With the unexpected turn of the coronavirus, multiple club and recreational sports have been cancelled, along with team trips and events. While staying at home may conjure negative feelings for the passionate athlete, it doesn’t diminish the mentality, commitment and focus of a high-achieving athlete.
Social distancing and stay-at-home orders may limit our leisurely venues, but luckily we are still able to go outside and exercise. According to Athletic Trainer Brianna Millard, there are multiple ways to stay active outdoors, which include walking, jogging, running or biking.
However, with the absence of teammates and equipment, it may be difficult to practice a sport in its true landscape. Still, don’t hesitate to prepare yourself mentally for your sport. Use this time to watch professional film or read books about your sport.
“Stay in shape, keep up with your cardio and go through all the movements even without your tool,” Millard said.
If you do have access to your sport’s equipment, try working on skills that can be done independently. Sophomore Tayla Pike, a varsity lacrosse player, not only trains for fitness, but she also practices with her lacrosse stick to stay in touch with the sport.
“As a lacrosse player I am making sure to practice my stick skills using a rebounder at home,” Pike said. “As an athlete in general I am focusing on home workouts using the apps TrainHeroic and NikeTraining. I usually train at a gym called Resilient Strength and Conditioning but, like so many other gyms, it is closed due to coronavirus. However, the owner and coach, Jason Maher, made home workouts using the app TrainHeroic, which are available for athletes that usually train with him and anyone who reaches out to him. The workouts are easy to follow at home no matter if you have gym equipment or not, and it gives you a good sweat. I use the Nike app for more workout ideas and for running, which I have started to do daily as means to keep up my endurance.”
In order to keep up with these exercise routines, creating daily workout schedules can help us stay active, while still avoiding densely populated gym environments.
“Make a plan to do something physical at a specific time every day,” Millard said. “Maybe do it first thing in the morning to get your body moving and blood flowing. I personally have been walking every day, and it has been so amazing to just move, get my vitamin D and appreciate the outdoors.”
Although this long break may be viewed in a negative light for student athletes, there aren’t solely disadvantages to having time off. In fact, a long break gives athletes ample time to recover from injuries or the strenuous effort required from multiple sports, which can be a major detriment to the body.
“Most of our athletes suffer from chronic or overuse injuries,” Millard said. “Although most athletes hate this answer, rest actually is the best for these type of injuries. Even though I can offer all different modalities and exercises, rest is the best form of recovery from overuse injuries. Use this time to appreciate the rest, but continue to work on your rehab exercises and stretches.”
Lastly, staying healthy in quarantine entails not just physical activity, but stable mental health as well. In the end, sports or no sports, making the most of this time with family can make this a beneficial experience overall, especially for seniors who will be off to college soon.
“As annoyed as you are getting with them, appreciate this time with them as you will not have this experience with them again,” Millard said.