For Harding athletes, being quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19 guidelines puts their usual athletic training and practice schedule to a halt. However, this semester, several student athletes have chosen to return home when being forced to quarantine to continue their athletic training and avoid any further setbacks.
“I just wanted to be able to go outside,” junior Grace Ann Green, midfielder for the women’s soccer team, said. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to train well if I had to stay in my room.”
Green said that the majority of their time right now is being spent maintaining fitness levels and skill training. Green spent two weeks in quarantine early in the semester, and chose to return to her home in Atlanta for that time period.
Green said that during her time at home she was still in constant contact with the team’s head coach, Dr. Greg Harris, who called to check in daily.
“Coach Harris would just call to make sure I was doing okay, but he was also sending funny or encouraging messages in our group text with the team,” Green said.
Sophomore Lauren Shell, a member of the women’s track and field team, had to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.
“My coaches have been really encouraging to me about not pushing it,” Shell said. “They don’t want me to worry about jumping right back into practice — they just want me to be my best.”
In order for a student athlete to begin practices after testing positive, they must pass a cardiac test. This test allows for coaches to see the fitness level of the athlete and demonstrates their ability to practice. After the student passes the cardiac test, they are then allowed to practice at the coach’s discretion. If they do not pass the first time, they must retest until they are able to pass.
“Just knowing that the coaches want me to get back to fitness on my own time is really relieving,” Shell said.
Both Shell and Green attest to the pressure felt by student athletes to remain healthy, especially during this time.
“It’s really hard to be cooped up in a room for 14 days while the rest of the team is practicing,” freshman James Lee, defender for the men’s soccer team, said. “But, you know, I’ve been trying to keep up as best I can, doing body weight workouts and ball work.”
During his time in quarantine, Lee has been trying to continue to work on skills by bringing a soccer ball with him and doing workouts that do not require equipment.
“I’m bummed, you know, as a freshman I wanted to come in and prove myself,” Lee said. “But, you know, with this obstacle you just have to work harder when you get out.”
Similar to any students in quarantine or isolation, having a support system is necessary. Lee said this time reinforced the community provided by the soccer team.
“This time has really shown me just how nice the other players and the coaches are, so it’s not all bad,” Lee said.