Athletes training during COVID-19


Michelle Yamamoto

For months, COVID-19 has been presenting several unexpected obstacles for many Lincoln athletes that have not been able to do the sports they love for months.

For many Lincoln athletes, sports are a way to relieve stress, see friends and stay active, but COVID-19 has presented a variety of unexpected obstacles. For months students were unable to participate in the sports they love.

Some athletes, however, have been able to resume their sports in a variety of ways. 

Although Lincoln has shifted their sports to later in the year, many athletes play for clubs, where they can continue training in hopes of competing again soon. 

Sophomore Zack Andoh plays for both the Lincoln boys’ soccer team and for the Portland Timbers Academy soccer club. He hasn’t heard anything from his Lincoln soccer coach yet, but he started training with his club team about four weeks ago. 

During his soccer club training, players are required to maintain a distance of six feet, play no-contact and wear a mask the entire time. Additionally, they have their temperature checked before each practice and play in small groups of ten. Before being able to practice, Andoh’s club coach had been sending out some workouts for the team members to participate in at home.

“It’s hard to wake up every day and do it all alone,” Andoh said about his motivation to train at home.

The precautionary measures being taken by water-sport teams look very different. Junior Zoe Tomlinson plays for Lincoln water polo, and she is also a competitive synchronized swimmer for the Multnomah Athletic Club. Although the team is distanced in the water, only two to three teammates are allowed in at a time, and wearing a mask is not required while swimming.

Tomlinson never experienced a real break from training. When out of the water, she participated in Zoom workouts three days a week as a form of cross-training, a way to train outside of your sport to improve overall performance.

“It got very difficult and boring staring at a screen to train,” Tomlinson said.

 She even drove out to lakes one day a week to swim. In more recent weeks, synchronized swimming has been holding small practices at home pools and began to cross-train in person with coaches. 

Tomlinson expressed a newfound appreciation for practices and sports during the pandemic.

“Team motivation was lost [during quarantine], but personally, I have grown motivation to improve myself… I took swimming for granted before COVID,” she said.

Similar to Andoh, Lincoln volleyball player Zaley Longaker has been training with a club team with ten players on the court at a time, socially distanced with masks on. Longaker also spoke about how the break from volleyball was much longer than she had first expected.

“There was probably a chunk of time where [I thought] we were just going to be home for a couple weeks,” she said. “I missed it a lot.”

Longaker participated in some Zoom calls with her teammates to maintain a social connection and even got the chance to play beach volleyball with some of her club teammates in addition to doing at-home workouts, but only recently started playing in-person again.

“It’s going to be different for a long time,” she stated.

All three athletes have experienced training in a variety of creative ways. Through COVID-19 obstacles these athletes have persevered and worked to continue playing the sports they love. 

“I want to play every day now,” Andoh said. “I appreciate practice more.”