On the bench: Athletes face difficulty practicing their sport, staying motivated

Many+student+athletes+are+having+a+hard+time+working+out+and+staying+motivated+through+the+pandemic.

Christian Gluth

Many student athletes are having a hard time working out and staying motivated through the pandemic.

On May 14, senior Mary Neal played basketball alone at her friend’s outdoor hoop with the friend’s permission. This was the first time in two months that Mary, a member of the girls basketball team and future college basketball player at The College of Wooster, shot a basketball. 

U-High athletes like Mary are finding it difficult to practice their sport because of the stay-at-home order, and the loss of practicing with a team has made it harder to stay motivated.

The transition to remote learning has not been completely detrimental, according to Mary, as it has freed time for her to work on aspects of her game she would not be focusing on as much otherwise.

“I’ve been doing some dribbling, and once school ended I found more time to do some basic stuff like running and all that,” Mary said.

According to Mary, she loves having the ability to play with people who have the same desire to improve as she does in basketball, which has been lost because of the stay-at-home order.

“It’s always fun to practice,” Mary said, “but it’s always the most fun to practice around people, where you’re all working towards a common goal.

According to Mary, what she misses most about basketball is the mental and emotional benefits it has on her.

“Basketball is definitely a place where I go to just be, I guess. I don’t really know how to explain it,” Mary said.

When I come back in the fall or whenever the lockdown ends it’s not going to be the same. I’m going to be rusty. I’m probably not going to have the same skills I would have if I was playing spring season right now.”

— Aiden Grant

Junior Aiden Grant, a member of the boys soccer team, said the amount of time he uses  to play or watch soccer has decreased significantly because of the stay-at-home order.

“I usually try to get out and practice about two or three times a week and then usually I’m watching [soccer] most those days too, mostly highlights and reruns,” Aiden said.

Aiden said he is worried about the potentially negative effects the stay-at-home order could have on his soccer abilities when he begins the new school year.

“When I come back in the fall or whenever the lockdown ends it’s not going to be the same. I’m going to be rusty. I’m probably not going to have the same skills I would have if I was playing spring season right now,” Aiden said.

Aiden said that prior to the stay-at-home order, soccer served as an outlet to get away from the stress of school. Since remote learning began, however, all that has changed.

“It hasn’t had the same effect because I obviously can’t play with the team,” Aiden said, “and I think that really playing with a team is what brings me to a higher level.”

Constant practice is vital for a basketball player, especially one like Mary, who will play in college. So for Mary, practicing during the stay-at-home order requires shooting on a friend’s hoop, alone.