Every two weeks, Alestle staff reporter and SIUE soccer player Lily Schnieders gives an inside look into how her team — and sometimes other sports — are navigating the pandemic.
According to Cambridge English Dictionary, the definition of unknown is not known or familiar with a person or thing. This definition can be interpreted in many different ways by different people. For some, unknowns are just a part of life. For others, like many student athletes right now, the lack of concrete information is daunting.
For us to be successful in our sports, we must prepare both mentally and physically. While it’s a challenge to keep up with the physical aspect, one’s mental health can easily plummet when faced with so much uncertainty.
Athletes don’t know what their seasons are going to look like, all they know is that it will be pushed back to the spring if it is even possible. With that in mind, they don’t know what the fall season will look like with practices and if maybe they can play some practice games.
The mental aspect of stress can eventually impact physical health, especially if athletes are left hanging with no information. Their motivation will not be the same as it was when they knew what was happening with the season.
I am seeing and experiencing this effect firsthand right now when it comes to lacking motivation and not wanting to do anything to keep my fitness up for soccer. All I want to do is lay in bed. There is no motivation left in my body.
My motivation has changed completely from when we knew what was happening with our season to now when we don’t know anything. I was grinding every day to keep my fitness up, and now I haven’t been working as hard as before.
I know in the back of my mind I need to at least do something, because we still don’t know what is going to happen with the fall or even the spring. Having roommates and teammates that want to go on runs everyday helps me to keep my motivation up. If they are doing something, that means I need to at least do something, even if it means just go for a nice long walk to get my legs moving.
Having a team backing you up helps getting motivated a little bit more easily, but there are parts where you need to have the motivation to go out there and do something on your own. When your motivation is not there, the team can only do so much to get you to do something.
The unknown is impossible to comprehend and understand, but athletes in particular recognize the hardship of it and how it can affect them in their sport. Some of us try to push it to the back of our heads, but it has a tendency of coming to the front of our brains.
If you are an athlete lacking motivation because you don’t know what is going to happen with your season, lean on your teammates to help you get over that hump when in the back of your head you really don’t want to. Some of my teammates have been keeping the team motivated by sending motivation texts everyday and sending pictures of themselves after a workout. Seeing that motivates me to want to go out on a run and grind.