GCC Athletics vs. Covid-19

The effects of coronavirus on student-athletes at GCC

       This year has been filled with a series of unexpected events, and Covid-19 has been the center of it all. Covid-19 has not only caused harm in the real world, but also the sports world as well, forcing sports of all levels of competition to either be delayed or canceled. In particular, Glendale Community College’s sports teams have not been able to participate in practices since remote instruction has begun. This has since led to their season being jeopardized. Covid-19 has affected the lives of student-athletes positively and negatively, ultimately making a difference in their lives in some way. Whether it be a future career in sports, transferring, schoolwork, or even their daily lives, Covid-19 has played a role in their lives. 

       Student-athletes have had to adapt to this new way of living while still trying to perfect their craft in their respective sport. With no more face-to-face interactions, it is up to the players themselves to make sure they are staying in shape while staying safe. Coaches also play an essential leadership role during these times to keep the team focused and assisting them with any struggles they may be facing due to Covid-19. It can be a mental challenge for a student-athlete to make the transition to a virtual environment not only for their schoolwork but also for their athletics.

       Covid-19 has presented student-athletes with a physical challenge as well. Staying in shape is something that each athlete wants to do, especially during the off-season. With the season being postponed, the off-season for these players has been prolonged, making the physical aspect more crucial to their future success. Second-year player Christian Lee, who plays wide receiver for the Vaqueros, was asked about the biggest challenges he has had to face throughout the pandemic, for which he replied, “Not being able to be on the field. Not preparing for the season by getting better each day and not being mentally prepared for week 1” but has been “staying positive no matter what happens.” Covid-19 has caused Lee to not be out on the field practicing every day with his teammates and perfecting his craft which has taken a toll on him. Being placed in a situation where you potentially lose out on a full season is not easy, so taking the time to get over the mental hump is key. This is where coaches step in.

       The new head football coach for the Vaqueros, Coach Farwell, talked about the virtual environment with his players along with what he has been doing to help. “We use Zoom meetings to learn how to work Canvas, we host a team study hall, and I am able to show all the wonderful student services and resources that Glendale College offers…[We are] doing the best we can to develop our students academically, socially and athletically,” Farwell said. Farwell is actively helping his team in any way he can through three Zoom calls a week and providing useful resources for his players. Being placed in unusual times, having a coach that will help guide you through it is beneficial. Football players were not the only ones who were asked about their experiences with Covid-19 and their season. 

       Second-year player, Victoria Oganyan who plays point guard for the women’s basketball team, was also asked about her experiences with Covid-19. Oganyan has been making the most of her time by “working out 6 times a week to stay in shape” for when her season starts back up again. “I work out with my strength coach which includes lifting weights and running hills by my house. I have also done basketball training workouts twice a week.” Oganyan said. Taking advantage of this time to stay mentally and physically strong is crucial to student-athletes and their success for the upcoming season. This ultimately tests the creativity of the athletes, making them find ways to keep their bodies conditioned and in the best shape possible before returning to practices after Covid-19 regulations have been cleared.

       Covid-19 is a situation that few would have predicted to become as big as it is today and the effects it has had on the sports world. Student-athletes across all sports have all been affected by Covid-19 but they have stayed strong through the obstacles that have been presented to them. It has given these players time to make themselves a better athlete and overall better teammate while also not setting them back for their future goals.


Eric Hayrapetian can be reached at: [email protected]