Men's Sports, Sports

Long Beach State student athletes cope with COVID-19

By: Teran Rodriguez and Matt Fields.

Being a collegiate athlete is no easy task, as you have to keep physically and mentally in shape year-round while balancing out a healthy diet, juggling classes and planning out your calendar days ahead.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most student athletes at Long Beach State have been prohibited from working out on campus without permission. 

Long Beach State men’s volleyball redshirt senior, Spencer Olivier, said his workout routine has given him the stability and consistency he has needed to stay motivated for the upcoming season.

After coming off of a big National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship year, Olivier parallels his motivation to making sure he is prepared for his teammates when they do return. 

Redshirt sophomore, Spencer Olivier, goes up for a block. Photo courtesy of John Fajardo.

“So we don’t really know if we are going to have a season, but I’m still working out just in case we do have a season. I expect the same from my teammates,” Olivier said. “If I’m not prepared if we do have a season then I’m letting them down. If I’m not in shape and I’m not prepared then I’m letting them down.” 

To start his day, Olivier eats breakfast and then goes to his job where he coaches a twelve to fourteen year old volleyball team. Once he finishes there, Olivier consumes another meal consisting of something high in protein and goes home to complete his daily workout. 

“I am lucky enough to have a workout setup in my garage which makes staying in shape a little easier for me,” Oliver said.

Following his workout, Olivier moves on to his homework, finishing off his day with another meal.

“I can’t let the fact that we might not have a season get to me, it’s out of my control,” Oliver said. “I can get upset about it, but I can’t let it affect me and make me not want to get better at volleyball because I do want to play volleyball after college.”

For men’s volleyball player Marc Moody, the struggle for him has stemmed from not having access to a gym, having to make up workouts with whatever he can find. 

Redshirt sophomore Marc Moody attempts a kill. Photo courtesy of John Fajardo.

“The main thing with COVID is focusing on what you can control. Dominating the things you can control. One thing I can control is watching video. Whether it be Youtube or Volleymetrics that we use to break down specific attacks and plays,” Moody said. “With workouts, there has been a big change because we aren’t able to use the facilities in the Pyramid. I’d use whatever I could find with weight to do some kind of workout like gallons of water.”

Moody also said he has struggled with motivation during the COVID-19 pandemic after starting off strong for the first four months of the shutdown, staying active and working out. 

“Once August and September came around things started to go up and down for me,” Moody said. “I’m not perfect, I tried to stay motivated as much as I could but there were times when I gave in for a little bit.”

Finding new skills to work on has kept Moody in a positive mindset. Some skills he’s taken up include cooking, working on cars and golfing.

“Ultimately for me, it’s the love of the sport. I love everything about it from my teammates, to competing, to the Long Beach fam,” Moody said.

Teams have created group chats via text message or Facebook Messenger to make sure teammates are keeping up with their workouts.

Long Beach State Dirtbag Santino Rivera said the team this offseason has been participating in “jail yard workouts” in what he described as a “body weight workout that doesn’t require a lot of equipment.” Players also occasionally go to public parks and use the pull-up bars and any available workout stations.

Junior infielder Santino Rivera jumps up to save a throw. Photo courtesy of John Fajardo.

“We were so blessed to be able to work out in the Pyramid and have access to Blair Field twenty-four-seven,” Rivera said. “It’s a humbling experience to see how spoiled we all were before [the pandemic], but we [the other baseball players] have some equipment.”

Long Beach State Dirtbag Santino Rivera uses home gym to stay fit. Photo courtesy of Santino Rivera.

Rivera’s motivation to stay in shape is more of an underdog approach, as he said teams that are not in the Big West Conference and outside of California are allowed to practice and have weightlifting sessions.

“We kind of know that we’re the underdog right now and it fuels us to be better every day and stay connected and keep on each other,” Rivera said.

Rivera’s teammate, Chris Jimenez, said his motivation to stay in shape has been to not let his teammates down before the possible upcoming season.

Dirtbags junior catcher Chris Jimenez jogs to first base after a walk. Photo courtesy of John Fajardo.

“I think the key to staying in shape is self-motivation,”  Jimenez said. “I know from personal experience these past few months, it’s been pretty tough for me to get out of the house or to find somebody to go do something with you, especially if you’re living at home and not at on campus.” 

As the spring semester approaches with teams hoping to compete, their decisions on and especially off the field are going to make a big difference on whether or not that hope is attainable.  

“It’ll be very obvious to all the guys if somebody’s not doing their job and it’ll be very obvious to all the coaches as well if they’re not getting what they need to get done during the offseason,” Jimenez said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daily 49er newsletter