The pandemic has impacted different athletes in different ways and fall athletes on campus have seen their offseason workouts cut short.
It access to the workout equipment in the Andrew Fitness center, sophomore basketball player, Jordan Rayner, has been adjusting to the equipment he does have at home.
“Being at home, I would still be able to have access to a gym, but I mean now it’s mostly I at home workouts for your body weight. Just trying to see what I can do with the equipment I have,” Rayner said.
Rayner runs four miles per day to stay in condition in addition to the dumbells and medicine balls the sophomore uses for his bodyweight workouts. The St. Louis native has a basketball court in his backyard that still allows him to work on his basketball skill.
Team chemistry, or the lack thereof, is the difference for Rayner by not being able to workout with his team.
“As far as the team part of it, team chemistry, I mean that those are times where you build chemistry, you know and then the weight room with the guys,” Rayner said.
In addition to not being able to be with current teammates, teams have to incorporate the freshman as well. For Rayner and his teammate, Malcolm Bray, they’ve been in communication with the class of 2024.
“Yeah we’re staying in contact, I’ve been in contact with coach [Davis] and some of my teammates, but he’s been having me reach out to recruits and just see we’re guys had head is as far as incoming freshmen,” Rayner said
Bray has let the new class of Prairie Fire know about the expectations that they have for them.
“We have a lot of recruits committing, and we’ve been adding them to the group chat, and I’ve been trying to reach out to them and tell them we have to be focused and that the season starts now,” Bray said.
For Ty Straw, a rising senior running back on the football team, he’s had to adjust to the lack of equipment to work out as well as the absence of his teammates.
“We get some work out better like bodyweight, but it doesn’t necessarily target the same things that you might be able to hit the gym. Plus, like you don’t necessarily have your teammates driving you or like working out with your team, make it’s fully on the individual and how much they want to push and drive themselves,” Straw said.
With COVID-19 sending every college student home, the football team had their spring ball canceled.
“Not having spring ball kind of hurts to a degree because we get to like at least walk through a practice some of the stuff that we might go through next season. Now it’s always open to change after spring ball going into the season, but that gives us like a first-come from my what might work and what might not work at the very start of like throughout the spring,” Straw said.
The quarantine hasn’t been all bad, however. For Bray and Rayner, it’s allowed them to have time to put in film work and improve their physique for the season.
Bray wakes up and runs two miles around the block every morning. After the running, he goes through a workout with a routine provided by his trainer, Eddie B.
“I sent him some pictures of my garage, and he’s tailored the workouts towards more of that. So It’s more push-ups, sit-ups, and I use a full purpose body machine,” Bray said.
Rayner has two areas of his game that he wants to improve before next season; his defense and his playmaking.
“A lot of teams are going to scout and set their defense up around me and maybe one or two other players as far as how they’re going to play us. I feel like if they can they’re slowing my scoring opportunities, and I’m creating for my teammates. Then there’s no way a team can really stop us,” Rayner said.
Rayner has spent some of his team studying NBA players, trying to study specific players as much as possible.
“I’ve been watching a lot of a lot of USA Olympic basketball, mostly NBA basketball. Studying different players; a lot of Kobe right now I was studying a little bit Curry and Tony Parker. A lot of guards that are good at creating for other people,” Rayner said.
With the start of the season unknown, players are trying to control what they can control.