Elena Ciulli | Staff Writer
From staying ready to quarantine if an athlete tests positive, to getting their workouts through apps, Panther athletes have had to adapt to a “new normal” in the face of COVID-19.
Florida Tech athletes have taken a unique and challenging hit due to COVID-19. Athletes’ daily lives have been drastically changed, with the majority of their time now being spent maintaining fitness levels and skill training.
To combat this unexpected off-season, athletes are seeking creative new ways to maintain their skills remotely. Sophomore Nolan Penn, a member of the men’s lacrosse team, had to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.
During his time in quarantine, Penn focused on working out in his apartment with training that doesn’t require equipment.
“Our team got shut down immediately after finding out the first positive case. Quarantine was different for each athlete and it was mainly contained to a few off campus houses,” Penn said. “During our isolation period, my roommate and I have been trying to maintain our shape working out in our apartment as much as we could.”
According to Florida Tech strength and conditioning coach Carl Putman, making sure athletes maintain good physical and mental health is the major goal of their recovery journey.
“We tried to send creative workouts for the athletes to try at home using regular household items through a training platform on a phone app”, Putman said.
So what do athletes in quarantine or who tested positive have to do before they return to practice?
According to Putman, athletic trainers have been implementing “return to play” protocols for athletes coming off quarantine. This is added to lower intensity workouts specially designed for those recovering from COVID-19.
All of these changes have presented challenges to Panther athletes.
Luis Moriyon Jr., a junior on the baseball team, has experienced some tough moments, but said he has full confidence on the coaching staff.
“The hardest part was going back to phase one as soon as we found the first positive case in our team. At this point it’s tough to know what would be our next move, but we follow what our coaches say and we trust the process.” Moriyon said.
Moriyon said extra precautions have been taken, such as avoiding sharing equipment with other athletes.
Putman emphasized that for any athletes exposed to COVID-19, returning to health is most important. He explained that hydration, proper nutrition, and sleep, along with stretching and mobility work, take priority.
“Recovery is very important and vital, particularly if our immune system has been busy fighting the virus,” Putman said.