Playing sports during the pandemic is definitely more challenging than before. This includes one of my favorite sports, basketball. I’ve been playing basketball since I was in the second grade. It has always been a way I’ve connected with family and friends. One of my favorite things about playing the game is having my family in the stands yelling and then greeting me after the game finished. Another favorite part is being able to have team dinners. While playing a high school sport , it is crucial for your team’s success that you get along. Team dinners used to be one of the best ways to get to know your teammates off the court and to form a bond with them. There are some important aspects when it comes to being able to play sports this year. Wearing the masks all game has definitely been one of the biggest struggles as you are sprinting back and forth for a while. I am beyond thankful we get to play sports this year! But with some of the new rules it makes it hard to enjoy it.
Having my family in the stands is definitely one of the best things I look forward to when it comes to playing a game. Knowing I have support from them and knowing I make them proud for playing is one of the things I look forward to. My dad has always been my number one supporter. He always was at my games cheering me on in the stands giving me encouragement even if we were losing he would always tell me to keep my head high and just focus on the game. Not having him in the stands this year is more difficult than I imagined. He still watches from the TV but it’s not the same. I can’t hear him cheering me on or yelling at the refs when there was a bad call. Not having my family there is definitely really hard.
This year we can’t have team dinners either, those dinners help build our teams bond. The bond of the team is one of the most important things of playing a team sport. This year I have noticed a disconnect between the team. Maybe it’s because of all the stress or maybe it’s because we don’t have any time for team bonding this year. We all get along but we just don’t connect on the court as much as we have in the previous years.
The masks are also difficult to deal with when it comes to playing. In basketball you are potentially sprinting back and forth for a while. The masks make it hard to breath and regulate your breathing when running which is something that is very important to do when it comes to playing a sport. Knowing how to regulate your breath also improves your endurance which is something you need for a sport that requires running for a long period of time. We don’t get masks breaks unless you walk into a different hallway then you can take it off. I know for me that is very difficult, if a ref sees you take your mask off you can actually get a technical foul for it. The season record actually wasn’t so bad for varsity girls basketball as we won our last four games in a row. The j.v. team didn’t have as much luck but it is still good that we got to get out there and play. It was an honor to play this year, especially because we didn’t know if we were gonna have a season or not for a long time. I don’t take any second of it for granted.