Student-Athletes Comment on Extended Winter Break

Like most aspects of student life this semester, Colgate’s Thanksgiving and Winter recess will look quite different this year. When students return home for Thanksgiving, most will not be coming back to campus until after the conclusion of the extended Winter break. This nearly two-month layoff poses yet another challenge for student-athletes, whose practices and seasons have been disrupted due to the effects of COVID-19. In order to understand how student-athletes plan to handle the challenges of the lengthy break, the Maroon-News asked a series of questions to sophomore thrower Jonathan David (JD), sophomore rower Mariana Pennybacker (MP) and junior soccer goalkeeper Nick Gerlach (NG) for their perspectives on training and the challenges of the extended break.

What are your Plans for Training over Winter Break?

JD: My plans for training over the two-month break are to do as much as I can. My coach has given us drills and exercises to do over the break, so I don’t anticipate that the transition will be difficult. I won’t have the same equipment that I have at school, but I will do my best with the equipment that I have.

MP: Coach has offered to let us borrow ergs (rowing machines) over break, so I plan on using that for a lot of my workouts. Personally, I do a lot of running and some high-intensity interval training when I’m at home to switch it up. 

NG: I’ve got a pretty strong group of guys that I’m close with from high school that all play soccer at a competitive level still in college, so I’m planning on training with them most days of the week. My older brother also played at Cornell, so I can always practice with him.

Has your coach mentioned anything about plans for training/practice sessions over Zoom?

JD: My coach hasn’t mentioned anything about Zoom training sessions. The plan, for the time being, is to do the exercises and drills that he has given us on our own time without Zoom.

MP: I haven’t heard anything about Zoom sessions, but we are encouraged to reach out to other teammates and workout together even when we’re on campus. We’ll probably keep working out together over Zoom and FaceTime.   

NG: Our coach has not mentioned anything about training over the winter break.

How do you plan to stay motivated when you’re away from your team for so long?

JD: I don’t think it will be difficult to stay motivated over the break. The goals that I have for myself are still the same regardless of whether I’m training by myself or with my team. However, it will certainly be more difficult to keep pushing myself every day without seeing my teammates. Track is a more individualistic sport than most, and each persons’ success in their respective event is what makes up the collective success of the group. This being said, by staying motivated to accomplish my personal goals, I will ultimately help the team.

MP: Staying motivated while at home can be difficult. At practice, we always cheer each other on through hard workouts. You just don’t get that same energy working out at home. Luckily, we can still work out together over Zoom or FaceTime. It helps having a workout buddy to hold you accountable, but it’s just not the same as training in person. It’s hard to motivate yourself and I can’t seem to push myself as hard when I do the workouts alone.

NG: I really just enjoy the game of soccer and that has kept me motivated up to this point and I expect that to continue over the winter break.

What will your team be doing to stay in touch?

JD: To stay in touch with my team we will have frequent Zoom meetings. During the quarantine period last year and into the summer, we would meet often on Zoom to discuss how everything was going and how each person was doing. I expect much of the same during this two-month break.

MP: The team is very close. Women’s Rowing is like one big family. We’ll do workouts together over zoom, but we would probably stay in touch without the workouts. We also have a buddy family system, where the team is split up into groups with people from each class. Sometimes we have Zoom calls for the buddy family to hang out and catch up. We will also probably have similar things organized by class. The team is pretty good about staying connected. 

NG: I will probably visit some of the guys I’m close with on the team, others I will keep in touch over text and our team group message.