Opinion: How Baruch athletes have experienced Zoom


Denis Gostev | Baruch Athletics

Regina Kelley

Due to the pandemic, Baruch College went online and so did Baruch Athletics.

This meant no more in-person practices, games or team workouts. We went from practices five days a week to sitting inside all day. How could we function as teams on Zoom?

Once we went online, I started going to the volleyball team’s zoom meetings, as well as the meetings for softball and tennis teams, all of which I’m a part of.

Each team and coach has done things differently, but one thing they all had in common was trying to keep us together and engaged. It was so hard to join a Zoom meeting knowing that no one had an update on what our sports were going to look like in a week, a month or even a year. This speculation can be dangerous because it leaves us with either too much hope or with no hope at all.

I remember athletes voicing their frustrations on how they’re tired of not knowing, but then something changed. Each team decided that not knowing was something none of us could control, so we decided to take control of our current situation.

The softball team started doing Instagram takeovers. These are days where a softball player takes us through their day, meals, classes and workout regime. We started doing Instagram workout challenges and posting motivational content. We even had Zoom calls with professional softball players. The thing that touched me the most was one of our teammates had a birthday in late March, and we all got on a midnight call to wish her a happy birthday.

Most of us still haven’t seen each other since the pandemic began, but we know that we are stronger than ever. Together, we motivate each other to workout and stay healthy. We realize that even though we can’t see each other in the flesh, we still have a great support system.

The tennis team’s coach, Gregory Wyzykowski, played “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” by Bobby McFerrin on one of our Zoom calls, which reminded us to make the best of our situation. Also, last Friday, he played the famous comedy skit: “Who is on first?” with Abbott and Costello to make a point about communication.

Although tennis Zoom calls are always full of entertainment, Coach Wyzykowski is still focused on building our tennis game. He gives us tennis specific workouts and shows us videos of everything from technique to the mental game. Then, every week or every other week, he asks us what we did for our workouts. Tennis Zoom calls always provide us with great motivation at the end of every week to get through the next one.

The volleyball team has a special part to play in my weekly sports calls. Coach Kevin Edwards asks everyone how they are doing individually, so we all have a chance to express ourselves. It is a nice outlet for us as athletes who are struggling with being on Zoom, almost a year later.

Although all of the coaches are trying their best to make us athletes be active in new ways, as they navigate this situation at the same time we are, athletes want to get back on the field or court. Nothing can compensate for the feeling of playing our sports as a team, as Bearcats. As the small Division 3 school we are, we have grit, determination, pride and heart.