COVID-19 and the 2020 athlete

Published 9:10 am Sunday, April 12, 2020

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The athlete is going through all kinds of emotions over COVID-19. Age does not matter because he or she is a competitor at any age and just wants to do the normal things like eating right, practicing, weight training and playing the game.

It seems like this virus just wants to torture our athletes. One day the news is good but the next it seems like it’s gotten worse. The question is how can athletes stay in shape or train? The answer is simple but one they don’t really want to hear. It is recommended that they train by themselves at home. If two athletes must train together it’s essential they stay apart and not share the same water bottle.

Swimming is a great way to exercise if the athlete has access to a home pool. Simply put, chlorine is the enemy of viruses of all kinds.

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For the athletes that are staying active and training at home it is recommended to stay away from non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs for those aches and pains. It is thought but not proven, that these drugs may worsen the condition of an infected person. Those in the know recommend acetaminophen for those aches and pains.

The athlete should not be afraid to train. Training hard will not weaken their immune system but instead a healthy body will be able to fight the virus more efficiently if contracted. Being fit doesn’t mean you can’t somehow pick the virus up but it does mean your body will have a jump start to battle it.

The athlete needs to prepare the mind as well for the every day emotional swings. One day he or she hears it’s likely that some sports will be played soon and the next day they say the opposite. Athletes need to be aware that things change rapidly and the future of sports in the near future doesn’t look so great but they must remember this is truly for the greater good.

Unrealistic expectations can be the absolute worst for athletes young or old. Always know you can call your coaches and teammates if things seem to be frustrating so stay in touch with them in the virtual world until the joyful reunion comes. Remember to keep busy. Pick up the phone and call the grandparents, call a coach, a teammate or just call and check on a neighbor. The role of an athlete is more than what is expected on the field. Keep training, keep eating healthy, keep positive.