With the 2020 spring semester moved online, student athletes were faced with the cancellation of the spring sports season. While some may be struggling to find ways to stay connected to their sport, many have found a way. Track athletes are continuing to run, baseball players are hitting off a tee in their backyard, and golfers are practicing putting on their indoor mats. All to continue doing what they love in preparation for their next season.
No questions were asked during this transition. Most athletes are not wondering if they will get their next season—they are focusing on when.
Some track athletes from Chesterton, Valpo, Portage, Highland, Crown Point, and Munster have even looked into participating in an online virtual track meet through a popular running website, MileSplit.com. The site will post results from “races” that athletes run on their own time. Results will be posted via video or online watch software. To learn more, go to https://www.milesplit.com/meets/387321/coverage#.XpDSaiVOnDs
Many athletes have worked to remain connected and in shape in anticipation of their next season.
Zack Dunn, a sophomore at Merrillville High School, is a member of one of the Region’s best track programs. While he has faith that there will be a return to normality, his track team has continued to stay connected.
“We have a big team group chat and we just joke around and talk about how things are going,” Dunn said. “Some of the guys are playing games together and doing FaceTime calls, which is enjoyable.”
It’s important to stay connected on a personal level to the teammates he is used to seeing every day. Workouts and training plans are also sent every day.
“We’re having our workouts sent daily through the group chat, that’s how we’re staying fit as a team,” Dunn said.
This is the case for many athletes. Group chats, video calls, and other platforms have become the new way to stay connected.
Antonio Chapa of the Purdue Northwest Cross Country and Track teams said his team has been very focused on staying connected to each other.
“We have scheduled Zoom calls to discuss training and how everyone is doing,” Chapa said. “GroupMe has also been widely used to joke around with each other and stay bonded.”
“It hurts losing a season, especially for the seniors, but we still have to hang in there and keep to the grind,” Chapa said.