Zack Noll is a pitcher for the PLNU baseball team and a staff writer for The Point. This article details his experience as a student-athlete during the pandemic and shutdowns.
Not everyone is a fan of change. Whether it be the changing of seasons or time, it takes a while to get used to it. When it comes to changing your lifestyle and your everyday schedule, it gets a little more complicated than just losing an hour of sleep at night.
Everyone has dealt with changes in the past year, but for athletes across the country, we faced abrupt, sweeping changes as we navigated a complete shutdown of our sports. We could no longer play the sports we love as facilities shut down, which made it hard to train, stay in shape and improve our game. It was a tough time for all of us because this routine was our lifestyle, and change was the last thing we needed at this point in our college careers.
However, over time, we started to see change for the better. Even though it was not back to normal, we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel in the fall.
Personally, this change was hard because of all the precautions that were taken. For example, I had to keep track of masks everywhere I went and used countless apps to log my symptoms and regularly schedule COVID-testing appointments.
The first change that student-athletes saw was with the workout facilities. We could no longer work out inside, and PLNU didn’t exactly create an outdoor, state-of-the-art facility, but it is better than lifting furniture in your house to attempt a workout. As a team, we are able to lift outside with our lifting coaches, and while we do this, we wear masks and sanitize the equipment after each use.
The second form of change was the ability to practice again. One of the biggest differences is that we have a clean ball bucket and a dirty ball bucket now, so the balls are cleaned each time after we play catch. Additionally, during team meetings, masks are required.
Although most of these things are not what most athletes would call the ideal scenario, we couldn’t ask for anything else after what we dealt with in the last year.
For some, last year appeared to be the last time some people were able to play sports in their careers. The changes are not ideal, but now with the opportunity to compete for another year and make another year of memories, this change is something all athletes should get behind.
By: Zack Noll