By: Kaley Mccusty
On March 20, Campus Recreation emailed UMW sports team leadership officially announcing that “facilities will be closed and programs canceled through at least May 15 to do our part in halting the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” While measures must be taken in response to a global pandemic, the closing of campus and cancellation of all campus-based events has undoubtedly disrupted UMW athletes’ ability to train and condition for their sports. While seniors are facing a premature end to their athletic careers at UMW, many remaining athletes are faced with having to train on their own.
Erin O’Connor, a junior at UMW and a member of the women’s ultimate frisbee team spoke to the difficulty that comes with being unable to meet in person with her team.
“For me, a big part of staying motivated is working out and practicing together as a team, it’s easier to push yourself when we are all doing something together and supporting each other in it. It feels very different to be working out alone at home.”
With the CDC suggesting that everyone practices social distancing many athletes find themselves unable to see their team or practice their sport together.
O’Connor continued, “Especially in frisbee, it’s very difficult to practice alone, you can’t really practice throwing a disc or catching by yourself. We still have a team Snapchat group and a team group chat but we definitely miss hanging out and practicing together.”
Marina Wren Berry, a junior and member of the women’s volleyball team, explained how her team is making an effort to stay in contact and stay in shape despite being apart.
“Our coach emailed our team with daily workouts and asked us to send videos of ourselves completing the workouts,” said Berry.
Berry also noted that on top of the workouts provided by their coach, the volleyball team has been using their group chat to keep each other accountable and help one another stay motivated.
“We’ve also been sending selfies of ourselves working out, or after we’ve done a workout to our team group chat.”
Mollie Beidleman, co-president of the club lacrosse team and senior at UMW, explained how her team has been staying active in spite of their season being cancelled.
“The team members in my house have been running and putting together at home HIIT workouts that we can do outside and without a gym. We have even been doing yoga videos inside.”
Beidleman also spoke about the difficulty of the situation and how her team is trying to stay in touch despite everything going on.
“Not being able to practice or hang out with the team has been pretty tough but we’ve been keeping in touch and have a Snapchat group.”
Speaking as a graduating senior, Beidleman said, “I’m sad it’s my senior year playing club lacrosse but I’m excited to see how the rest of the team does next year.”
It’s clear that the cancellation of all campus-based events is changing the way athletes can stay connected to their teams and sports. We will see if this affects performance in the fall but for now, UMW athletes are doing what they can to stay in shape and stay in touch with their teammates.