Sudden loss of sports stirs feelings, emotions, values

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The Coronavirus pandemic has practically shut down the world and society is facing it with the loss of one of its greatest attractions.

Sports give society an anchor during difficult times. This time, sports are not there. The world of sports has been placed on pause and changed the everyday life of many people.

To Emily Carless, student-athlete at Western Michigan University, it means the loss of a potential championship.

“My season was cut short. My team and I were ready to win the MAC championship this year. We had a great season and won the regular season title and were hungry for more,” said Carless.

To Malik Hall, student-athlete at Michigan State University, it has given him time to learn more about life.

“I will have a new appreciation for life in general because you never know when something’s going to happen that will change your life forever,” said Hall.

To Kofi Hughes, personal trainer and retired NFL player in Illinois, it has provided a time of reflection.

“I just think this time is so valuable and special, to stop from all our responsibilities and activities and rest, and ponder and reflect on who we are and what we believe,” said Hughes. “I believe a lot of people are actually finding God in this time.”

To Sidney Binger, student assistant for Athletic Communications at Michigan State University, this has been a time of disbelief.

“Sports have been a part of my life from a very young age, and at only 21 years of age, I never expected to learn what it was like without them,” said Binger. “So how have I been responding to this new way of life? I don’t think it’s truly hit me yet.”

To Kailee Bass, student-athlete at Belmont University, it has made her have an intense feeling of appreciation for many parts of her life.

“I will have a special appreciation for everything! Hugs, spending face to face time with people, going to class, practicing, being able to study at a coffee shop, walking in crowds, going to church and just being around the people I love,” said Bass.

To Becky Stiles, assistant field hockey coach at Michigan State University, it has overall been a shocking time.

“It’s all so surreal. I didn’t realize how much our lives and society rely on sport, until it is totally stripped away from us. My first reaction to everything was shock or disbelief,” said Stiles.

Similar to Carless, Hughes, Binger, Hall, Bass and Stiles, the entire world of sports has been flipped upside down and this has had different effects on everyone.

Athletes, fans and coaches are responding in different ways.

Emily Carless, Gymnastics Student-Athlete at Western Michigan University
Photos of Carless competing during a gymnastics meet. Photo courtesy of Emily Carless.

Carless is a dedicated athlete who enjoying a successful season that was cut short unexpectedly.

“When I got word that not only our season was cancelled but we weren’t allowed to practice, it was so hard,” said Carless. “I have pushed through so much and made sacrifices this year to see my end results taken away. To think in just one moment, it was taken away.”

At first, Carless found comfort in being home and relaxing, but soon realized that it was difficult, as her sport is one that you can’t do just anywhere.

“I am looking forward to having a new perspective with my sport. Practicing and training harder because after this pandemic it has taught me that you never know what practice or turn could be your last,” said Carless.

Malik Hall, Basketball Student-Athlete at Michigan State University
Hall admiring his team’s B1G Ten Championship trophy (top) and Hall cheering during a game (bottom.) Photo Courtesy of Malik Hall.

Basketball fans around the nation have been mourning the loss of March Madness.

Hall has a different perspective, one of a starter on a team planning on making a run for that championship.

“Without basketball, I have been a little lost honestly,” said Hall.  I have never had this much free time before.”

“I am looking forward to being with my team and getting back to our routine.”

Luckily, Hall is a freshman and has other chances at that championship title in the coming years.

Kofi Hughes, Personal trainer, retired NFL player in Illinois
Hughes pictured speaking to athletes he trains. Photo courtesy of Kofi Hughes.

For Hughes, this change but has provided him opportunity to grow in other ways.

“My mind is elsewhere with, in my opinion, a lot more important and fruitful activities,” said Hughes.

“The hardest or worst part of this pandemic has been the fact that I cannot serve and train my clients. I miss them so much,” said Hughes. “I just love my people, and love building them up and I can’t do that right now in person.”

Sidney Binger, Student Assistant for Athletic Communications at Michigan State University

“You never realize, as a sports fan, how much of an effect the elimination of sports has on your life,” said Binger. “The thrill and excitement that comes with watching sports is undeniable. It’s what brings and ties a whole nation together!”

“I would say what I am looking forward to is what happens more off the field/court than on,” said Binger. “It’s seeing a team celebrate their Elite Eight win and watching a community rally behind their team on a weekly basis whether it’s hockey or volleyball or wrestling.”

Kailee Bass, Volleyball Student-Athlete at Belmont University
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Bass competing during a volleyball game (top) and Bass posing on team photo day (bottom.) Photo Courtesy of Kailee Bass.

A student-athlete used to competing at the Division 1 level in her sport, being sent home without her team is unheard of for Bass.

Bass has been working on her mental and emotional health as well as physical health while being home.

“I’m so excited to be back with my team! I FaceTime someone on my team almost every day and it’s just weird not seeing them every day,” said Bass. “We are a really close team so I just can’t wait to all give them all a hug.”

Becky Stiles, Assistant field hockey coach at Michigan State University

Stiles has a different perspective.

“The shock or disbelief turned into a reality and that is when my heart started to hurt for the many student athletes whose sport, passion, and hours of hard work were ripped away from them so abruptly,” said Stiles.

Stiles has had time to foster a special appreciation for life.

“During this COVID19 quarantine, I am constantly being reminded that life is truly a gift and that we are not guaranteed tomorrow,” said Stiles. “I have been reminded that no matter what comes our way, the loss of sport, unknowns with our job, faltering health, or even lack of social life, I have my faith to lean on.”

Taylor Davis, Volleyball Student-Athlete at Colgate University

A volleyball player at Colgate University, Davis highlights what she has been doing during this pandemic.

It is important to remember that sports and everything that they represent will be back.

Sports will return one day.

The aspects we love of sports will soon be used to unite people together again to celebrate the triumphs and struggles of their favorite teams.

 Sports will again be the thing that brings togetherness and happiness to so many people.

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