Field hockey players adapt to COVID-19 conditions

Players have to take more health precautions on the field and wait for a postponed season

Jefferson+Field+Hockey+players+practice+drills+in+COVID-adapted+green+day+practices.+The+one-on-one+passing+drill+is+meant+to+improve+skill+while+staying+safe.+%E2%80%9CThe+passing+drills+are+used+to+have+smooth+hand+eye-coordination+on+the+field%2C+however+the+highlight+of+practice+are+the+shooting+drills%2C%E2%80%9D+said+freshman+Tessa+Joseph.+

Jefferson Field Hockey players practice drills in COVID-adapted green day practices. The one-on-one passing drill is meant to improve skill while staying safe. “The passing drills are used to have smooth hand eye-coordination on the field, however the highlight of practice are the shooting drills,” said freshman Tessa Joseph.

Aarya Kumar, Staff Writer

With the season kicking off in a couple of months, incoming freshmen and returning students are refining their skills in green day practices. However, the introduction of new guidelines and limitations have resulted in a postponed schedule of games. 

While green day practices continue to run smoothly, players have to take appropriate measures to play as part of the team. As the season approaches, players have to overcome hardships relating to COVID and the community as a team.                                                                                                 

“During green days, we focus a lot on conditioning because field hockey is a lot of running around. We focus a lot on stick skills and controlling the ball so we know when we’re playing that we know whom to pass it to. However, we haven’t been able to do a lot of actual teamwork because of COVID,” senior Grace Cha said.

While students practice drills for the upcoming season, coaches are implementing new precautions to deal with the virus at hand.

“Currently, green day practices are very COVID concerned in the sense that, every 45 minutes we have to clean our sticks,” sophomore Simirith Ranjan said. “When you play with the ball, only that ball can only touch your stick and one other person’s stick. Also, after a few minutes, we usually switch out balls to be readily sanitized.” 

While practices have started running smoothly again, this season continues to be very unpredictable. The Virginia High School League (VHSL) has adopted a new model for the start and length of seasons.

“Due to the virus, our season of games is moved from February to May. COVID will definitely have a pretty big impact on sports, our season of games is moved from February to May. COVID will definitely have a pretty big impact on sports, especially our sport which is somewhat contact oriented. They’ll probably limit the number of games you can play and more precautions for sure,” Ranjan said.

The postponed season has confused the field hockey players and altered their outlook on training and keeping focused.

“We’re not really sure how to adapt to playing in the spring and the period of time outside of the fall season but before games start where we’re not doing anything. We just don’t know what will happen by the time February rolls around,” Cha said.