Athletes adjust to online schedule

Edward RudmanSports Writer

While the entire campus community has had to adjust to a switch to a predominantly virtual schedule due to COVID-19, and athletes have had to balance training and academics in this new environment.

With phase two set to begin on Sept. 28 and the fall semester well underway, student-athletes have now had a couple weeks to get used to the new conditions.

“It’s definitely been a little slow. We can’t have the whole team at a practice, so it’s been really weird that I haven’t been able to see all my teammates together yet. If we do any full team thing, it’s on a Zoom call,” said gymnast Emily Balasco, a senior.

However, this is only the athletic component of this unprecedented semester. Academically, Balasco said it has presented some of its own challenges.

“I personally have all online classes so it doesn’t feel like I really leave my house and I used to go to school every day and see my friends in the hallway and meet people, and now you just can’t do that,” said Balasco. “It’s hard to have those personal connections with teachers too.”

Balasco also said it’s been harder to stay on track with a virtual schedule, including keeping up with deadlines, and feels that the workload is heavier with online classes.

Not every athlete has had a hard time adapting to the new normal though. Field Hockey player Jessica Maier, a senior, is currently taking all online classes and is training away from the team for the time being because of it.

“Return to training has been really good. I am all virtual, so I haven’t been to the campus to do any of the practicing so what I do is bring a computer out to a field by my home. It’s been great to continue to be a part of the team and still get access to all the workouts that we are doing. It’s been a really good experience for me so far,” said Maier.

Although it remains a smoother process than it might be for others, Maier said it has not come without complications. Maier is a captain this year and has been keeping in touch with the rest of team through virtual meetings, which makes the role of a leader more of a challenge, but she said she has made it work.

“I’m in communication with my coaches all the time outside of practice and during practices to make sure if I can’t see something that they’re doing or I can’t hear them because they aren’t close enough, that they’re able to get better and have more communication with us.”

Maier is not the only one who is strictly virtual, as five of her teammates are completely remote.

One thing that Maier said she does not prefer, is the amount of time she has had to spend in front of her computer screen between athletics and academics.

She said needed to get special glasses because of the headaches she was experiencing from being in front of a screen all day.

“I’m a senior so I feel like I’ve been doing this for three years now,” said Maier. “It’s still just getting my homework done, then going to classes and practice after that, but instead of being in person, it’s just virtual.”

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