By Brooke Killgore
As most sports stories will start, COVID-19 affected my athletic career just as negatively as anyone else. I was in the middle of an amazing volleyball club season, just finishing the annual Golden State Tournament and getting used to my position on the team when the virus came swinging into our lives. Lockdown came upon us and suddenly, I had no sport and no motivation to get outside to workout or play anymore. Fast forward a year and a half, I left my old club for another and was passionately dedicating my Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings to my 16’s team, awaiting the announcements for upcoming tournaments and possible scrimmages. And out of nowhere, Contra Costa County moved into the orange tier, and with that, Las Lomas announced its return to indoor sports, meaning my life and many others have been thrust into a hazy chaos of confusion and worry.
At the start of COVID, I took advantage of the empty gyms by using private lessons with my club coach to better my hitting and serves while also getting out each morning to do workouts with a teammate. Using club-run camps, I got to work in a smaller team dynamic and was able to pinpoint areas that I struggled in while also developing relationships with the coaches that would help me place in a team later on. I used the summer and majority of my sophomore year to prepare myself for if school volleyball did resume. So when the athletics department announced the start of tryouts after spring break and we went into full gear, I went into the gym feeling a sense of preparedness.
When I made Junior Varsity, my life was immediately swallowed up by practices and back-to-back tournaments, which I’m starting to notice is a pattern amongst other players. We had had no real vision of ever going back to being student athletes, so we got trapped in a routine of alternating between a club with our education and now, adding a school sport with little to no rest days throughout the week. The question becomes, how do you juggle being a student athlete who’s pledged loyalty to both teams? Sadly, there is no real answer to such a burning question except for this: it will come down to strict time management (and ensuring you don’t do an extensive weight training academy right before practices).
How we manage our time in between a demanding sport and being academically present every day at school will teach the average athlete how to think about scheduling and planning out their day in advance. But this mixed-up season is also a chance for us athletes to take advantage of the situation and working out any issues or struggles we may have within our sport. Take control of the confusion and delay to find your strengths but to weed out your infirmities so that when COVID finally clears up, you can achieve the high goals you’ve set for yourself and full potentials that are waiting around the corner.