Features Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 9

Athletes Without Sports

by Brian Gewecke

Graphic by Cael Hill

With sports occupying such a large role in worldwide cultures, their absence during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves fans with the feeling that a large part of their lives is missing. However, athletes are affected even more than fans, as although they likely are missing watching their own favorite sports teams, they have sports of their own that the quarantine has prevented them from playing. Of course, there are many factors to sports that can’t be replicated during the quarantine, such as the competitiveness, companionship with teammates, hard work as part of a group, and the rush of adrenaline in a narrow competition. The big question is: what are Las Lomas athletes missing the most about their sports?

“I think the thing I miss most is being able to work with my teammates,” said Griffin Hamlin, a Junior baseball player. “Of course, I miss being able to work on getting better and compete with other teams, but the part I miss most is spending time with my teammates”. Team comradery is one of the largest parts of sports, and is among the most important factors for success. Undoubtedly, many athletes are missing building team chemistry by spending quality time together. Although it’s not impossible for teammates to stay in close touch with each other through social media, video calls, and perhaps even playing online video games together, it’s nothing like being able to meet in person and participate in activities outside. That doesn’t mean teams shouldn’t do whatever they can right now to stay connected. The online methods mentioned before are solid ways to do so. They can make it so that when teammates finally can meet up, they haven’t missed a thing.

Like Griffin, his fellow Junior Grant Askins, a track-and-field runner, also misses the companionship his sport brings. “Luckily, a lot of my friends do track, and I’ve already been staying in touch with them throughout the quarantine,” he said, “But what I definitely miss most is spending time with my teammates. Every year, I meet more people in track, and I just wish we were able to all spend time together like we do at practices. I’m still able to run by my house, so I still have access to that part of the sport”. When asked if he was hoping to do anything soon, he responded, “Hopefully when possible, my teammates and I can organize sessions to enjoy time together”. Participating in baseball and track, Griffin and Grant both play sports that greatly emphasize team chemistry, and since they spend so much time at practices and competitions building that chemistry, they have felt the absence of it recently.

With sports having such a big role in entertainment for many and an activity for many others, with huge influence not only in its sphere of entertainment, but others as well, it is no surprise that its absence affects people around the world, mostly, but not limited to, the fans and the athletes themselves. Sport teams everywhere should be encouraging their athletes to stay in touch with teammates as much as possible, to keep connected and prevent chemistry, that may take much time to build, from falling.