COVID-19 and its effect on Pioneer athletes

Tyler Gilmore checks in with UW-Platteville student athletes

COVID-19 and its effect on Pioneer athletes

UW-Platteville photo

This quarantine has been rough on everyone, but I decided to check up on some student athletes to see how this pandemic was affecting them as students as well as athletes.
As most people are feeling trapped in their homes, they feel the desire to get out and remain active. The same goes for our Pioneer athletes, who are going on runs as well as walks, one of their primary activities to stay active and fit during quarantine.
Many athletes are having troubles finding courts and fields to practice as many parks and other facilities are closed either because they’re “unessential” or because too many people gathered there. Gyms and fitness centers, closed spaces lacking social distancing and deemed “unessential,” have all closed.
Sophomore construction management major Will Sullivan says, “Recently it’s been difficult for me to stay fit while all the gyms are closed, and I don’t have a large yard where I can practice. I do what I can to remain fit of course, but I definitely feel limited during isolation.”
Sullivan mentioned how he found a family friend who has a yard where he goes to practice, though that involves a long drive.
Like Sullivan, other athletes drive some distance to find a location where they can keep up with their sport specific skills.
Sophomore criminal justice major Anna Bianchi says, “I live in inner-city Chicago and I don’t have room for a basketball hoop to practice my shot. My grandma lives in a suburb outside of Chicago and I bought a hoop to bring to her house and practice.”
Many Pioneer athletes have equipment to remain active and others are purchasing items to help them train and stay on top of their technical abilities.
Sophomore criminal justice major Kylee Colwell stated, “I didn’t have training gear at home, so I recently purchased a bounce back net and some cones so I can work on my touch at home.”
Colwell also advised me she likes to practice with some of her friends at a safe distance to help her get some personal interaction during this unordinary situation.
Our Pioneer athletes aren’t alone. Many sport teams across the nation are having difficulties staying connected with their teammates. Pioneer athletes are dealing with these same situations and are having to turn to technology to remain in contact. Our favorite video communication platform, Zoom, is a popular program that our athletes are using to talk about tactics and what they need to work on during our time away from campus.
Junior construction management major David Regan says, “Our team does two Zoom meetings a week and have also done the virtual juggle challenge and posted it to our teams Instagram.”
Many other athletes have also been doing challenges such as this one and they are viewable on the Pioneer athletic Instagram page.
Keeping our distance is key to the end the stay-at-home order, and for athletes this makes it even more difficult to maintain their skills. Overall, this quarantine is very difficult on all of us and we must keep a positive mindset through it all.