How athletes stayed in shape during COVID impacted summer


Photo by James Tananan Kamnuedkhun

Junior T.J. Crockett (1) scored 27 points, leading the Lions to the win against William Woods. Lindenwood won 88-80.

Will Crawford, Reporter

When COVID-19 shut down the Lindenwood campus, athletes of all sports were affected.

After the shutdown hit Lindenwood, athletes like football quarterback Cade Brister and men’s basketball point-guard T.J. Crockett were left scratching their heads.

“My initial reaction to the virus and shutdown had me confused and I was shocked that this was really happening in the world,” Crockett said.

Lindenwood told students in late-March that the rest of the month would be taught online only. That would later turn to the rest of the semester, and having the campus completely shutdown. This meant that athletes like Crockett and Brister couldn’t enter campus facilities to get their workout in or get ready for their upcoming seasons.

The virus affected both the athletes differently. According to Brister, the virus left him upset not being able to throw with teammates but was still able work-out at home with his brother. Crockett was like many professionals and didn’t know what to do in the down-time. According to Crockett, he didn’t want to do anything, that he would have to find a way to get out of his lazy stage. Despite this, Crockett persevered and got the workouts in.

“I stayed in shape by workouts in my room or runs with my brother,” Crockett said.

According to Crockett, the only way he was in touch with his coaches and team was Zoom meetings to do check-ups and to tell Crockett and other members of the team what was going on. Crockett’s interactions with his team wouldn’t be face-to-face until June. June was also the first time where Crockett was allowed to go somewhere and shoot. Many gyms, like Hyland Arena, were shut-down with no visitors due to the virus, making it impossible to get out and shoot.

Many schools are not allowing students into stands, if teams are even having seasons, which could affect many like Crockett.

“If fans aren’t allowed, I will be devastated because I feed off the crowd’s energy,” Crockett said.

According to Crockett, despite the distractions off the court, the men’s basketball team still has the same expectations on the court. For them, it’s to find that great team chemistry, play together, have fun, and of course to win.