Coronavirus conditioning in a time of social distancing

Sports

Under these unique circumstances, coaches and athletes are still finding ways to stay active in isolation with different drills, workouts, and routines.

The boys varsity lacrosse team, led by Head Coach Brett Garber, has been assigned an assortment of different workouts and routines to keep their skills sharp. “Before we left for spring break,” Coach Garber said, “I gave the entire team a suggested work out program that consisted of running and lacrosse training. The running was focused on short-distance sprinting.” 

The boys have been using an app called SNYPR to keep track of their progress. With this app, the players can compete with each other for the most miles run and most wallball played. “It’s been great so far,” Coach Garber said, “as the kids are staying engaged with each other and challenging one another to get out and run.” Coach Garber’s workouts are primarily focused on running and cardio. “Playing lacrosse, your body needs to recover fast as the pace of play is always changing,” he said. “If the players can train their body to recover faster, they put their body in a better position to be in ‘lacrosse game shape.’” 

Stick skills are equally important as strong cardio in lacrosse. Coach Garber also gave athletes workouts to keep their sticks sharp. “We also gave the players a wall ball workout, so they can continue to work on their stick skills,” Coach Garber said. “If a player has a bounceback or has access to a brick/cement wall, they are able to continue to work on their passing and catching during this time we aren’t able to practice.” Coach Garber hopes to keep spirits high with friendly competition. “All in all,” Coach Garber said, “the kids are staying positive and we are hopeful we will be able to get back together as a team and play our 2020 season!”

The girls varsity lacrosse team, led by Head Coach Judy Bailey, has also been assigned at-home workouts and drills, similar to the boys lacrosse team. Coach Bailey is attempting to keep her players’ spirits up with wall ball routines and footwork drills. “I have so many thoughts running through my head about this whole situation and the impact on school and sports,” Coach Bailey said. “I can say that I had been very much looking forward to the upcoming season and that I was so impressed by what I saw during our tryouts.” 

Coach Bailey said she feels sorry for the seniors, as they have worked so hard since freshman year. “As I said to them last fall this is their team as the seniors,” she said, “and they will help set the tone and lead the way for what I hoped would be a great experience for all of them and their teammates.” She was really looking forward to the opportunity to coach the team. “Based on what is happening around us with other schools, I am not convinced that we will have a season, and that makes me very sad for our senior girls,” she said. “I know for some of them this would be their last season playing lacrosse.”

Coach Bailey would have been returning for her first year back as the varsity girls lacrosse head coach since the 2000s. “I was super excited for the season to start up this year. I’ve been going to the Sunday practices over the winter and meeting the girls and our new coaches,” freshman midfielder Ellen Jacobson said. “The environment was really great to be a part of and with the short amount of time, we had together I’ve already made some long-lasting friendships. I hope we get to finish off our season the way we deserve.” Coach Bailey herself was beyond excited for the spring season. “I know we have put together a solid group of players for both the JV and varsity teams,” she said. She hopes that the workouts she has provided will benefit returning players next season, and possibly this season. “Only time will tell if we get the chance to be on the field again as a team,” she said.

Students at KO are also feeling the effects of isolation. “I was really hoping to run track this spring in order to gauge where I am as a runner and how I stack up,” sophomore Isaias Wooden said. “I also had plans to play AAU basketball. The possibility of missing the spring season is definitely upsetting, but in order to preserve the health of our community I understand and respect the decision.” 

Many students are finding it hard to exercise and get outside and are missing their friends and teammates. “It stinks, especially for the freshmen and seniors,” sophomore softball player Mackenzie Caruso said. “It is some people’s first experience with a sport and a lot of team building happens during the beginning of the season, and it is others’ last chance to play for a team they love. I feel really lucky that I have another two years ahead of me to play a spring sport at KO.”

Hopefully, spring sports will be able to play, teams will be reunited soon, and athletes will be given the chance to show off the skills they’ve gained over the break.