Student Athletes Talk Returning to Practice

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Zach Schiller, Sports Editor

Like all other aspects of student life this semester, the experience of the Colgate student-athlete has certainly been different. In order to understand how student-athletes are dealing with the restrictions and uncertainties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, I asked a series of questions to student-athletes on different teams in order to gain insight into the mindsets of the athletes and their teams. Below are answers from junior midfielder on the men’s soccer team Kian Alberto (KA), sophomore javelin thrower on the men’s track & field team Jonathan David (JD) and sophomore forward on the women’s basketball team Geddy Rerko (GR).

What has the attitude of your team been like?

KA: “The attitude of all the guys is as professional as it’s ever been. Despite having these restrictions and questions of the season, we’ve come together as one unit and stay focused and determined to improve ourselves and the team chemistry. Every guy in the locker room loves the game, and when you have that type of mindset, spirits will always be high no matter what the situation.”

JD: “I think the attitude of the team has been positive overall. We’re just happy to be back to practice. “

GR: “Our attitude has been excited to get back in the gym and to be playing together again. We are all anxious about the unknown with regards to our season, and we are all taking things one day at a time.”

How do you all stay motivated even though you do not know if the season will happen?

KA: “Even though we may not know if a season will occur or not, we stay motivated through the work ethic of each other. The first-years have come in excited and firing for their first year of D1 experience and the energy just continues to the seniors who stay committed to the program and making everybody better.”

JD: “Staying motivated is definitely tough. With so much uncertainty it can be hard to keep a positive attitude. I think the biggest thing for us is that we want to keep getting better. Having last spring season canceled definitely put a damper on all of the hard work that we had put in leading up to that moment, but I think as long as there is a chance for a spring season, we will continue to stay motivated.”

GR: “We try to take one day at a time, work hard and control what we have control over and make the most of the situation. We have been ready to do workouts and get back to work! We stay motivated to work for every chance of playing.”

What has been the biggest change so far with the new restrictions on practice and how have they affected the team?

KA: “At first we would train in groups of 10 to keep the numbers small in order to respect the regulations placed by the school. The coaching staff did an excellent job of putting together sessions that help us as players improve the little things in our games, and as we progress into slightly bigger groups you can see the difference in quality that those sessions have made. Now we’re in slightly bigger groups and working hard to become a better team and hopefully challenge another championship come the spring. We’re very proud of how the sessions are going because everything we are doing and the quality from the sessions comes directly from the commitment and work rate of each of our players and the coaches putting trainings together that will really get the best out of everyone. So all in all, everything has been going very well and we are focused on preparing for a championship run in the spring.”

JD: “The biggest change so far with the new restrictions has definitely been wearing masks when working out. A lot of track is, obviously, cardio-based so it can be pretty difficult to run and workout with a mask on.”

GR: “Wearing masks is a big change for sure! It’s really tough physically to play with one and it makes communication more challenging, but we are doing our best to adapt because that’s what needs to be done. We just finished our first week of full-team practices, so it has been nice to put all of the pieces together and be a team again!”