to sun down with no issues.”