George Wang is a rising senior at Interlake High School, and a 2020 candidate of the IB program. He plays soccer at the Pateadores Soccer Club, where he plays the goalie position on Team Pateadores Academy. He was previously a competitive badminton player, and has participated in a variety of other high-impact sports before taking up soccer.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of the soccer season entirely, putting many athletes like George in a difficult and frustrating situation. Not only does he have no idea when he can return to his sport, he also struggles with how his “chance to get a varsity letter in time for college has been forfeited.” This is particularly an issue because athletes such as George need film for college tapes, which he is unable to provide because of the current outbreak.
Another result of the pandemic for George is that he has experienced a shift to virtual training, in which his coaches provide the team with full workout and footwork drills, but he has also lost the opportunity to train with his teammates and peers in person. In addition to this change, George has taken it upon himself to maintain his fitness by going on four-mile runs, however he still expresses his regrets that he “would’ve had practice every day if the soccer season was still going on.”
Even so, staying isolated has brought many positive changes for George as well. In terms of sports and fitness, he has motivated himself through the immediate physical results of his exercising, in addition to maintaining and improving his skills for his sport during virtual training. Outside of sports, he now has more time to invest in studying code and other academic pursuits with much less stress.
While being quarantined during these difficult times have brought about many obstacles for athletes like George, it has also given us many opportunities for growth. George suggests that now is a “great time for core strength improvement and explosiveness,” an aspect of fitness that is “important for all sports because it ensures you’re stable, and you perform at the highest quality when you’re balanced.” Let’s stay motivated and take the opportunity to improve ourselves before we return to our sports!