Magazine News Sport Volume 69, Issue 8

How Athletes are Staying on Top of their Game During Quarantine

by Brian Gewecke

Graphic by Jane Wilson

The COVID-19 quarantine has caused a delay in sports worldwide. Although the chances of high school spring sports returning are very low, it is smart for athletes to keep in good physical shape, to prepare them for whatever sports or offseason work they will participate in once the quarantine is lifted. During a time like this, it may be hard to remember why people don’t spend their entire day inside on the couch. There is a reason that people engage in athletic activities, whether it is to keep in physical shape for fun, or to spend quality time with friends outside of school.

One focus is how track runners, who would be having their season right now, keep in shape over the quarantine. “I like to go on runs to keep my conditioning up,” answered Junior Grant Askins, “I’m in track, and even though the season’s probably over, I should stay in shape for cross country”. “Since I live by open hills, I’m also able to go on walks while avoiding contact with people” he said.

Baseball is another spring sport that no longer is in action. Unlike track, baseball appears harder to practice in quarantine, as it requires equipment, but some players are working with what they have. “I play catch and do some batting practice from home,” responded Junior Griffin Hamlin, when asked how he keeps his skills sharp while the baseball season is on hold. “Baseball’s kind of nice, because you can practice from home, and you don’t need a lot of equipment. It doesn’t beat being able to go to Las Lomas to play at practices and games, but it’s nice to be able to stay active”.

While most focus on keeping in top physical shape by constantly working out, they may also forget that it’s also very important to take care of one’s body properly, an approach Josh Stemmerich takes to stay healthy. “I take walks of course,” he said, “but I also make sure I get enough sleep, and make sure I relieve stress that has been building up over the last month”. This is a refreshing approach, as while some focus on how they can keep physically active, Josh, and surely many others, make sure they are taking care of their bodies correctly by ensuring complete physical recovery.

For sports like basketball, all an athlete really needs to practice is a ball and some space. If one owns a hoop, keeping your shot in shape is important, but if one doesn’t have that luxury, finding an open space and working on ball handling is still far better than doing nothing.

Going on runs in open, lowly-populated locations, as well as running on treadmills, can keep one’s cardiovascular system in shape, as the quarantine hasn’t largely hindered runners’ ways of exercising.

Weight lifting is also a great way to keep one’s body in physical strength, as dumbbells can be found in most households. Even if these aren’t accessible, strength building exercises can be found online that don’t require any equipment.

Although one’s bubble in quarantine may feel very small and isolated, keeping active physically not only helps prepare one for the likely athletic chaos once everyone is released from quarantine, but also keeps them mentally healthy, which is valuable in a time as stressful and uncertain as this. Stay focused on maintaining academic and athletic goals, if possible, and avoid distraction from the negative events in the world today.