As the coronavirus sweeps the nation, most aspects of life are forced to be held on pause. This holds especially true for athletes as competitions, practices and training are deemed unsafe given the circumstances. Yet the impact on athletes goes beyond not playing on the field, or swimming in the pool or dribbling on the court. Many aspiring high school athletes hope to play their sport in college, yet as all else is paused, so is the recruitment process.
Junior Summer Steadman shared how her experience as a competitive soccer player has been impacted. “Showcases are great opportunities to play in front of coaches that are recruiting you,” Steadman said. “But all spring showcases have been canceled, as well as campus visits. I’ve noticed that the overall timeline of the recruitment process has greatly lengthened.”
Steadman also noted the importance of staying fit during time off the field, reflecting on how being able to train together as a team always improved performance in games. “Because practice and league games have stopped, the responsibility to improve as a player now rests on us as individuals,” Steadman said. “Independent growth is really being stressed at the moment.”
Yet Steadman remains unwavering and optimistic. “I can’t wait to get back together with my team and start training again—we’re going to pick up where we left off,” Steadman said. “My team has taught me selflessness and sacrifice, and we are a family.”
Even for the athletes who have already committed to their college program, the impact of corona is still extensive. Senior Jonathan Affeld is attending Stanford University next year for men’s swimming. By committing this fall, Affeld explained that the virus is not impacting college prep, but it is hard for him to work out and remain in shape. “All the pools are closed, so I have to workout in other ways,” Affeld said. “And practicing on land is not a direct replacement for the workout I would get in the water.”
As a senior, Affeld is also disappointed to have missed his last season. “I really would’ve liked to have made another run at the CCS championship and create more memories with my teammates,” Affeld said. “I also would have liked to leave more high school records.”
Despite an unfulfilling senior year, Affeld looks forward to attending Stanford and has great ambition. “I’m keeping my eye on making Olympic Trials next year,” Affeld said. “I’m just going to continue training and get recognized on an International scale.” He expresses his sympathy with this season having come to a close so early, yet remains hopeful. “Sure, this isn’t ideal, but it’s one bad year preceding many good to come” Affeld said.