Flint Hill Athletes Prepare for The Fall Athletic Season

By Amelia Vineyard, Section Editor

Athletics have always been a central part of Flint Hill student life. But, COVID-19 restrictions have limited the extent to which students can participate in athletics. Fall seasons have been postponed, with students missing the feeling of being a part of a team and playing sports. Additionally, sports helped create a sense of school spirit. Without those opportunities this year, many students are missing the bonds and friendships they made last year within their sports teams.

Many lifelong memories and friendships are made within the Fall sports season at Flint Hill. In a typical year, students attend athletic practices almost every day and teams would compete against other schools. This “on-the-field” activity translated to friendships and bonds that transferred to the classroom and outside of school. Additionally, many Flint Hill students would attend Flint Hill games, dressing up in themes, and cheering on the team. 

This fall, it is not possible for sports teams to meet in person for practice or competitions. But, many coaches are leading their teams through virtual team meetings, workouts, and team spirit activities. Despite missing out on the connection of seeing each other face to face, most students enjoy the feeling of being a part of a team. 

Sports allow students to take a break from school and focus on another important aspect of school; sports and social skills. Staying connected is difficult in this challenging time, and virtual meetings of sports teams allow students to engage in conversations with peers with similar interests. 

While teams cannot practice the physical aspect of their sports together, hosting virtual meetings has allowed teams to further develop their communication and collaboration. While not ideal, the informal season this year allows for players to get to know each other and their coaches better, which is invaluable information when competing. Furthermore, this allows coaches to develop new strategies and plans for teams in the following season. While every team has been going about their meetings differently, many students are enjoying the experience of getting to know their teammates and coaches better this year.

One member of the football team, who wished not to be named, stated that his favorite part of the virtual meetings is “seeing everybody and just catching up.” He expressed that he deeply misses being a student-athlete, and he misses everything about being a part of the team, including the team spirit. Although he still feels connected as a team, he knows it’s not the same as last year. “The team spirit isn’t as much as I wish it would be because we all aren’t together,” he added. Like many other students, he is preparing for next year’s season by continuing to practice and exercise, so that he is still in shape for the next football season. He hopes that they will all be able to gather as a team, later on in the year.

Despite the many challenges that athletic teams face this year, it is evident that each team is trying to make the most out of the season. Although this year is very different compared to other years, it gives teams a unique opportunity to focus on aspects of athletics other than the physical component. Students all expressed how much they enjoyed seeing their teammates’ faces again. Many students do not get to interact with peers in other grades other than sports, and hosting virtual meetings gives a formal platform to facilitate these relationships. It also gives coaches the ability to learn more about their players before playing with them in the following seasons. Despite the challenges of the season, the Flint Hill Athletics program is making the most of the unexpected season this year.