The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected everyone’s lives, including our favorite sports leagues and athletes. Ever since the virus ballooned in the first quarter of 2020, the pandemic has caused the interruption of most of our day-to-day activities. It sent millions in a frenzy to buy necessities in anticipation of prolonged periods of lockdowns.
Various American sports leagues were especially affected by the pandemic. The Major League Baseball (MLB) training camps prior were halted indefinitely, as the number of players with COVID-19 mounted up. In the National Basketball Association (NBA), Commissioner Silver was also forced to suspend the season indefinitely when a player tested positive for the virus. In the succeeding weeks, the National Hockey League (NHL) also put a stop to the season, stating, with a faint hope, that their league is exploring all options for its return amidst the pandemic. Back then, COVID-19 completely soiled most of the athletes’ aspirations for a chance to compete for a championship.
Keeping It Busy
Amidst the NBA League interruption, the athletes kept themselves busy. Hopefuls such as NBA player Serge Ibaka set up a home gym to try to keep in shape for an anticipated but then-unknown future of the league. Most athletes recognize that continuous workout is important to preserve their skill set and prevent injuries even during lockdown. NBA superstars, such as LeBron James himself, have home gyms to keep themselves in shape—pandemic or not.
Keeping It Healthy
To maintain a body fit for their respective sports and games even during lockdown, athletes take part in different workout regimens and nutritional supplements. While it may vary, the all-too-common denominators of what these athletes consume, especially during the long and stagnant period of lockdown, are vitamin D, creatine, and iron.
It is known that as many as 82% of athletes use supplements to boost their workouts and growth. It is highly important that the athletes maintain a strict nutritional intake so that anytime their number is called up for the resumption of the season, their body is ready. Many athletes from different sports are involved in the business of supplements.
Vitamin D is mainly used for bone and muscle strength. All too known in the form of protein shakes, creatine is essential for the growth of lean muscle mass. Iron, being the most overlooked vitamin among athletes as it can cause mild constipation and minor joint pain, prevents fatigue and promotes healthy blood oxygenation and metabolism.
It is important that most athletes take these supplements in the most efficient way possible, such as in the form of protein shakes or non-constipating iron supplements to avoid hampering their continuous workouts during lockdown. Being efficient has been key to making the most of the quarantine.
Keeping It Happy
To maintain sanity, prevent mental deterioration, and promote proper balance between work and play, most athletes engaged in completely different interests. Budding NBA All-Star Jamal Murray found a new hobby in playing the piano. NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and NBA veteran Patty Mills both tried their caliber in playing the guitar. NBA All-Star Trae Young rediscovered the ancient way to play basketball: with balled-up socks and a trash can. Young stars Luka Doncic and Ja Morant kept themselves busy with what any young adult with plenty of spare time would do: playing video games.
Keeping It Real and Connected
Unfortunate as the lockdown may seem, majority of the athletes took the opportunity to reconnect with their families and fans—albeit only digitally. Most people still see athletes as role models. The athletes took this opportunity to connect to their fans about the pandemic. Through social media, NHL players did their best to advise their fans to stay inside their houses amidst the crisis. NBA players took to Twitter and Instagram Live to engage with their fans around the world.
The biggest NBA superstar LeBron James bonded with his wife and children through wine and multiple Tiktok videos. Damian Lillard, along with CJ McCollum, frequently conducted Instagram Live interviews to share their views regarding what was happening in the basketball world.
Although the pandemic has greatly affected everybody’s lives, athletes remain grounded and in touch with reality. While incapacitating, they made great use of their time even when on lockdown or quarantined. The difficulty resides in the return of the regular season for contact sports. Most leagues have already decided to push through the regular season but not been entertaining any stadium fans. Other leagues are even willing to push through a season in the bubble for the sake of sports entertainment.