Opinion: How sports brought students together during the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic that the world is facing currently has affected many students, particularly high school students, greatly with their activities. Taking precautious matters, many schools back in March closed after spring break and switched over to remote learning at home. Although classes did seem to resume somewhat back to normal through online learning from the comfort of our homes, many athletes like myself wondered: “How would we continue our athletics?”

The first few weeks of staying home for an indefinite amount of time was definitely a struggle for many students. During previous years, all we had ever wanted to do was stay home and not go to school. But now with the reality that we may have to stay at home social distancing from strangers, friends and even close family for months on end, school suddenly became the place where most students missed most.

However, we could not just stop our school year in the middle of the year. We still had at least three more months to go. Online learning was the first step that students had to learn on their own.

These new apps called Zoom and Google Meet would be the new premise of classrooms that we would have to attend every day as we sat at our desks at home. After a few days of connectivity issues and just simply learning how to make use of most of the time spent at home, many including myself had adjusted to self-learning the course material with the help and support of our teachers.

But what about athletes? What about people who need to practice? What about people who spent many years training in order to make CIF cuts?

There were definitely many people’s hard work and effort that felt as if everything went down the drain. Before schools began to shut down, many athletic programs shut down one by one.

Basketball. Canceled. Volleyball. Canceled. Track and Field. Canceled. Swimming. Canceled.

I, among many high school athletes, felt devastated as all the time and effort I trained for seemed to not matter anymore.

Staying at home is great. But for long periods of weeks and months on end with restrictions to leaving your own home? That’s a whole other level. People around me, friends and family started to crumble.

This type of global pandemic was definitely a first for many younger generations as well as myself. My athletic teammates and I started to worry. How will sports turn out?

Just when we thought sports were over for the rest of the school year, our coach had reached out to us, letting us know that despite being in such a new, alarming situation, it is crucial for every single one of us to stick together, take care of ourselves and our families, and make sure to reach out for help if needed. He taught us the importance of being able to adjust to certain situations and being able to make the best out of what you’re given, even if you are thrown an unexpected curveball.

The question of sports that most athletes had at Crescenta Valley High School were answered. Through the use of Google Meet, our coach offered daily workouts for the athletes.

By using this app, athletes were still able to get their endurance training with at-home workouts as well as staying connected. Athletes were able to see each other and work out together, the same as if we were training altogether in person. These google meets weren’t just limited to athletes. They were open to parents, siblings and friends who may have wanted to join in with the workouts.

Individuals who had wanted to participate in the online live workouts but couldn’t make it due to conflicting schedules did not have to worry. For each workout, our coach had recorded a live session of each workout and provided a picture with all the workouts listed for the day so that we could work out at our own pace at any time of the day or night.

Google Meet workouts definitely were not the same as training in person in a gym, in a court or in a pool. Yet, there was a strong feeling of connection through our screens between the athletes who joined in the at-home workouts. The worries of being alone during this pandemic and facing these difficult challenges were alleviated.

Because we were together.

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