Ramapo athletes learn to cope with remote training

Photo courtesy of Sam Walker

The coronavirus pandemic has completely altered the lives and daily routines of many. This is especially the case for athletes as professional sports associations like the NBA and MLB have postponed all games until further notice, and the Olympics have been postponed to next year. 

New Jersey collegiate sports have been canceled for the remainder of the spring season, which directly affects athletes at Ramapo College. 

“It’s been a struggle not being able to play,” Sam Walker, a sophomore on Ramapo’s women’s lacrosse team said. “I think actually realizing we can’t go back has been hard, but we’re focusing on how to build from what happened this year into next season.”

Walker, while still trying to stay in shape at home in quarantine, admits that her daily routine is very different from what she is used to.

“I would go to the gym every day after 7 p.m. and do mandatory lifts on Thursdays at noon,” Walker said. “We can’t go to the gyms at all now, but I try to run and do exercises in my house.”

Even though the 2020 season is discontinued, Walker is still in contact with her trainer and sends updates on her progress during this off-season.

While this is a difficult time for spring athletes, off-season athletes are also affected by the pandemic. This is a crucial time of training for those continuing play in the fall, but now their schedules are independent and hold restrictions.

“We would train with our strength coach three times a week, and the team would get together to play at least two times a week wherever there was space,” Sam Guttman, a sophomore on the men’s soccer team said. “Plenty of guys, including myself, would go extra days to the gym as well.”

There are downfalls to living a remote lifestyle when trying to stay in shape, and it mostly relates to a lack of motivation. Athletes consider their home a space to relax after a game or practice, so having to now utilize this space for a workout can be a difficult transition.

“Not being with the team is hard, as I’m so used to training hard with everyone around,” Guttman said. “It’s hard to bring that same energy when you’re alone.”

There are some elements that Guttman considers to be rewarding, however. “I can customize my workouts a little more, and I also get to do some fun workouts with my sister while she’s home.”

In accordance with social distancing guidelines, the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation Center is one of many college facilities that will be closed for the remainder of the semester. This is a place where Ramapo athletes and students would train and work out each day, including Ramapo student Gavin Wentworth, a certified personal trainer and weightlifting coach.

“I spent about 90 to 210 minutes training every day,” Wentworth said. “We have really nice barbells in the Sharp Center and a high-quality gym. Now I’m down to 40 minutes of training every day.”

Wentworth notes that even if a Ramapo athlete is training just as hard from their remote location, their limited access to food can greatly weaken their future performance.

“A lot of people aren’t eating the same even if they are training just as hard because they don’t have access to the college’s food, and an athlete’s diet is an expensive one,” Wentworth said. “My eating schedule is starting to look much different and even, in some aspects, inefficient.”

Although this season has taken an unexpected turn, Ramapo athletes have proven to remain hopeful for the seasons to come. Many team players are staying in contact with their coaches and trainers as they continue to get ready for future performances.