Athletes engage with sports during social isolation

Coaches host workout sessions, speaker series

By Henry Murray, Reporter

Although the coronavirus pandemic ended spring sports prematurely, coaches and athletics trainers have offered students resources so that athletes could continue their development and try to maintain a positive mindset about the future of Stuart Hall athletics.
Especially impacted by the cancellation of the season were the seniors, who say they hoped for one last season of playing on a high school team before discontinuing athletics in college.

“I am devastated that I cannot play my last season on the tennis team,” captain Nick Lutz said. “It is especially hard because we had a really solid group of players this year and had a good chance to make it to the league playoffs.”
To help student athletes cope with the situation, Head of Athletics Dana Kuwahara used her connections with collegiate athletes to host a virtual speaker series.

I reached out to some of my former athletes to see how they were, and got the idea to connect them with our students here.

— Dana Kuwahara, Head of Athletics

“I reached out to some of my former athletes to see how they were, and got the idea to connect them with our students here,” Kuwahara said. “The thought behind this series was that our students could hear from college students about their experience in dealing with this situation we are all currently in.”
There have been a total of four sessions with 13 different athletes who spoke uniquely to the athletic predicament of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.
“The first session was tailored for the seniors who lost their final season, Kuwahara said. “The collegiate athletes shared similar emotions with our students and provided lessons of hope, perseverance and growth in situations that are out of our control.”

Exercising frequently helps every part of your mind and body function better.

— Barclay Spring, strength and conditioning coach

Positive mental guidance is not the only action the athletics department has taken during this time. Strength and conditioning coach Barclay Spring has offered multiple pathways for students to maintain their physical health and wellness through exercise on virtual platforms.
“I think staying active during this time is the most important thing you can do,” Barclay said. “Exercising frequently helps every part of your mind and body function better. Hormone production, brain activity, sleep and food consumption all naturally improve when we have a vigorous daily exercise practice.”
Barclay teaches 14 Zoom classes per week that do not require weights or fitness equipment, while also making daily workout videos that he sends to the entire student body and posts on YouTube.
Many fall athletes are using Spring’s workouts as a way to prepare for the upcoming fall season in hopes that athletics will resume.
“I’m trying to get the football team to regularly attend Coach Barclay’s Zoom meetings after school to stay physically active and prepare for the season,” Max Banks, rising captain and starting quarterback, said. “It has helped me fill the void of not having a spring sport and makes me feel good after sitting down all day.”
After the spring sports season was canceled, Kuwahara sent an email to the entire student body encouraging them during shelter-in-place.
“One of the greatest gifts sports can offer is perseverance,” Kuwahara said. “There are many times in competition where situations are out of our control. We take these moments to regroup, take a breath, make adjustments, move forward and find ways to overcome.”