Keeping a distance with sports that include physical contact creates various challenges for not only student-athletes but coaches as well. San Marin is offering preseason athletic camps for specific sports where each athlete is allowed to participate in two different preseason camps at a time. Due to COVID-19, the beginning of sports seasons look different this year, but coaches and players are taking safety precautions for their return. Examples of these precautions include limiting each cohort to 15 people, socially distancing on and off the sports field, and making sure each athlete is only participating in a max of two different sports cohorts at once.
Being six feet apart when exercising is making athletes question how they feel about these camps and whether or not playing and participating in sports is as enjoyable while adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines. These precautions have an impact on the social aspect of doing school sports.
“My least favorite part about cohorts is that you aren’t able to talk or work with anyone else out of your cohort because you’re split up,” freshman baseball player Noah Ratto said. “I think the best part is being able to see other people.”
Some sports require contact and the new precautions are changing the way sports operate.
“I liked last year way more because waterpolo is a very contact sport, so it’s weird to have us in separate groups,” senior Gigi Zarrehparvar said.
Although students do get to see others, they only get to see and interact with a limited number of people. The limited interaction was something students disliked.
“I understand why we have to follow precautions, but I do miss bonding as a team,” junior Isabel Owens said.
For some students, these athletic camps offer them a chance to do something and be active.
“The best part about camps is getting to leave home and go do something,” sophomore Hailey Mccune said.
Students see sports as a beneficial way to see others while abiding by COVID-19 protocols.
“Since social interaction is very limited right now, sports is a place where you can go and interact in a safe environment,” Ratto said.
Many students agreed that they were just glad to be playing their sport. The fun wasn’t taken out of it, as long as they were participating and playing what they love.
“I don’t think it’s less fun or more fun,” sophomore Logan Jones said. “I think it’s more difficult because of masks, but that doesn’t mean the fun is taken out of it because we are still playing basketball.”
There are also athletes who look past the current conditions, they think about their sport in the long run and embrace the fact that they are currently practicing and participating in cohorts.
“I try not to think too much about everyone being six feet apart,” senior Sofia Pinocci said. “I get to still do the sport I love twice a week. Even with restrictions, it’s a start and I hope it will get better so we can do more overtime.”
Taking certain safety precautions have made sports more difficult, but overall safer. However, students will not let the changes and new challenges keep them from having a good season.
“It’s not ideal, but it is what it is, and I’m still going to have fun. We’ll make the most of it,” Zarrehparvar said.