A day in the life of a student athlete during a pandemic

Courtesy Photo/ Bison Athletics 
Trajan Lands Journalism Mass Communications Media Major/ OBU Football (Safety) 

 Shay Morgan 

Assistant Sports Editor 

The life of a collegiate student athlete can be long, busy, strenuous and tiring. 

Many go from practice, to classes, to practice again each and every day. 

This is all while managing sleep, a healthy diet and a social life. 

COVID-19 has had a major impact on the world, and the daily lives of most have been drastically changed. 

Student athletes have taken a unique and challenging hit due to COVID, altering their normal to a new routine that accommodates masks and social distancing. 

Each sport has experienced a different impact due to the pandemic. 

Junior Journalism Mass Communications Media major and OBU Football Safety, Trajan Lands, gives an in depth look at the changes made in a football players life due to COVID. 

On a normal day before COVID, football player’s days consisted of morning workouts, classes, team meetings or film, and practice in the afternoon. 

While this is still the routine for the men, COVID has impacted how these events are carried out. 

“During COVID, we are more careful and with masks and social distancing, practices are more mental. Focusing can be much harder,” said Lands. 

Football, being a contact sport, has had to limit their physical contact in practice. 

“It takes away the physicality that comes with the game, such as tackling and hitting. Being in a huddle trying to learn or hear the play is made much harder being spaced out, and with something covering our mouths,” Lands said. 

The technicalities of the sport of football have to be changed to accommodate the virus. 

While many sports simply wear masks during practice, football is allowed to wear face shields that go on their helmets instead of a mask. 

This is unique in comparison to other sports without headgear, allowing for a slightly easier time breathing during cardio. 

Once the helmets are off however, the players must put on a face mask. 

Lands pointed out that COVID has had impacts on the lives of student athletes away from the field as well. 

Many sports teams bond through spending time together outside of practices, and with COVID, team bonding has been very difficult. 

“COVID took away our fall camp where we have time to bond as a team, and there is less hanging with my friends watching film together. 

“We just have to be more careful instead of being together,” stated Lands. 

Although there are many downsides to the effects of COVID, Lands was able to find an upside in all of the confusion that the virus has brought. 

“I think one upside to COVID for me is that I have gotten to really dig deep in my faith, learning the word and really get an understanding for it throughout the pandemic,” said Lands. 

COVID has affected each sport differently, not only because of the way that the sport is played but also because of the types of gear that different sports require. 

While COVID has had an impact on every person on campus, the athletes are affected in a unique way. Along with the daily stress of classes and athletics, COVID has added an additional hassle for those in athletics. 

Check out The Bison next week for an inside look at how COVID affects both men’s and women’s soccer. 

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