How COVID-19 has Affected the College Recruitment Process for Pinewood Athletes BY JAMES DUONG

Photo by Lynsie Corfield

With COVID-19 becoming more prevalent, many students’ lives are being affected; specifically, student-athletes. Many Pinewood athletes’ college recruitment processes have completely changed.

College visits have been difficult for Pinewood student-athletes. Important recruiting meetings for specific sports have been shut down, and because of this, students have had to find a different way to showcase their talent and communicate to coaches.

“Covid has definitely affected my college recruitment since many of the recruiting meetings for baseball have been canceled,” junior Romin Vasishta, who is trying to play baseball in college, said.

Because of this, Vasishta has to travel to far-away locations to attend important meetings with college coaches.

“Because there aren’t many recruiting meetings, many of my friends have lost the motivation to continue in this process”

“The NCAA shut down official visits with coaches, which made it hard to meet potential future teammates and get a feel for the school environment which meant many tours had to be virtual,” senior Olivia Cooper, who is committing to an Australian college’s swim team, said.

Both of these student-athletes have adapted to these effects of the virus and have communicated with coaches via email, zoom, and phone calls.

Furthermore, the motivation of some students to participate in the college recruiting process has been impacted.

“Because there aren’t many recruiting meetings, many of my friends have lost the motivation to continue in this process. It becomes more like a chore sometimes as well when like your family is making you do work-outs and posting videos,” Vasishta said.

Motivation plays a big role because without these meetings, many student-athletes have to try different approaches to present their name and skills to colleges. Vasishta has been making highlight videos of him playing baseball. Cooper, however, has found it hard to present her improved skills to college coaches.

“Because of COVID-19 many competitions and meets were also canceled, which has made it hard to achieve new times and show all the training and hard work we’ve been putting in. This means college coaches only look at times from before the pandemic – the last big meet I attended was in late February [2020] in Texas,” Cooper said.

To adapt to these new challenges, Cooper’s coach has been holding time trials so she and her teammates can see their improvement and new times; however, this information is only available to the athletes and their coaches, so showing their progress to college is still a challenge.

Vasishta, like Cooper, hasn’t been able to participate in club teams since most have disbanded or have decided to not hold practices or tournaments. This means that colleges may not see the improvement of some athletes, which can become a disadvantage for student-athletes during this college recruitment process.

“Although the pandemic has made it harder for student-athletes to show ourselves to colleges, this makes it so only the determined get noticed, which pushes me to do more,” Vasishta said.