How to go about “COVID-season”

A healthy and realistic mindset for a student athlete 

Senior+Logan+Diggs+dives+into+the+pool+during+one+of+his+swim+meets.+This+year%2C+due+to+COVID-19%2C+the+swimmer%27s+family+is+not+permitted+to+attend+away+meets.+

Photo by Caden Rainwater

Senior Logan Diggs dives into the pool during one of his swim meets. This year, due to COVID-19, the swimmer’s family is not permitted to attend away meets.

Story by Logan Diggs, managing editor

As the year of 2020 winds down, national COVID-19 cases surge across the country putting senior athletes, along with many others, in difficult situations. Some student athletes still dedicate their life to sports due to their passion for the sport itself and the financial benefits they could provide heading into college. In retrospect, during a year unlike any other, how have athletes been affected by COVID-19, and has it affected their college search in any way? 

Luckily, a select amount of athletes were fortunate enough to commit to schools to further their athletic careers. Soon they will become grateful they had the opportunity to at the time being. Positive COVID-19 cases rise as there is yet to be a national mandate upon wearing a mask, with some states hitting all-time highs, how is an athlete supposed to visit out-of-state colleges safely? Although this comes across as only a problem for those who care about not getting others sick, it should be a consideration for all. 

Being a student athlete myself, I have encountered first-hand the crippling challenges COVID-19 has had upon continuing sports in college. Although a larger majority of people go to college in-state because of in-state tuition, those who plan on going out of state may not even be able to visit the schools in which they hope to go. Most major universities are online along with most private schools. Considering as of right now it’s common for a school’s campus to be closed due to COVID-19, some athletes will be faced with the challenge of deciding if a school is meant for them through an electronic devices screen.  

Furthermore, consider athletes who live with family members that data shows are at high risk of becoming gravely ill and possibly dying if infected with COVID-19. Thousands of high school athletes have decided to not participate in their sports’ 2020-2021 season due to the risk athletes take daily to compete. Put in a completely uncontrollable situation that is beyond unfair, student athletes that are in-person must take school and athletics one day at a time. 

Since there’s no immediate solution to the predicament athletes this year have been put in, I promote them to cherish every practice and competition they partake in as if it will be their last — because it could be.

The admission process for colleges as a whole varies; however, for the most part, schools have been far more lenient with admission and scholarship distribution this year. Possibly being the only good effect COVID-19 has had on seniors, student athletes should avoid stressing over what can’t be controlled. Those who hope to continue playing sports in college should make what they think the best decision is then afterwards be confident within themselves for the choice they made. 

Not all roads were meant to be travelled smoothly; however, no one will get where they hope to be in life without adversity. With COVID-19 affecting all high school sports to the degree in which it is, what seniors should take from this year is if you truly want something, you have to get it yourself, against all odds.