By Zachary Zubrzycki
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, almost every sport has been cancelled or postponed around the nation. Alongside that virtually every college has shut down as well. So what does that mean for all of the college athletes around the world? Their practices are over and there aren’t any open gyms.
Michael Peebles, a swimmer for the Hamilton Continentals, just finished up the swimming season before his school was forced to move off-campus. The sudden change shocked him but the transition to him was pretty easy to handle.
“When I am not swimming in the winter months I am training for triathlons,” Michael said. “So since pools are closed I am currently doing a lot of running and biking.” In any sport you play, it’s important to be training in the off-season as well. But most practice facilities and gyms are closed so athletes are starting to do their own training.
It’s also important to stick as a team. The Continentals men’s swimming and diving team has been giving themselves a challenge. They keep in touch in a group chat, and each week they will do three crossfit type workouts usually done for time. The coaches will check in with the players as well using Zoom. There they see how the players are doing and also discuss the next season’s schedule.
Another thing to keep in mind is that next season could still be cancelled. There is no definite end to this outbreak so things could stay postponed for a while. “Every year in January we go on a training trip to Florida,” Michael said. “And depending on the state that the country is in at that time it may or may not be possible next year.” All of the traditions that the teams had may be broken, but they still stand together. As Michael says, “I am confident that we will hurdle whatever conflicts arise as one united team.”
But sadly, not every team ended their season at the right time. My hometown high school was the top team in their tournament competing for the state championship, but will never get to see the end of their season. Collegiate basketball players are forced to miss their chance to win the March Madness tournament. But for seniors, some may never get to see the game again.
“I particularly sympathize with senior athletes who are missing out on their last sports season due to this global pandemic,” Michael says. It’s hard not to feel sorry for these athletes. Some could be missing out on scholarships, some could be missing out on possible professional scouts, and some are just missing a great experience.
Some of the athletes around my area have been doing things for the seniors that are missing out on their big moments. At my school some of the students and faculty made giant fat heads of the players on the basketball team that missed out on the championship game. It’s just something to make the moment special for those who need it the most.