The Closeness of Teammates under COVID-19 Guidelines

Ro Murphy,

COVID-19 has made for an interesting year in many social contexts that were once considered “normal.” One of these social contexts that have been drastically changed and modified is sports. Athletes who once practiced twice a day for up to two hours a day are not permitted to do such drastic workouts anymore. But they have found other ways to try and keep as active as they can while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some ways that they maintain an extreme workout routine include doing little things throughout the day, such as going to some parts of the lawn and playing multiple games such as pick-up volleyball and football. This allows them the freedom of being outside with friends while staying socially distanced and energetic. In addition to being able to stay as physically active as possible under COVID-19 regulations, taking care of mental health is also a key component to staying healthy. Some of the regulations that Ursinus has put into place, only allows students to stay within their “family units” which refers to the people that they live with. Junior Matt Snyder, a member of the Men’s Swim team, talks about the most relaxing part of his day that helps him to loosen up within his family unit. “I’d say definitely unwinding with the boys at the dinner table is the highlight of my day.” Matthew Seeburger, junior and member of the Men’s Swim Team, also states something along the same lines: “Dinner is a good mental outlet for me. We sit and talk about our classes and day together.” Seeburger also adds that Sundays equal football and valuable time in the suite, “Don’t forget about watching Sunday night football together as a suite.” Spending quality time together seems to be one of the similarities, as another junior and member of the Men’s Swim Team Ryan Carkhuff, chimes in and talks about how he also enjoys time with his teammates and family unit. “We also have pretty much dinner every night in the suite together, in the common room, and spend quality time together.”. Not being in season, as of now, these three swimmers have been able to make time to find other activities other than just using their “water legs.” Snyder states, “One time as a suite we went to a park down the street and played volleyball and football.” Even though they still are active in the pool, being able to spend time together is something that seems to stick with these swimmers. Now, not being able to do many things that they were once very easy to do causes some students to feel closer with their teammates, and family units, than ever before. Carkhuff explains just how close he feels he has gotten with his team just over these past few weeks, “We, as the Men’s Swim Team, are the closest that we have ever been now that we are doing almost everything together.” In addition to the team feeling closer than ever, Snyder adds that this has led to a stronger relationship with the people that he lives with, stating, “Yes, it has made me a lot closer to my suite as a whole. We do a lot more together now.” Learning and experiencing all of these new regulations first-hand, all student athletes are susceptible to lots of changes during this fall semester. Not knowing what the next day or week could be asking for, they are making sure to take care of their physical and mental health, as well as making sure to spend lots of time with their teammates and family units