Seasons on Pause: Student-Athletes Play the Waiting (and Hoping) Game

by Madison Costigan on December 22, 2020

Seasons on Pause: Student-Athletes Play the Waiting (and Hoping) Game

by Madison Costigan on December 22, 2020

This year, student-athletes, like everyone else, have had to adjust to accepting the unknown. Fall sports were cancelled, and the Mid-American Conference’s decision on whether or not to have winter and spring sports is still up in the air, which also has to be followed by a decision by Arcadia. As a softball player, I can only hope for a season alongside my fellow student-athletes. 

Coming into my freshman year, I most looked forward to the team atmosphere of support and motivation that I will get to be part of. Arcadia’s athletic community is supportive and tight-knit, and that is one reason that Arcadia stuck out to me in my college search. The student-athletes love their sports and want to see each other succeed. I am most excited to positively contribute to other athletes’ time at school—and to have exceptional experiences of my own.

Madi Costigan with a softball

I also looked forward to the everyday aspects of the life of an athlete, with practices, time with my teammates, and especially games. The level of competition at college is something I have never experienced, and I cannot wait for the day when I can step on the field and witness a new degree of the game. Finding a place on my new team and being able to connect with my teammates on and off the field will be exciting. 

But now, our season and methods of team bonding look a little different. Instead of seeing each other every day for practices, lifts, and games, we meet over Zoom to discuss how to be ready for the spring season, if it is ever going to take place. 

Athletes are also engaging in new activities during this waiting period before our seasons start. For me, I have found a new interest in yoga as a way to gain strength and mental stability. Many athletes have been able to spend more time with their families and pets at home, as well as engage with the outdoors by hiking and traveling. Although the pandemic has drastically changed our everyday lives, it has also presented us with new opportunities and interests.

I have felt a degree of separation from the Arcadia community while experiencing this semester at home, but potentially getting to live on campus and playing for Arcadia next semester has kept me motivated and hopeful. Although there is still so much unknown, I am optimistic about sports coming back this year. Arcadia is taking steps to reopen campus which will hopefully include the return of all sports facilities and teams. 

The next seasons for sports may look a little different, with teams wearing masks during socially distanced practices. But I know that student-athletes are willing to face any obstacle in order to play again. Arcadia and its faculty will have our best interests at heart and do everything to keep us safe if we have the opportunity to play this year.

I miss being on the field, hearing the pop of the ball in the glove, and feeling the ball launch off my bat. Of course I hope that we win games, but more than that, I hope that the experience makes me a better player, teammate, and person.

- Madi Costigan

I miss being on the field, hearing the pop of the ball in the glove, and feeling the ball launch off my bat. Every team is waiting to get back to doing what they love, missing the times of normalcy. Of course I hope that we are successful and win games, but more than that, I hope that the experience makes me a better player, teammate, and person. 

If I get the chance to take the field with my teammates this year, I would call that a win. Until then, student-athletes have to continue waiting on the decision for their future seasons. The continuing uncertainty has been frustrating, but missing the spring season last year and the fall season this year due to COVID has given athletes a new level of appreciation for their sports. You never know when your next game will come, or when your last game will take place. 

Student-athletes at Arcadia play for their love of the game and to satisfy their competitive spirits, and I cannot wait to experience the atmosphere that student-athletes will create through the excitement of returning to play. Pride in our athletics and everything we accomplish is more important than ever, because it will bring the community of students together after the struggles and lows of this year.