The change college athletes need to get used to

By Kori Kay Obert

Quincy University student-athletes have experienced many changes this past year due to COVID-19. These changes lead to a new dynamic for the coaches and athletes.

One sport that was forced to change its routine was men’s soccer. Junior player, Mac Little, has had to adapt to these changes. 

“I never expected COVID would lead to so many changes in our season,” Little said. “We usually play in the fall, but our season got changed to be this spring. It definitely feels weird being in season when it’s snowing out.”

Due to recent snow and cold temperatures, the men’s soccer team have been holding the majority of their practices indoors. The team is still adapting to these changes but are preparing for a successful season ahead.

“Even though things are a little different, I think we will still be ready for some good competition this year,” Little said.

Outdoor sports are not the only sports being affected by the changes due to the pandemic. Indoor sports have experienced some major changes this year.

The men’s and women’s basketball seasons are on track, but the environment the teams play in is not as crowded as it once was. 

Men’s basketball player Jaylen Boyd, hopes someday the playing environment will return to the way it was before COVID-19.

“It’s not the same playing a game without any fans,” Boyd said. “I like hearing people cheering when I’m down, it gives me something to play for.”

The QU basketball teams are currently unable to allow fans to attend their games due to COVID-19.

While indoor sports are unable to host fans, outdoor sports, like tennis, will allow socially distanced fans at their events.

The men’s and women’s tennis teams had been allowed their recent fall season and are currently in their spring season. Fans were able to attend QU tennis events outdoors this past fall. 

Women’s tennis player Alexia Ginter, enjoys the presence of fans when she is playing her sport.

“I’m really glad that I’m in an outdoor sport during all of this,” Ginter said. “My parents love coming to watch me play and I’m just glad that we are allowed to play in the first place right now.”

Although the tennis teams have been allowed their regularly scheduled seasons, the players and coaches have still been forced to change their normal routines as well. 

The players must wear masks until they are on the courts and socially distanced. They also are not allowed to shake hands with their opponents after match play.

“I don’t like not being able to high-five my doubles partner in between points or shake hands with the other team after our match,” Ginter said. “It’s not what we’re used to, but something we’re going to have to get used to.”

Every QU sport has been affected to some extent due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Although there has been much change to the dynamic of college athletics, there is room for growth in the process for these teams.

“Things will eventually be back to normal,” Little said. “But until then we need to focus on how to stay positive as a team during hard times like this and just be here for each other.”

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