How coaches and student athletes are adapting through COVID

Thalia Pimentel, Reporter

COVID-19 has cancelled sports worldwide as it did concerts, school, most jobs, and movie theatres. Games, practice, and big crowds stopped for most, but never the training and preparation for the athletes and coaches.
“We do have weekly zoom meetings just to talk to the boys. We sometimes go over film, other times just a wellness check to make sure they are doing well and to help them adjust with online schooling, but nothing in person,” said Joe Dominguez, Head JV coach and assistant Varsity coach from Wasco Union High School when asked if the Wasco Football team has been training since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Wasco Union High School has been following strict CDC guidelines when it comes to their students’ education and athletics. Student athletes and coaches have faced many problems and challenges after the Coronavirus outbreak and adapting to the new requirements have also been stressful.
“A few players have a hard time accessing these meetings because of technological availability. These are the unique challenges I face coaching in a low income community. Where other programs may be able to give their players lifting programs and conditioning that include equipment a lot of our players do not have access to the facilities, equipment, or even space. My biggest concern is about the well being (emotional, mental, and physical) of these players now and in the future when we return to play,” Dominguez said.
Whether the students and coaches are off the field or not, genuine concern shows from every aspect to their student athletes who are also trying their best to handle their education, training, and health.
Lalo Barraza, baseball player from Bakersfield College said they were given templates to follow after the pandemic hit. The two templates were different for the circumstances to the athletes whether they had access to a weight room or not.
“We had summer ball which meant going to the field to practice but we showed up 30 minutes before to check in and sanitize our equipment then get our temperature checked. Our team doctor was out there everyday making sure everyone was social distancing and being safe. We also only shared one ball with one partner,” Barraza shared.
The Bakersfield College baseball team agreed to hold each other accountable during the pandemic and developed methods to help each other out like staying in contact with each other through a messaging group.
Barraza also stated that he was juggling school, baseball, and work altogether so he developed a routine for himself to wake up super early everyday and get his workouts and homework out of the way for the day just in time to get ready and drive to work.
Wellness checks are accessible to every student in terms of establishing a relationship, zoom meetings do allow the coaches and students to talk on both an academic level and personal level.