The dream of any athlete who plays a sport seriously is to play professionally. Considering how COVID-19 has impacted everything, student athletes and coaches wonder how COVID-19 will affect scholarships.
Athletes who want to go to a university to play a sport look for scholarship money on a free or partial ride. Scouts have had a hard time watching athletes play due to the pandemic and limited or canceled seasons have made for slim highlight videos. This makes scholarships harder to get.
“Since I joined swim, I thought about advancing in swim to play in the Olympics, and since I am a junior this year, I want to look into scholarships,” Jahzaria Harris ’22 said. “I have had a lot of trouble finding scholarships. I am not sure if I am going to meet all the requirements, such as my GPA and my overall success for the season.”
Besides scholarships, COVID-19 has impacted the way that teams practice. There are a lot of precautions that everyone must follow, and it can be difficult to follow them when playing sports. Things like social distancing and wearing a mask can be hard to do when playing sports because most sports are close contact, and it can be hard to breathe with the mask on.
“It was not harder managing this season – only different,” Christopher Schultz, boys cross country head coach, boys track & field head coach, said. “The amount of time and energy I could apply did not change. It is something that is on my mind 24/7 regardless of the year or the conditions.”
Student athletes care deeply about the sports they play. When the season is impacted, it can affect players deeply. With the pandemic changing normal protocols, players can become more anxious, sad or depressed. With a distracted mindset, athletes may have a harder time focusing on their performance. Players had to come up with ways to keep up the team inspiration throughout the fall season.
“COVID-19 changed our season because we were not able to do a lot of things that we used to do and we could not be as close to other people obviously because we have to social distance,” Julia Weihs ’22, swimmer, said. “COVID-19 definitely made it harder for me to perform and do my best because I was not used to such strict guidelines. That made me nervous because I wanted to well this season if I wanted to get a scholarship. Ultimately everything ended ok.”