July 13, 2024

College athletes are used to a rigorous schedule filled with practices, traveling, schoolwork and games, leaving them little time with friends and family.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 suspended the remainder of fall post-season games and the spring sports season, sending athletes home to quarantine with family.

Stay-at-home orders have led to something unusual for California Baptist University’s student-athletes: stretches of unexpected free time outside their sport. It has required them to create innovative training routines, but it has also allowed for some luxuries.

Chad Castillo, CBU baseball player and sophomore business administration major, said he has spent some time binge-watching Netflix shows “Tiger King” (2020) and “All American” (2018), but he is mostly giving more attention to his schoolwork.

“As a student-athlete, I put constant pressure on myself to succeed in the classroom and on the field,” Castillo said. “I have some workout equipment at my house so I’ve been utilizing that on a daily basis. Our strength and conditioning coaches also do a great job of sending us useful core and yoga workouts that we can do on our own. Just being able to escape outside and go for a run around the neighborhood has been beneficial and a great way for me to stay active.”

Faith Brazil, freshman public relations major and swimmer, said she has been swimming in her neighbor’s pool to keep in shape during quarantine, but she said time away from the team’s normal sports routine is strange.

“It is weird that I went from waking up early and not having much time to do activities outside of homework and practice to being able to sleep in and have so much time on my hands,” Brazil said. “I have been spending more time with my family and playing games with them more often.”

Brazil said that although the time away may be a break for some, CBU swim coaches challenge their athletes to think otherwise.

“I feel more pressure to train hard because this is the perfect time to,” Brazil said. “Many people will take this time and use it as a break, but my coaches and team have been encouraging each other to use this time to get ahead of the competition.”

Savannah Hines, sophomore psychology major and CBU dancer, said isolation has allowed her to spend more time with Jesus and practice choreography.

“I feel more relaxed,” Hines said. “I still do train. It’s a little harder with everything going on, but I’ve been stretching and doing at-home workouts as well as choreographing to keep my body moving.”

Although some of CBU’s student-athletes may spend some time binging new shows or starting new hobbies during the stay-at-home order just like any student, they are also committed to using this time to maintain their competitive edge for next season.

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