Pride athletes struggle to stay motivated, fit in off-season

Though the fall season’s events were canceled, PNW student athletes remain committed to their sports.

Although they aren’t happy about the loss of competition, they are  trying to make the best of the situation. For example, they’re practicing harder than ever to come back stronger.

Despite all meets, matches, and games being canceled, PNW athletes are following consistent workout schedules.  Coaches have developed general routines for their athletes that focus on the core, back and legs. Many students supplement with their own programs as well.

“I do a little cardio to finish out the workouts to help me not get tired during a round,” said golf team member Jake Nietfeldt.

Some athletes do even more. Cross-country athlete Kristel Villarosa runs 30 miles a week – on top of coach-developed workouts.

“I‘m constantly improving slowly but surely, with every work out and run,” she said.

Even harder than staying fit, some athletes are struggling to stay motivated.

“I worked hard over the summer to make sure I was ready and in golf shape,” said Nietfeldt. “After we heard about our season it was difficult to get motivated to practice on my own. … I took a few days off …  to kind of reset … and try to find ways to have fun golfing this semester with my teammates.”

One way PNW’s athletes are keeping their heads in the game is by keeping in contact with their teammates. Cross-country team member Eric Alegre says he and his teammates stay in touch with email, Snapchat, GroupMe and Zoom.

Athletes who live in the dorms have been getting creative about bonding outside of their sport.

“We plan to have board game nights and cook meals with each other one or two nights a week,” said Sydney Valiska, a senior on the golf team.

Alegre said the cross-country team channels its competitive nature into other kinds of competition.

 “We try to do social distancing activities,” he said, “like playing video games such as CS:GO and Call of Duty, and fishing.”