How Covid-19 Has Affected Players

The Covid 19 pandemic began in early 2019. Almost a full year has passed since we began lockdown where everything in our community has to function differently to keep us safe. One of the things that had to change dramatically is soccer.  


For the past year, soccer players have not been allowed to have any sort of physical contact with each other during practice and they have not been allowed to participate in real games. This has caused some players to quit and has encouraged others to want to stop playing soccer long term. 


Jessica Orthmann (8) said, “One effective way I stay motivated for soccer when I won’t be playing a game anytime soon is by asking myself at the end of each day these following questions: Did I do everything I could today to beat someone else? Did I accomplish something small I couldn’t do yesterday? And did I become a better soccer player in any way? By asking myself these questions, I don’t give up as much because I always want my answers to be something I’m proud of at the end of the day,” 


“I definitely believe from lack of intense training my skills and fitness have deteriorated,” Orthmann continued. “One long-term goal I have always had is playing soccer in high school and at a 4-year college. These goals haven’t changed because of Covid, they just reminded me how much soccer means to me in the future because I had time away from it.” 


“When I first think about playing games again of course I’m overwhelmed with excitement because after so long I could start doing the thing I love again,” Orthmann also said. “I’m nervous that I’m not going to be the same player I used to be almost a year ago. I’m scared I won’t have the same level of speed or quickness I had before or the chemistry and flow I had with my teammates during every game.”


Kylee Scroggs (8) said, “Because I have such a passion for soccer, it keeps me motivated knowing that I will return to do something that I love. Even though we are not playing games, I still get to see my teammates at soccer practice which makes it even better. I haven’t been as focused as I would be if we were playing games and because of the lack of training, I do think that my skills have deteriorated. I would be so excited to go back to playing games.”


She continued, “I love soccer so much, and I have realized how much I actually need soccer in my life because it makes me happy. Before Covid-19, I really wanted to play soccer in college.  Now I have realized that my goals have changed, and I might want to pursue a different sport to make it further with my goals.”


Kyla McEneany (9) said, “For me to stay motivated for soccer even though I know we won’t be playing games anytime soon so I focus on my goals and how I can get better. She continued, “I also remind myself where I started to motivate me to work harder. I think from the lack of intense training at practice my skills have gotten a little worse. I still try to put the work in outside of soccer to stay fit, and I still have the same long term goals because I still enjoy soccer the same and still want to play soccer in the future.”


Covid-19 has forced these players to really think about their sport of choice and where they want to go much earlier than if things were status quo. All of these players have been playing soccer from a very young age. Some have said they still love it and will continue and others have said they may go in a different direction. Covid 19 has changed all of our lives immensely and forced kids of a young age to really think about their life choices and what’s important much earlier than they would have before the pandemic.