The Athlete World: How Student-Athletes are Bouncing Back from the Pandemic


Dave Quick

The Bounce Back: Different sources of motivation push Dub’s athletes to be better than ever after the pandemic.

It is safe to say that everyone was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but how are student-athletes bouncing back? The answer has a lot to do with motivation. 

The passing of a loved one can emit many negative emotions from someone, but for some, it could be motivation. Junior basketball player Noah Randle uses his family and the loss of his beloved best friend Courtney Louisville to push himself as an athlete. “She was my best friend, we had so many memories and great times together,” Randle said. “So when I lost her, it just made me want to be great for her and put her name on my back.”

We might also be motivated by someone or something outside of our families and friend groups, like personal hero’s. Oftentimes, we get inspired by them and soon aspire to be in their position. “I developed a love for basketball after watching LeBron James his first year in Cleveland”, said senior basketball player TJ Lewis. “I watched his highlights during the pandemic and I wanted to be great like him.”

Some find motivation in the sports team itself, with the communal aspect and bonding experiences players share. For senior Gaines Wood, building trust in a team creates this family dynamic, and great memories as well. “I love the atmosphere of football and the brotherhood we have as teammates,” said Wood. “I really missed that.”

Simply being in the habit of playing a sport has been why some students have continued their athletic careers. Reminiscing on his football background, senior Elliot Moody wanted to continue playing the sport because he had gotten so accustomed to it. “I played a lot in middle school and elementary school and it just stuck with me,” Moody said. “The pandemic did not stop me from playing.”

On the contrary, newbies are looking to begin their athletic journeys. Take freshman Chase Clayton for instance. Although he has been playing basketball since second grade, it is his first time trying out for a high school basketball team. “I’m excited to be on the team this year,” Clayton said. “I am hoping to show that my work during the pandemic has paid off.”

It seems our Warriors have a lot on their plate, especially now that life is starting to look more normal. As these Dubs get back into the swing of things this upcoming season, this year might be the greatest comeback story of the year.