After almost a year-long interruption due to the pandemic, athletics is back in action at Regis. And while it is not business as usual, coaches and student-athletes are looking to make the most out of the situation.
“We’re excited to be back on the court,” said women’s basketball head coach Angela Santa Fe. “We’re really focusing on individual skill development, which is something we don’t get the opportunity to do much of during a normal season.”
For the health and safety of students, coaches, and staff, Regis College made the difficult decision to not participate in athletic competition for the fall, winter, and spring seasons; and no athletic activities of any kind were held during the fall and winter. But with strict protocols in place, in addition to a low positivity rate on campus, student-athletes on all Regis teams are now taking part in athletic activities.
For now, teams are holding non-contact practices with a limited number of student-athletes, adhering to mask wearing and social distance guidelines.
“We are really trying to make the most of this opportunity,” said Dean of Athletics Pam Roecker. “It is wonderful to see so many of our student-athletes back in action, working together with each other and their coaches, and building toward future successes.”
Over time, Roecker says the plan is to continue to increase pod size into full team practices with an end goal for outdoor sports teams to participate in a joint athletic activity with an outside competitor – under strict health and safety protocols – later this semester.
Roecker and her coaches understand some student-athletes’ frustration but stressed continued vigilance and precautions now are critical to hopefully having a shared practice or scrimmage.
Many coaches lauded this opportunity to work on student-athlete’s fundamental skill-sets. “Our practices now are much more technical than tactical,” said Matt Sweeney, the men’s lacrosse coach. “A lot of our motivation is focusing on the things that we can control and appreciating we are back on the field again.”
Sweeney added he is very proud of the seniors on his team, who despite not having their final season have continued to lead. “I’m really impressed with how they responded to the situation,” he said. “They are doing a lot of work with the younger members of the team and just continue to be great teammates.”
In addition to the skills build up, Santa Fe said these practices also help get students back into the athlete mindset they are so familiar with, from diet and nutrition, to rest. And after such an extensive layoff, coaches are approaching practices differently as well. “I’m certainly not going to hold my players as accountable for a missed jumper as I normally would,” Santa Fe said.