Adjusting to COVID-19 as an athlete


When the campus shut down in March due to COVID-19, college athletes were told that spring sports were going to be suspended, but we didn’t realize our lives were about to change.
My name is Alejandro Barron. I’m a staff writer for The Connection, as well as a student-athlete at Cosumnes River College who was a part of the baseball team during the 2020 spring season.
When the team was told the season was going to be put on pause, we were told it was going to be temporary, with the chance of resuming within a month since we did not know how serious COVID-19 was.
It was hard to see something that I’ve dreamed about since I was in Little League come to an end due to a virus we couldn’t control.
All the hard work over the years to reach that point seemed like it was for nothing as I would have to wait another full year to set foot on a college baseball field
As a student-athlete, having a routine is essential in order to succeed in both the classroom and on the field. So with the season suspended my routine was disrupted completely, leading to many problems.
Although I did not know it at the time, moving everything to remote operations was one of the worst things that could have happened to me.
I’d spend all day at school. It would tire me out, but constantly being on the go kept me engaged.
Meanwhile, staying at home led me to have an inconsistent sleeping schedule along with insomnia. At that time, I felt like my mental health was deteriorating since I would spend all day doing homework with no physical activity and little to no sleep.
After what felt like an eternity, the spring semester ended, and I finally was able to get myself back on track.
Due to COVID-19, there were not many options locally to play baseball this summer on a team, but I needed to stay active heading into the new school year.
With a couple of friends, while wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance, I started to head to a local baseball field everyday which would consist of conditioning, hitting, throwing and fielding.
Along with this, I would look for at-home workouts from social media and would workout at home on a consistent basis.
The pandemic has allowed me to have enough time to go out and improve many different aspects of my game whether it’s my footwork in the infield, my load process during my swing or playing catch at a long distance to improve my throwing velocity.
Focusing on a mass amount of repetitions during practices that consist of a couple of people, as opposed to a whole team, has helped me gain confidence.
Constantly being able to repeat a motion, whether that’s taking a ground ball or a swing, and trying to get it right over and over again has given me a confidence boost which will help a lot once we are back together as a team.
I’m eager to finally return to the field to play the sport I love, but not only the playing aspect, but returning to be able to see all of my teammates.
As we continue to follow social distancing, it has been tough to not go out and see everyone I once was able to see everyday on our loud bus rides after a win, in hotel rooms, in class and, of course, at the field.
Although spring sports is not going to be heavily affected compared to fall sports, it certainly will be different compared to other years due to not being able to go out and practice during this fall offseason.
I still worry about another big wave of COVID-19 infections coming along. If there’s an attempt to reopen a lot of businesses again, that will carry on until 2021, which could lead to our season being cancelled once again.
I understand the health of people is above and beyond more important than sports, but already having one season cancelled has created havoc within my future plans with trying to transfer. Another cancelled season would leave me lost and unsure of what to do going forward.
I know many other student-athletes are facing challenges like these and we aren’t too sure of what’s going to happen, but we can only hope there will be sports in the spring.
Despite the uncertainties, I remain positive we will play this spring and all our hard work will finally pay off once we are reunited with our teammates again and when we hear the words “play ball.”