Fall sports versus Covid-19

It has become a really dark time in the world of sports. Including for college athletes who had their spring season cut short due to the coronavirus. 

As the world continues down the road of uncertainty, there are many things, like the fall sports season, that have yet to be determined moving forward. While it is still too early to make a decision, fall teams have still already been affected in a few ways by the virus. 

In the spring and summer months leading up to the fall season, college athletes and their teams are able to work out and get some preseason work in. But for now it will have to be done from home and over Zoom calls or whatever else teams are using to stay in touch. 

Hannah Greene, a member of the Cleveland State University volleyball team, is one of many fall athletes who is feeling the effect of not being able to do in-person workouts with her team.  While it may not be enjoyable doing workouts by herself from home, she said at least being able to work out virtually is helping her team stay together as a team. 

“So currently, we are split into partners, and every day we work on our five-day workout packet, and every Friday during spring we do a team Zoom yoga call,” she said. “Some of us have been combining partners and making it into group workout sessions, and every day we have been getting stronger and still getting better. But doing it together makes it more fun, and still tries to facilitate it how it would be if we were at school. By following this routine, it also helps us stay as one and also stay in shape.”

Greene will be a senior when the fall academic year begins. But not knowing what will happen with her senior season is not concerning to her at the moment. She said it is all about thinking positive and hoping for the best. 

“This is one of the last things I’ve honestly been thinking about,” she said. “I’m a positive person, so I’m really taking it one day at a time, and hoping this comes to an end shortly and we can get back for summer to train. I really try to keep my mind off the entire thought by telling myself what I can control right now, and that’s simply getting better every single day.”

Looking forward to the actual season itself, no one knows what will happen between now and August. With a lot of uncertainty about whether the season will be played, Greene said the team's positive mindset has not changed and team members are still looking ahead.

“All of us have been positive, from my teammates to my coaches," she said. "We are all just continuing to remain optimistic. Right now there are very few things we have control of, and that's our mindset and attitude. Understanding this, we all are keeping a positive attitude in hopes that we are going to see each other soon -- whether that’s wearing a mask or hazmat suit.” 

When Greene and the team can get back together and, hopefully, prepare for the upcoming season, there will still be a fear of someone possibly catching the coronavirus until it is completely under control. 

Greene said she will not have any fears about the virus after she and her teammates get back together and that they just need to keep doing what they have been doing.

“I won’t have any fears. Knowing we all have been quarantined and staying home for one another will be enough for me,” she said. "We just are remaining safe and staying smart because we all want to be back in the gym as soon as we can. Even when we, hopefully, get back to school in the summer, we just have to remain smart and take (the) proper precautions we have been taking.” 

Apart from the virus talk, Greene is excited about what her team can do if it can take to the court this fall. She said this season will be filled with a lot of great teamwork, and she is looking forward to making a run in the Horizon League conference.

When the season goes on as planned, I am so excited for this year's team,” she said. “It’s filled with a lot of great chemistry, and a lot of great attitudes, and girls who want to work hard and compete. I’m looking forward to another chance at winning the Horizon League, and securing a spot in the NCAA tournament.”

On a personal level, Greene knows what she can do and knows what it takes to help her team get to where they want to be. But she said she has her sights set on one big achievement. 

“One goal I have for myself is to earn Horizon League Player of the Year,” she said. “That’s been part of my motivation to keep working and pushing my limits.”