A day in the life of a student athlete

 File Photo/ The Bison

OBU Women’s Lacrosse Team 

 Shay Morgan

Assistant Sports Editor

COVID-19 has been around since the beginning of 2020, and many have started to adjust to the new way of living that has become the norm. 

Changes have been made since the beginning of the semester in terms of COVID protocol, which has been beneficial to the sports teams on campus. 

Contact sports are now able to practice in full contact, and masks are only limited to those moments of contact, not for entire practices. 

Women’s lacrosse has seen some relief with the loosening of restrictions around COVID. 

The women are now able to get back to their normal, full-contact practices and they can breathe a little easier without the constant requirement to wear a mask. 

Although lacrosse is an outdoor sport, the amount of contact that the women utilize each day in practice, and eventually in games makes COVID a daunting threat to these women. 

“COVID effects lacrosse specifically because we are a high risk for transmission sport. We are going to have to get tested 72 hours prior to every competition, which is good to give us all a peace of mind, but isn’t going to be very fun,” said senior nursing major and lacrosse goalie Olivia Ward. 

The reality of wearing masks for lacrosse players is that it has had implications on the players periphery, and breathing ability, with lacrosse being a high cardio sport. 

Lacrosse players wear eye protection gear such as goggles or helmets, as well as a mouthguard. 

“As an athlete we now have had to wear masks while lifting and running and during practice outside. It messes you up mentally but also makes it difficult to enjoy the sport I’ve always loved,” said Ward. 

The addition of a mask to all of the business on their faces initially is a hard adjustment. The mask also blocks the athlete’s downward periphery, similar to what many other athletes have experienced. 

Practices are now the best form of team bonding that athletes can get due to COVID, and even then, social distancing is enforced whenever possible.

“It stops those team events. No dinners. No movies. I feel like it has been a lot harder to bond with my team than in years past,” said Ward. 

Sports teams rely on forming a bond between teammates, and COVID has prevented that from happening. 

The pressure of school, sports and COVID do not have much to relieve them, like socializing or going out to do fun things. 

Even though COVID has become more normal to society every day, it still takes a mental toll on people, especially those under a large amount of stress, like student athletes. 

“I’ve had to learn to be more independent and how to deal with feeling alone,” said Ward. 

Through all of the madness and uncertainty of COVID, it is important to stay in touch with loved ones, and make sure that those you care about are doing well throughout this pandemic. 

“I just want everyone to continue to stay safe and healthy and remind them to reach out to someone if they are struggling. I know how rough it is, for athletes and non-athletes, but reaching out can really help,” said Ward. 

There are many resources on campus, such as the MFT Kemp Clinic, as well as trusted individuals, whether they be friends or superiors. 

“Don’t be afraid to talk to professors or coaches about how you really are because they can make a huge impact,” said Ward.

To keep up with the lacrosse team’s season and calendar, go to obubison.com to find their schedule, roster and statistics.

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