During a time when all sports are canceled, athletes are still finding the motivation to work on their craft. This applies even when the restrictions are to stay at home and not be around other people.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused Montclair State University to shut its doors, forcing students to return home to take part in online learning for the rest of the spring semester during the quarantine. While most of the student body was affected by this, many student athletes had just began their spring seasons, and had to face reality that their 2020 seasons would not continue.
Many players and teams go through intense off-season training and workouts to start their seasons. With the abrupt cancellation, the athletes were left not being able to perfect their craft or be around their teammates.
Michael Schweyher, a freshman outfielder for the Montclair State baseball team, started 12 games this season with a batting average of .325. His is training at school has now changed to at-home workouts.
“I usually run five miles around my town and do uphill hikes training regularly,” Schweyher said.
With his dad working in construction, Schweyher has taken advantage of old bars and tools to create a makeshift gym for himself. He uses cinder blocks, sandbags and metal bars to stay active, lifting weights as often as he can.
When the season abruptly ended, the team was just beginning to click with their new head coach.
“We were just getting hot,” Schweyher said. “[We were] on a four-game win streak against some solid teams.”
Although Schweyher is sad over his first season ending abruptly, Schweyher is grateful that he is only a freshman and still has a lot of college baseball left to play to make up for the loss.
Besides working out, Schweyher uses his time at home to study baseball rather than practicing it all the time. He has been watching clips of Major League Baseball games from the past that can help translate to his play on the field in the future.
Morgan Connon, a junior midfielder for the women’s lacrosse team, was only just beginning her comeback season after being out last season due to injury. In the four games she got to play before the quarantine started, Connon started and had three goals, picking up where she left off before her injury.
While the transition of her season being canceled and not being able to be with her teammates was upsetting, Connon has been taking care of her body in different ways at home.
“I have been doing spin classes almost every day, running some of our run tests and trying to keep my stick in my hand as much as possible,” Connon said.
Even though she is not with her team everyday, they still stay in touch and have Zoom Fridays, where they get together on a Zoom chat and have fun.
Connon is already looking forward to next season and finally getting on the field again with her team. She has used this time of rest to her advantage, taking things slower after her workouts to protect herself from possibly injuring herself again.
The adjustment of going from a busy routine at Montclair State to her routine at home is hard, but Connon still has motivation and feels other athletes and people should as well.
“Finding a workout and school routine daily, just like people have when we are at school and in-season, helps make you feel as if everything were the same,” Connon said.
The most important thing during this time for Connon is taking care of herself and pushing herself to new goals. When her lacrosse season does begin again she will be ready to play the sport she loves.
With this time off from their beloved sports, the focus shifts to the body and mind and preparing for the moment that these athletes will once again be on a field together with their teammates.