Keeping athletes motivated in quarantine


Ryan Caldwell '21

With spring sports being cancelled, South coaches are still striving to keep players on their game during lockdown.

Andrew Acker '21, Staff Writer

Though high school sports seasons were supposed to be well on their way at this time, due to the COVID-19, all MHSAA sports were canceled. These cancellations brought new challenges for spring sports coaches as they tried to keep their players motivated, and stay in contact with them during the absence of their seasons.

“I send stuff out to my athletes regularly,” baseball coach Dan Griesbaum said. ”I get a lot of stuff from vendors, and college coaches about what to do while everybody is not able to meet, and things they can do on their own while they’re isolated just to keep up their skills and improve themselves and be ready for when the baseball does start back up again”.

According to Mens’ Track coach Mark Sonnenberg, he has been staying in contact with his athletes since the outbreak started.

“We have been doing Google Hangouts,” Sonnenberg said. ”We have done them about every week that we’ve been on a break here, and seniors had a trivia competition a couple of weeks ago.”

Girls’ Track coach Stephen Zaranek has also been trying to stay in contact with his team.

“I have a group team email that includes the team members and most parents,” Zaranek said. “I have been sending out emails to the track team family a few times each month.”

Griesbaum said he thinks the virus has hit seniors the hardest.

“We really felt that this year’s group of seniors was one of the best that we’ve ever had 37 years,” Griesbaum said. “We were really looking forward to seeing what this group could do this year, and unfortunately, that’s just not gonna happen.”

Sonnenberg agrees that sports cancelations have made the biggest impact on seniors.

“My heart really goes out to the seniors,” Sonnenberg said. “They didn’t just lose the season, they lost all of those final chances to do things, all those final goodbyes. I really hope that they are able to make the best of this situation.”

According to Griesbaum, he hopes that kids can turn this into a learning situation, and learn life lessons from this.

“At South baseball, we try and teach as many life skills as possible,” Griesbaum said. “It’s not just about baseball and championships. It’s about teaching them life skills through baseball, and I believe there is no better life lesson than this one. In terms of how to overcome adversity, how to make a negative turn that positive, and not to mention learning to appreciate the game, as well as your family and health.”