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Local high school athletes stay active “together” during the quarantine, prepare for future seasons

By: Tommy Elwood Last Updated: May 1, 2020

The National Basketball Association has allowed their teams to send workout equipment to their players to keep them fit throughout the quarantine. However, this is not applicable to high school and college students that are trying to stay fit. Gyms, tracks, and fields are closed, so how are high school and college athletes staying fit both mentally and physically during this tough time?

 While it can be difficult for some athletes to train without their teammates who push them to be better day in and day out, the truth is, athletes are finding themselves more mentally tough and persistent to themselves during these times.

This time has allowed student-athletes to reconnect with that first love they had with their sports, whether it is playing catch with their father in the backyard, running sprints on a homemade grass track, or doing pullups in their homemade gyms made when they were in Elementary school.

First experiences in sports often stay with an athlete for their life, and being able to reconnect with that rekindles that fire inside them to better prepare for their upcoming season.

While isolation for an athlete van be good, for a while, to refocus, this period of time is full of questions, such as, “Why did my season get canceled?” “What is going to happen to my team?” “How do I stay in shape?” Coaches and Athletic Directors have done a great job helping answer these questions to the best of their abilities.

Some coaches are even conducting Zoom calls to do some workouts “together.”

The Valpo High School Football Twitter page has used their platform for their athletes to post videos of them doing various workout challenges to help keep athletes banded together. The platform allows athletes to recognize that their teammates are still working for one another and exposes them to new workouts. They have begun using the hashtags, #SetTheStandard, and #EarnTheOpportunity. Their program looks to return to the state finals, as they did last year.

They have also recently named their last four captains of the team. The captains for 2020 will be Dylan Dingman, Tommy Burbee, Cooper Jones, and John Hofer. John Hofer and Cooper Jones have also announced their college commitments with Hofer planning to attend Western Michigan and Jones planning to attend Indiana. The four captains have done their fair part in helping lead the virtual Twitter workouts.

John Hofer has always looked forward to being a captain.

“It is truly an honor to be named captain. It has been something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. I’m excited to be in the position I am today and will try my best to be a positive leader on and off the field,” Hofer said.

He mentions his excitement about playing this upcoming season and his and his team’s improvement during the quarantine.

“Working out at home has been a lot of fun. Sometimes you have to get creative. Every day I’m trying to push myself to be better than what I was yesterday. I have enjoyed seeing players improve over this quarantine and have seen all the hard work people are putting in. It has been hard not seeing the team for so long, but we have been staying in touch. I have been keeping in contact with players through position group chats, pride point team group chats, or zoom meetings. I love my teammates and coaches and can’t wait to get back on the field with them.

Online workouts may not be ideal for some athletes, but they continue to make sacrifices to become the best athletes they can, given the opportunity presented to them.  Reconnection to an athlete’s sport may be just what they needed for success in the future, and that has been seen through this quarantine,” Hofer said.