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High school athletes looking to navigate conditioning during halt to spring sports season
North Hall baseball coach Trevor Flow hits to players during pregame against Greater Atlanta Christian on March 13 in Gainesville.

Last Thursday, following the last North Hall baseball practice before coronavirus-related cancellations kicked in, Trojans coach Trevor Flow brought the team together to talk about the situation. 

With one game left to play the following Friday, Flow kept the group’s immediate goal narrow.

“I told them to control what they can control and left it to the seniors to be leaders,” he said.

Longer term, the plan is a bit more complex. 

With the immediate future still very uncertain, Flow and coaches for all sports have been planning for all eventualities, urging their players to stay in game shape, while still maintaining social distancing. It’s a tall task, considering coaches are not allowed to have any physical interaction with the players.  

“A lot of that is on (the players) shoulders,” Flow said. “They’re going to have to be disciplined. As hard as that is for a teenager, when they’re out of school, they’re going to have to follow the schedule we give them and be ready and prepared if we are able to get back on the field.”

Self discipline will be the theme of the season for athletes as they continue training, while simultaneously taking every action necessary to maintain health. 

For most teams, this involves a suggested workout schedule, consisting mainly of activities that can be done alone and with minimal equipment. Chestatee volleyball coach Kaylee Crumley advertised a suggested list of exercises for current and prospective players to work on through the team’s Twitter page, and she’s received plenty of positive feedback from the team.

“The dedication to the program I’ve seen has been great,” Crumley said. We have a very large middle school program, and the varsity girls know how important it is to keep the tradition going.”

Dedication will be key, but safety is even more important. 

Prior to school cancellations, Gainesville track and field co-head coach John Corbett encouraged his distance runners to keep up their conditioning during time away from school. 

Many of his athletes made plans to meet up to run together, but Corbett was sure to advise them to keep as much distance as possible — staying to themselves as much as possible in an effort to combine exercise with proper preventative action.

“The kids need to be taking this seriously,” he said. “If they don’t, we could lose a whole lot more than the track season.”

It’s a line that coaches and athletes around the area must walk as the spread of coronavirus continues to develop. Taking the necessary precautionary measures is difficult enough without factoring in workouts and practice. 

But it is a task that most Hall County coaches believe their athletes are capable of achieving.

“I think they’re mature enough to handle it,” Flow said.

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