Day in the Life of Student Athletes: Covid Edition

Gorbati swings to serve during a practice

Courtesy of Julia Chan (‘23)

Gorbati swings to serve during a practice

Unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting student-athletes’ fall season. Making changes to the way the fall season sports operate, means being flexible and working around the limitations. While some sports have been postponed, outdoor sports continue to prepare for their season. 

Tushar Garg (‘21) is excited to get into his cross country season. Being a senior this school year, Garg will be having a very different season from what he has experienced in his last three years on the team. At around 8 a.m to 9 a.m., Garg begins his day with online school. Throughout the day, he reminds himself to constantly stay hydrated. As a runner, drinking a lot

of water is arguably the most important thing to prepare physically for a good run. 

“If you’re in my class, you can see me always having a water bottle by my side,” said Garg, “I typically try to get in at least 60 to 80 ounces before practice.” For lunch, Garg tries to eat as healthy as possible but does not follow any specific diet. Before the start of practice, Garg makes sure to stay rested and mentally prepares himself to do whatever the practice has in store for him that day. 

Practice for Garg begins at 3:15 pm. Prior to practice, he is required to take a two-minute survey that assesses for Covid-19 symptoms. Once he completes the survey, Garg takes a temperature check from one of the coaches or assistant coaches to make sure he does not have a fever. Once he fills out the survey and has his temperature checked, he enters his assigned pod. 

“The pods are groups of 14 people and these are essentially the group I am with for the whole season,” said Garg. Fortunately for Garg, he started running with his pod at the start of July.

Garg races to the finish line at a cross country meet
(Courtesy of RunningWorksPics)

Lisa Gorbati (‘21) is playing girl’s tennis for her fourth year. Waking up at 8 a.m. and eating breakfast is how Gorbati begins her day before attending her online classes. Gorbati typically has several meals throughout the day to fuel her body for the first day of practice. 

Prior to her tennis season, Gorbati made sure to get into the best physical shape for her sport. In order to maintain her physical fitness, she exercised a couple of times a week by doing ab workouts and running. She also played games against her friends to practice her serves and hits. 

This year, like the other fall sports, tennis requires Gorbati to follow safety guidelines and regulations. 

“As far as precautions go, we fill a self-evaluation form at home and we have to take our own temperature,” said Gorbati. 

When Gorbati’s last class ends at 2:30, she drives herself to the East tennis courts to have practice. Lisa begins her practice with stretches, footwork drills, and running. The girl’s tennis team is able to talk as a whole as they discussed the goals and plans for the season. With the new changes and alterations of the season, Gorbati will be experiencing this season in a different way than what she is used to. 

“I was very nervous and still am because I’m unsure how the season will go due to Covid,” said Gorbati, “but I’m very glad that the season is still happening and I can’t wait to see what will happen. Gorbati’s day did not end with tennis practice. Right after practice, Gorbati works her shift as a lifeguard at the Jewish Community Center (JCC). Her shift for the day is 3 hours and she concludes her day by finishing up homework. 

Kiran Muttathil (‘23) is playing field hockey for her second year. In preparation for her season, Muttathil had to get creative with ways to practice. Muttathil also utilizes her brother’s baseball hitting net to practice her skills. 

Muttathil began her Monday by waking up early around 7 a.m. to finish up some homework. A plus side to an online school that Muttathil has found is the extra time to complete schoolwork, especially during the 40 minute lunch period. 

At 2:30, Muttathil arrives at East with her own water bottle and gear. After getting her temperature check, she meets with her team on the turf field. Muttathil went through dynamic stretches and took a run with her team as a warm-up. The rest of the practice consisted of Muttathil running through drills and meeting the freshman. She also worked on conditioning to work on different aspects such as strength, coordination, and agility. The remainder of Muttahil’s day consists of showering after practice, eating dinner with her family, doing homework, and winding down before the next day.

Alex Tanaka (‘23) is back on the football field for East. Tanaka’s positions are outside linebacker and running back. To prepare for the season, Tanaka held himself responsible for staying active and maintaining good shape for playing. He was able to do so by running on a regular basis. Normally he would lift weights, but the weight room has remained closed due to the pandemic. 

Tanaka wakes up at around 8:30 a.m. to get ready for his online classes. He generally does not eat breakfast, but once morning classes finish, Tanaka eats his first meal for the day. After Tanaka finishes his last class, he heads to East for his football practice. He and his teammates start off by stretching their bodies and warming up with sprints and other warmups. 

At the beginning of practice, Tanaka goes into his position groups across the field to complete drills assigned by his coach. A large majority of practice is geared towards drills and conditioning. 

Despite the different approaches to the fall season this year, athletes and teams are doing everything in their power to have a successful season, and to overcome the obstacles and limitations that the pandemic has caused.