Student athletes training despite pandemic


Andrew Guitron, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for students, especially athletes. All sports are currently on hiatus and with most classes being conducted fully online, it can be hard for student athletes to both stay in shape and get proper coaching. But coaches are trying their best to help players improve their skills while following health and safety guidelines. 

Head volleyball coach Lou Panzella is doing all that he can to help players adjust to the new routine, asserting that students and faculty must meet certain health criteria and follow guidelines in order to participate in practices on campus.

“Student athletes must be cleared daily on a healthy roster, wear a mask at all times on campus, sanitize their hands when they enter the gym and sanitize the volleyball they use during the session,” he said.

Panzella said they meet twice a week for an hour and a half to, “mostly to do conditioning and fundamentals of footwork, positioning and technique.”  

In addition to physical conditioning and practice, Panzella said that online lessons have been developed to assist student athletes with their training as well. 

“We also have online canvas assignments and alternative assignments for any student athlete unable or uncomfortable to attend face-to-face sessions,” he said.  

Soccer coach Zachary Sullivan also offers opportunities to keep his players in shape while adhering to safety guidelines.

“We are training Monday and Wednesday in socially distanced groups of twelve or less,” he said. 

Athletic Director Richard Villegas, who also coaches women’s basketball, explained that the athletic department has made the health and safety of players and staff who gather for practices on campus his top priority after receiving approval to resume them. 

“All seven athletic teams have been meeting on campus in pods of 12, two to three days a week. The LMC administration approved our athletic COVID protocol to be able to condition our student athletes.”