COVID-19 Affects More Than Just Class Schedules

By Hailey Makuski

 

With the closure of the Ripon College campus due to COVID-19, both spring and fall sports have been affected. This semester’s sports have been cancelled outright. Athletes and coaches also expect that the disruptions to communication and the ability of teams to practice will have effects that  will ripple into the fall semester.

As a result of sports being cancelled, student athletes have lost their chance to play this semester. Ripon College head softball coach Steven Wammer expressed disappointment at this fact.

“This has been a very difficult spring for [the softball team]. Our student athletes put in so much time to prepare for competition and then we have a short window to get those games in. It is unfair to put the time in and not get to compete… I feel bad for our entire team,” he said.

Wammer added that he felt especially bad for the senior athletes, for whom the current semester will be their last at Ripon College.

“Since all of our student athletes are now at home, not only fo they have to get really good at internal motivation to stay in shape and get better as a basketball player, they also have to rely heavily on internal motivation to keep pace with their online classes away from the help of their teammates as well,” said Lauren Busalacchi, head coach of women’s basketball.

Another big thing that proves to be a challenge for sports teams is the ability for the team to exercise with proper equipment since teammates are unable to practice together.

“Swimming is almost impossible because every public pool in Wisconsin has been closed because of COVID-19. The athletes also have no access to strength training and cardio equipment. The only training that can be done is body-weight at home workouts, running, yoga, or using whatever equipment they have access to,” said Ryan Goggans, head coach of swimming and diving.

One way teams have been communicating is through Zoom meetings, social media and/or group chats.

“[The swim and diving team] have a group chat that everyone responds to at least three times a week. It helps us make sure that we hear from everyone!” Goggans said “We have team Zoom calls once a month where we update each other on how we are doing. I have also met one on one with each of my athletes via Zoom to see how they are doing and just have year end meetings.”

Other teams, such as the women’s basketball team, use Zoom to have group workouts to ensure the team is doing what they need to better themselves as a whole while getting routine checkups with each other.