As the playoff season approaches for City College’s spring sports teams, athletes will have to make due with writing essays and scooping up ground balls in the yard instead of competing for postseason glory.
“For how bad our situation is I think it’s going okay,” said Shane Hofstadler, one of four catchers on the City College baseball team. “We’re making the most of what we’ve got.”
All sporting events for the spring season have been canceled and classes have moved online to stop the spread COVID-19.
Despite this, City College athletes are still trying to stay connected and active as best they can, even with no sports to play or gyms to go to.
“You can do a lot without equipment,” said women’s basketball coach Sandrine Krul.
Her team has been meeting once a week through Zoom and performing a workout routine that is designed to be as specific as possible for building basketball skills. They have also added a writing requirement so that players keep learning about the game even though they are not playing it.
Krul explained that not having hoops to shoot on is an obstacle, but said that they are doing the best with what they have.
“[The players] have to mimic shooting like [they] have a basketball in [their] hand,” she said.
Though the football team, like the basketball teams, would not be playing games right now even if everything was normal, they are trying to prepare as normally as possible to be ready if they are cleared to play in the fall.
They are working out as a team over Zoom, and utilizing social media to keep athletes engaged.
The Twitter account @SBCCFootball hosts “Vaq Lockdown” clinics, where coaches film videos that go into detail about football-specific skills and concepts. Players are also incentivized by competitions including “Vaq of the Day,” where three players are recognized for their performance in the previous workout.
“I don’t think [the shelter-in-place] will affect much of next year because we’re in spring ball, but it does affect getting to know the plays,” said running back Dominic Pedroza.
He said that one of the biggest impacts could be on team chemistry, which he explained is an important part of this time of year.
“To make better connections you gotta have that in-person interaction,” Pedroza said.
The baseball and softball teams are taking similar approaches to basketball and football, utilizing Zoom. Baseball players have been having one-on-one meetings with coaches, hearing talks from guest speakers who are City College alumni and filling out a weekly workout log to track their fitness.
Softball players have been completing written assignments to hone their knowledge of their sport along with doing drills however they can.
Infielder Hannah Weaver explained that one of the assignments involved recording a video as though she was teaching a younger player a drill. She filmed herself going outside and fielding ground balls, demonstrating “how to properly move through the ball and the correct form for short hops.”
Weaver said she is worried about the effect that coronavirus will have on her experience with the softball team, as well as sports in general.
“Honestly I think it’s nowhere near effective but at least it’s keeping us connected as a team in some way,” she said. “Nothing can ever compare to actually being together when you play a team sport.”