The Journal Gazette
Monday, June 01, 2020 1:00 am

COVID-19 changes amplify teens' struggles

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

I think coaches have the same struggle the athletes do: We have so much of our lives and our energy wrapped up in the sport and the competition, and to have it all go away so quickly is a jarring change for everyone. 

For me, personally, I've tried to put together a pretty lengthy list of things that I thought that we can accomplish right now, either me as a coach or us as a club. Whether it's administrative paperwork, or research or aligning the stats or working with the athletes on the noncompetitive side of the sport. So get by day-by-day.

I think it's challenging for adults to go through challenging times like this, and lumping that into the mindset of a teenager, an adolescent, amplifies all the stress and the fear that much more. I think there's a lot of frustration, a lot of disappointment, now a lot of uncertainty. Some areas of the country are now able to start opening: Are we falling behind them?

It's obviously been particularly difficult for the outgoing seniors. There are some kids who essentially had their careers ended for them. They had one or two club championship meets left that we were preparing for, those got canceled. So if they're not going to swim in college, that was going to be their last hurrah, and they just never got it. And that's been hard to wrap their mind around. And at this point, there's nothing we can do about what happened. We're just trying to stress to them to look forward.

I think we're going to look forward and enjoy everything we did get out of this season as a group.

Justin Max is the Homestead boys and girls swimming coach.

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