COVID-19 has significantly altered athletic training for Marlborough student-athletes, as they are now limited to a few days on campus training with their coaches. Water polo, softball, and cross country are a few of the many sports teams at Marlborough experiencing adjustments to their training schedules.
Though it is a spring sport, softball has already begun training once a week on campus. Like all athletes coming to campus, each individual on the softball team has to fill out a form within 24 hours of being on campus to evaluate their health. Their temperatures are checked at Marlborough and all athletes wear a mask during the entirety of practice. Training once a week in person has been a significant change from last year’s schedule, which required athletes to train together nearly every day of the week during the season and pre-season.
“We all distance ourselves, and try to still have the best, most productive practice we can,” outfielder Cassidy ‘23 said.
Water polo, a winter sport, has been training twice a week on campus since the beginning of the school year. With an additional training plan to complete at home, water polo athletes’ training is more strenuous than it has been in the past because the team is focusing largely on conditioning and preparing their bodies for the season, rather than focusing on plays or positioning. Athletes have additional training at home, which they did not have last year.
Any athletes who have access to exercise machines or running courses near their homes have been able to utilize them when not on campus. Paige (grad year) has been utilizing her Peloton bike at home. Dalton ‘24, a new cross country runner for Marlborough, uses the dirt path that makes a loop around her house as a course to run on. However, running alone is not the same as running with a team.
“It is always so much more fun when we can practice together,” Dalton said.
Students report difficulty staying inspired without the constant presence of a coach and teammates.
“It is more difficult to stay motivated, but once we all get on the deck and in the water the feeling dissipates,” Paige said.
While athletes have expressed their appreciation for in-person interaction, cross country runners have each been given a personal training schedule that they can follow at home. This schedule consists of clear instructions of each runner’s goals and activity for the day.
“It’s sometimes hard to follow exactly, but it works most of the time,” Dalton said. “You just have to visualize your team and coach motivating you. Knowing that your teammates are going through the same things are huge boosters to my confidence when running.”
While it can be hard training for an undetermined season, many athletes believe the extra time the teams have to train before competing will be useful during the season.
“I think the conditioning we are currently doing is gonna serve the team well, not only for this year but also for upcoming years,” Paige said. “We have never had this much time to develop our skills during the year, so this is really a beneficial time for the team.”