It is likely that school will not meet again until May at the earliest, cutting the spring athletic season short by at least two months. Teams cannot practice together, access school fields, or utilize local gyms to train. Varsity athletes and any individual looking to stay in shape faces the need to improvise his or her typical workout routine.
Different teams are going about these unfamiliar circumstances in various ways. Senior varsity golf member Caleb Walsh shared that the team has had minimal contact because golf is being shut down all over Bergen County. In comparison, varsity baseball’s Coach Hommen has his athletes doing position workouts. Senior Devin Johnson stated, “since I’m a pitcher, I throw into my net or have a long toss to keep my arm ready for the season.” In addition to focusing on particular movements, “Coach Hommen also recommends us doing a workout on our own, so I’ll do push-ups and sit-ups since we can’t get into the gyms.” Coaches are just as disappointed as their athletes are, so it is likely that they will be available to give feedback to ensure their players return in good condition.
When practices were cancelled due to scheduling conflicts or weather in the past, teams still had the option to use the school’s facilities and equipment. Devin said, “Normally when it rains, and we can’t practice on the field, we would throw bullpens in Gym 1 or 3.”
Students in fitness classes are asked to perform various workouts and submit proof as evidence that they completed the assignment. Students are typically expected to jog for twenty minutes or cycle for forty minutes. Teachers recommend doing so outside to get sun exposure and vitamin D, but depending on preference, one can choose to do so indoors or outdoors. Occasionally, teachers attach a yoga video for students to follow. Workout inspiration could start here as many physical education teachers have provided links to workout apps such as PLT4M. Some apps require users to subscribe similar to a gym membership but many platforms offer free access.
Athletes have resorted to repeated interval circuits and may have to get creative with household items as makeshift weights to “lift”. It is easy to slack off in the next few weeks, but it is also a unique time to gain a competitive advantage. The company of family members is another valuable technique to motivate each other to stay active.
Graphic: Sofia Lee