From millions to billions of fans of popular sports and athletic events across the world, coronavirus plagued all hopes and brought unimaginable distraught to their lives. Major league sports and the 2020 Summer Olympics took huge blows due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 Summer Olympics were supposed to be held in Tokyo, and for the first time in its long and grand history, the Olympic Games have been postponed and rescheduled to be held next year.
According to a recent study published by Economic Modeling, by mid-March last year in 2020, COVID-19 caused every sporting event to be either canceled completely or becoming postponed. This created an economic impact where approximately 1.3 million sports-related jobs were erased, furloughed, or reduced.
Furthermore, shuttered down sports that remained closed for more than three months amounted to a loss of around $12.3 billion in earnings by mid of June. This meant an average of $133.4 million in earnings every day or $92,600 every minute lost.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at how US athletes managed to survive with training during the horrific COVID-19 pandemic.
· Athletes and Postponed Olympics
The NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament was the first US sporting event on the 6th of March 2020 to be played without fans in the audience. This was followed by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) announcing on the 11th of March 2020 that its winter-semester championships and tournaments would be conducted behind closed doors.
However, with respect to the NBA session’s suspension and other professional sports leagues, all remaining championship events for the 2019-2020 academic years were canceled entirely.
Later on, the pandemic’s financial fallout caused many schools to drop various sports programs all across the nation. Furthermore, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were due to take place from the 24th of July to the 9th of August in 2020, were also postponed. This announcement was jointly shared by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the TOCOG (Tokyo Organizing Committee) on the 24th of March 2020.
· Basic Needs First
Forced to stay indoors and carry out proper social distancing measures, athletes in the US felt extremely frustrated and helpless to change things around. However, this also gave them time for those who were injured to recover.
Secondly, and most importantly, many athletes who suffered from busy schedules throughout the year took this opportunity to spend more time with the immediate family members. For others, it was time to think and contemplate their lives.
Now where presumably every other player across different sports was MIA (missing in action), they finally got more time to think about their decisions and self-reflect. This also allowed them to work on their basic needs like body condition, healthy diet and making their lives more useful for people around them.
· Coaches & Their Support
There is no doubt that we always focus our attention to higher powers that can help guide us and make our worries disappear during times of distress. In the case of US athletes, their team coaches stepped up their game and consistently reminded players about not losing hope and that eventually, things will get better.
They also reminded athletes that these hard times which they were currently facing would pass by. They provided online practice sessions, including counseling, and took into account the limitations faced by their endearing team members. Some coaches even offered routines and structures for athletes to practice at home so that they can focus on previously underserved skills.
· Dealing with Emotional Stress
Obviously, for athletes, a loss of opportunity to perform and show the world what they are good at leads to an immense feeling of hurt that is akin to being defeated in a major league match. In order to facilitate athletes to manage their build-up of anxieties, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) offers various general resources.
You can also reach out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which provides comprehensive information and a resource guide for self-care.
The NCAA breaks this down into several practices which require regular activity, being mindful of not over or underworking, connecting with supportive people regularly, and seeking immediate support when need is felt. Students who request professionals of universityassignments.co.uk may also find these guidelines useful during stressful times.
· Focus on Fitness
Staying indoors and practicing social distancing can quickly get to your nerves if you are an athlete. The majority of your days are spent burning calories, preparing your mind for upcoming challenges, and making sure that you improve your performance every day. This downtime during COVID-19 can get to you and deteriorate your lifestyles.
Therefore as an athlete, you need to have your focus on fitness so that you don’t collect rust while staying at home. This is why you should consider developing a routine, measure your calorie intake, and stay as fit as possible. Make resources work for you rather than the other way around.
· Virtual Training & Work Outs At Home
With people asked to stay at home, athletes only had one option and were to find creative ways to work out at home and attend virtual training sessions online. While technology is definitely a boon, it’s not a panacea. Nevertheless, this was the closest that brought athletes closer to normalcy.
Hopefully, with vaccines being implemented, things will change for the better. If you are following famous celebrity status athletes on social media, you know what I am talking about. Just visit their Instagram profiles and check for yourself how each managed to stay fit while staying indoors!
The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly brought the world to its knees, but it also showed us that with the power of community and how with people coming together, we could overcome challenges. For athletes, while the stories may have been different, there is no question. There is indeed a light at the end of this long tunnel. I wish them all the best from the bottom of my heart. Cheers, and all the best for your future endeavors!