Athletes Feel Emotional, Physical Effects of Missed Seasons

Delaney Glunt, Staff Writer

The Covid-19 outbreak has taken the world by storm. From schools closing for the rest of the academic year to businesses filing for bankruptcy, it is turning the planet upside down. The devastation has wreaked havoc in all aspects of our everyday life, especially sports.

Athletes will not be able to have any type of game, recital, scrimmage or practice because of the social distancing protocols across the nation. 

It has been hard enough not to be able to watch the NBA or cancel spring training games for pro baseball, but for those students who are missing out on playing the games themselves, it has been especially heartbreaking. 

However,  some sports have adapted to these hard times and are still trying to give their athletes the best experience possible.

Lily Grady, a sophomore at McDowell High School, has danced for 12 years and never missed one season… until now. She dances to decompress and to forget about everyday troubles, which has made the nation’s stay-at-home order even harder for her.

However, Grady’s studio, Spotlight Dance Studio, is one of the many local businesses  posting videos of exercises and dances to their various pages to do everyday. 

All across the country, other dance studios are doing the same, which makes this sport one of the few that  has been able to move activities online. 

Just because the dance students can continue with classes through the internet doesn’t mean the season isn’t still in jeopardy. In dance, every class trains for the big recital or show. Now that a pandemic has entered the picture, recitals have been put on hold. 

However, Grady is optimistic. “The show will go on… it has to,” she says. 

Just like every other dance studio, Spotlight has postponed its recital to a later date, but in these uncertain times who knows if that will be a possibility. 

“We were studying and going in depth with a certain style of dance, and that’s out of the picture.” Now, Grady and many other dancers are missing out on crucial instruction that might help them if they decide to take their sports professionally.

Maddie Mitchell, a freshman at McDowell, has been looking forward to playing lacrosse with the older girls and starting her high school lacrosse career since sixth grade. Now her dreams are being pushed further down her timeline. 

Mitchell plays one of the sports that can’t continue online because of its dynamics. “Lacrosse is a sport that you can’t do on your own, you need a team to pass to and practice with,” Mitchell says.

Because players can’t practice without a team, there is no way to continue playing the sport at home. With her sport, players work out and get ready for the upcoming season for months leading up the first game. 

“It’s upsetting to know that I spent so much time and energy for the past four months conditioning and I won’t get to play with the rest of the girls or even see them,” Mitchell says. However, she is still trying to stay in shape for the next time she hits the field, even if it’s next season. “I try to do some of the conditioning exercises we learned before everything was cancelled, but it’s not the same without the girls there encouraging you to keep going.”

This is one of the reasons athletes are feeling an emotional and physical strain during their  time in quarantine. “We’re family and not seeing them every week really takes a toll on you,” Mitchell says.