When spring sports were canceled last year halfway through their seasons, CPP student-athletes expected things to be clear by the following spring. With the coronavirus pandemic still not under control in the United States, spring athletes may need to get accustomed to playing without an audience if the CCAA allows spring sports to return to competition.
The Poly Post interviewed spring student-athletes on their thoughts about competing without live audiences.
“Possibly competing with zero fans this upcoming season impacts each person in a different way. Personally, I love hearing the fans cheer for the athletes, but without the fans it might not feel the same. It takes some of the excitement away and may feel strange, but we have teammates for a reason. Teammates will give you the encouragement and energy to push you past your boundaries. Competitions may feel like a normal practice because of how quiet it may seem. As long as you have your goal in mind, stay motivated, and keep that competitive mindset, competitions without fans should not affect my performance or other athletes’ performance.”
“Some players rely on adrenaline that is sometimes given to them from members of the crowd and not having that can make it tough for certain types of players to compete. There are also players who could really benefit to having no crowd at games. Some players may find that they can really focus and really slow the game down because there is no outside noise while trying to play. It is also possible that the no-fan rule could make it seem like less of a game and more like practice or a scrimmage to some of the spring athletes. The biggest downfall of the whole thing would be for the parents of the seniors. It’s saddening to think that some athletes’ last games may be played without their families being able to come to the games. For me, fans are a big part of the game and not having them is something that could be very unfortunate.”
“The opportunity and privilege of being a student-athlete is very time constrained. Most of us only get about four to five years of competing at the collegiate level, and this pandemic has taken away the entire 2020 competition year. It is still uncertain if we’ll even be able to compete at all this upcoming spring. However, I think all of us would be grateful for any opportunity at competing next year. The fans cheering us on at the sidelines will be missed, but if there is any way for us to compete and be mindful for other people’s health, then we will have to adjust without them. There will be those moments where any of us might be needing that extra boost that the fans give, but we promise to compete extra hard for all those that weren’t able to make it. ”
“I think competing without fans won’t be much of a difference as it was before COVID-19. The reason I say this is because typically students don’t attend track meets like they do basketball or soccer games, mainly due to the multiple events going on at once rather than one. In addition, hammer is an event that is typically not in the same vicinity as other events, so it makes it harder for people to come watch when other events are simultaneously going on. This is understandable, I think that having no fans during these times will feel empty as no one is there to cheer you on but your teammates. But I would say that I am used to it because, as a hammer thrower, I typically throw on Fridays; therefore, the entire team is not there to watch me and less fans tend to show up because compared to Fridays, Saturdays have all of other events rather than one. COVID-19 has an impact on track as a whole but having no fans will make me feel more like I am at practice than competing at a meet.”
“I believe that the possibility of not having fans this spring would not be too detrimental to our team. Distance runners are used to not seeing very many fans because our cross-country courses stretch out pretty long. Sure, it is unfortunate to not have family members or friends there cheering us on during our event, but we do have our teammates. Much of this program’s success is built on the camaraderie that we have with one another. So, in reality we have the best motivation that we could ask for through our teammates. These are people who have gone through the same struggles and made the same sacrifices that I have had. It creates that amazing environment that cannot be replicated unless you shared experiences with one another. All in all, it will be sad not seeing those stands filled with people, but I know that it will bring us that much closer as a team.”
“Competing with no fans this spring would definitely be different. I’d say playing with fans in attendance is part of the game and is something everyone enjoys. The most difficult part of it is that everyone’s families like to come watch and support the team. In that sense, it would be disappointing if fans cannot attend. Ultimately, we want to play and if fans can’t come to the games it is just something we will have to live with. The fans will be able to watch the games via live stream so if they want to support the program that is always an option. Like I said though, we just want to play so whatever it takes we will do.”
(Photos courtesy of CPP Athletics Department. Photos and quotes compiled by staff writer Christian Moya.)
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