Life with Covid could, individually, fill at least three chapters in a textbook, ranging from the economy to distance learning. Besides these, one major lifestyle impacted by the pandemic is sports. Overall, athletes around the world have been required to adapt to a new version of their sport in order to cope with precautions to prevent the virus.
On a smaller scale, our own athletes at Bishop have had their own struggles as well. Unfortunately, a few coaches have not yet discussed their teams’ futures, though many players are expecting to go back sometime in December or January. Almost every sport has had to change many aspects of the game, creating a more complicated and foreign version. “We’re not allowed to have physical contact yet, and we’re not allowed to touch the ball with our hands, which is definitely a game changer,” Caitlyn Garcia ‘22 said when explaining the new rules of soccer. As well, Anaiya Abney ‘21 talked about her predictions for the upcoming track and field season, saying, “If we do have track meets, I’m sure we will practice social distancing and wear masks when we visit schools and run,” which, if you’ve ever been to a track meet, can prove to be quite difficult.
The long break away from teammates can be both beneficial and negative when it comes to team dynamics. “[Our team dynamics] will definitely take a fall, since we haven’t seen each other in so long,” said Derek Murphy ‘22. On the other hand, other players feel like their teams will grow as a result of the time away, especially Garcia, who believes “it will bring [them] closer together. Bringing everyone together is definitely [her] main priority, and [she] definitely [thinks] [their] bond will be stronger as a team.” On top of dynamics, teams are worried about skill levels, as many players have taken a long break from working out and keeping techniques sharp. “I would say [skill levels] got worse because a lot of people quit playing, and we don’t know how many are actually playing on the team,” Nick Bauer ‘22 expressed his fears for the upcoming season. However, many coaches are trying to keep their players involved with specific workouts designed to keep them in shape. “Coach gives us runs to do, but it’s nothing like before. Even though it was hard, I would still do anything to go back,” said Vanessa Ruelas Villegas ‘22.
With the lack of meets and games, many students trying to play in college are having a tough time getting themselves out there. Because of Covid, many scouts are unable to visit or watch players and meet them face to face, so online portfolios, though they were always a thing, have gotten bigger, and live streaming has become a part of the recruitment process. “All the scout programs have been going online. There are things you can do online with uploading and sending things to scouts, but it’s still hard,” Alyssa Rodriguez ‘22 reflects on her goals of playing softball in college. Overall, the sports community has been hit with a big wave, forcing everyone to adjust as needed. However, most athletes just want to get back in the game, so they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that. Samantha Liu ‘22 says, “I honestly think everyone will just be super happy to be back with one another, but it’ll be hard to adjust.”