What it’s like to train for uncertainty

By Trent Champagne

For millions of athletes across the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has created obstacles for off-season training.

The NCAA has cancelled all spring sports for the season, and several athletes are not able to use their school’s facilities to workout and train.

Facilities include the playing field, court, weight room, training room, or track. Several athletes who had to go home because of the COVID-19 pandemic lost access to all of these facilities. 

Facilities play a crucial role when it comes to developing an athlete into a better player.

Sam Stichnote, a freshman basketball player at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, was hoping for a productive spring off-season. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in Stichnote having to pack his bags and return to his home in Ashland, Missouri. 

“I was really hoping to make a huge jump in my development this spring. Getting bigger, faster, stronger, while working on my game using Millikin’s gym and weight room. It stinks that I can’t use them right now,” Stichnote said.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just affecting current college athletes. Thousands of high school seniors who are committed to playing in college next year are dealing with the same struggles that current collegiate athletes face, not having a gym or field to train.

Jack Rhodes, a current senior at St. Charles West High School and committed to the University of Missouri-St. Louis for baseball, lost his senior season after MSHSAA cancelled all high school spring sports for Missouri.

Not only did Rhodes lose his senior season, which he had high hopes for, but he also lost the places he went to train. St. Charles West, along with many other schools in Missouri, closed access to all outdoor facilities in hopes to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“It is bad enough we lost our season, but now I can’t go to the field to throw or the weight room to lift. I can still go to the park and throw, but it definitely is not the same as the field,” Rhodes said.

Stichnote and Rhodes, like many other athletes, have to be creative and find other ways to get their training in. Whether it’s running outside, or working out in the comforts of their own home, they are finding a way to get better.

Brayden Wampler-Foust is a current junior at St. Charles West High School. He and his father went and bought materials at Lowe’s in order to build their own squat rack.

“I look at it this way, every person in the country is going through the same struggles I am. I can really separate myself through this, and get better from home. Other kids might have an excuse, but I won’t,” Wampler-Foust said.

Millions of athletes across the country are finding ways they can get better and seperate themselves, like Wampler-Foust.

There has been no official rule on the 2020 fall sports season from the NCAA. Athletes everywhere will have to continue to prepare however they can.

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