With the unexpected outbreak of COVID-19 and the closure of schools and sports, athletes have been left with a season unlike any other. Spring sports at Harding include track and field, golf, tennis, baseball, and softball. Most of these sports were about halfway through their seasons before the news broke over spring break.
The seasons may have been canceled, but the training continues for athletes. Coaches have been sending student athletes workout schedules each week during quarantine. For some track athletes, recording their times or even recording their sprints has been a requirement to send back to the coaches. Tennis athletes, on the other hand, have to do workouts and continue to go out and hit the tennis ball.
Due to COVID-19 shutting down Florida, sophomore middle distance runner Bri Hall said she has struggled to find ways to get her workouts done without a track or equipment.
“We usually do lifts and workout in the weight room after our running practice, and to not have that hinders your ability to be the best you can be,” Hall said. “I can’t go to the gym, and I don’t have the equipment at home, so I’ve been trying to adapt and do body workouts without weights.”
It has been difficult for many athletes to go from a gym that has all of the equipment they need to being at home and having to use their creativity to complete a workout. Hall said she uses whatever she can find in her house to replace equipment in the workout room and that she has changed her workout plan from heavier weights to higher repetition.
The next season is in sight for senior track athlete Matt Hipshire, who competes in multiple events including hurdles, pole vault, javelin and decathlons. He said he is training with the future in mind.
“We still have something to work towards in the fact that we all get another season, and even seniors get another season if they decide to take the opportunity,” Hipshire said. “I just see it as a time to put extra work in.”
Hipshire said he is sad that the team cannot work out together during this time but recognizes the importance of the workouts and the effort the coaches are putting in.
“There is some mixed feelings, because it sucks that we can’t do it with the team and with the coaches there,” Hipshire said. “I like that they are still trying to put in the effort and keep us in shape because there have been some tough workouts that they have been sending to ensure that we stay on top of things.”
Training for tennis is a new adventure for freshman Ricardo Rodrigues, whose training was severely restricted in the beginning.
“In the first three weeks, I couldn’t leave my house, so my training was inside my house and doing aerobic fitness, some simple exercises and stretching,” Rodrigues said. “It has been two weeks now that I am able to go out and hit a little bit. I am hitting for about two hours per day and getting to go to a gym here in my apartment three times a week.”
The tennis coaches are sending their athletes workout schedules just like the track and field coaches are doing. Despite this time period of being home without a team, there is still a season to look forward to next year, and now, like any other off-season, is a time to train and improve for better results next season.