Today Magazine Spring 2021 - Page 8

THE NEW NORMAL

Life as a Student-Athlete during a Pandemic

6 TODAY
By : Kirsten Swanson
Life as a student-athlete is action-packed . Practice , class , study hall , workouts , internships , games , clinicals , team meals , community service - the list goes on .
Campus is their home away from home . For so many , their lives have revolved around the game they love since they were young .
So , what happens when the opportunity to play is taken away suddenly ?
“ I was completely devastated . We had all worked so hard , and things seemed to finally look up for us , and then out of nowhere , our season was cut short ,” Women ’ s Lacrosse Captain and GMercyU Biology Junior Seydel Acuna said . “ We all truly believed that it was going to be our year and we were ready to leave it all on the field . Of course , we were all saddened by the news , but we knew that there were much bigger problems out in the world , and we had to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe .”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic , GMercyU ’ s studentathletes have lived a different reality . Practices were replaced by game film , team meals turned into Tik Tok challenges , and workouts were held over Zoom .
Despite all of this change , one thing remained constant : the focus on the well-being of each student-athlete .
“ I do a lot of mental training with my team all year , every year . We use a traffic light analogy on our team ; green emotions , yellow emotions ; and red emotions ,” said Women ’ s Lacrosse Head Coach Shannon Algeo . “ We had no idea how helpful it would be during a pandemic . The team knows that we cannot control our situation , but we can control how we react to the situation .”
The familial bonds GMercyU ’ s student-athletes build with their teammates and coaches are a hallmark of our athletic department .
That hasn ’ t changed .