While Casady as a whole has arguably taken more precautionary measures than any other school in the metro area, the Casady athletics program is in a league of its own.
With smaller breakdowns of people and self sanitation practices being implemented as early as July, the Casady weight room maintains a level of safety and cleanliness unknown to most athletic activities. Not only is it cleaned at the beginning of the day and after every group leaves, but each individual is expected to wipe down all hard surfaces or equipment that they may have used. Students grab one of the many rags and spray bottles provided by weight lifting coach Marc Gonzaga and personally clean their area between stations. Now the weight room gets cleaned about every 7-10 minutes instead of after the team as a whole has finished their workout.
Many may wonder how this affects the efficiency and time it takes to complete a particular lift, but this new method of working out has only made our Cyclones more time conscious and focused. Students now concentrate on their technique and performance as well as learn how to plan and leave enough time to complete the sanitation process. This not only keeps our spaces clean, but also helps to build new and efficient habits for our athletes. This practice along with many program-wide safety measures has made the weight room one of the safest places on campus.
In addition to the extra precautions being taken indoors, outside, coaches have also made adjustments to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Many teams are now taking advantage of Casady’s large fields to spread out and try new socially distanced drills that don’t require as much close contact. While athletes do very well at staying apart during drills, the time when it really matters is on the sidelines. Both indoor and outdoor sports have done a fantastic job of separating players during water breaks and making sure that people are not within six feet without a mask. For instance, the field hockey team has set up x-marked spots spread six feet apart on the sidewalk where each player may leave their mask and water bottle. These spots also provide designated socially distanced areas where athletes may stand when not playing.
Instead of typical congregating or breakdowns at the end of practice, athletes have discovered new ways to feel connected as a team from a safe distance. On the flip side, pep and good sportsmanship still exist during COVID and are achieved in many creative ways. Whether it be by hitting sticks or elbow touches instead of handshakes, players find ways to show their support for one another and that they are a team player. Although it may seem difficult or even impossible to imagine a team sport without huddles and typical close contact, let me say camaraderie and team spirit is alive and well at Casady!