As the fall semester closes, things are just starting to heat up for athletes who had their fall seasons postponed due to the pandemic. I am one of these athletes.
As a forward and midfielder on the women’s soccer team at SIUE, I am accustomed to playing in the fall and not the spring. Because my season has been moved to the spring, myself and my teammates will have to make many adjustments as we head into the new year.
While I would normally be relaxing on winter break, I have to use the upcoming break to focus on my fitness. I am going to have to push myself and go beyond my comfort zone to be in the best shape of my life when I get back in January. Doing that is going to be a challenge because we are still in a pandemic, so some gyms might close. If that happens, I’m afraid I’ll have to workout outside in the winter weather, which is less than ideal for anybody. Yet, I’m confident I can overcome this obstacle.
Not only will our preparation be different this year, but the whole season will be very different then a regular fall season. We have a lot of regulations we are going to have to follow that we are not used to.
We normally get to come back the weekend before school starts. Now because of COVID-19, we have to report back Jan. 9 so we can screen and get tested to be able to start training the first day school starts.
When games and training start kicking off on Jan. 19, we have to get tested 72 hours before each game. Of course, we are also under strict guidelines regarding self-isolation as the stakes are high now: if somebody on our team tests positive for COVID-19, we have to forfeit our game.
Athletes have had to go through so many obstacles since the start of this pandemic and the past few months have been hard, but the months ahead are going to be even more difficult for some. That starts with preparing for a season they normally aren’t used to or having that motivation to be ready when they come back.
I am ready and excited to actually play during a time like this when no one thought we would actually be able to even if it isn’t going to be a normal season. There are going to be plenty of ups and downs during the season but teams will be able to overcome it.