Keeping it afloat

As different factors have come into play, water polo had to change their pace to keep the momentum going.

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The water polo team practicing in preperation for their upcoming season.

Maya Panahi, Copy Editor

Our world’s current situation is continuously requiring athletic programs to change their pace, reimagine their options and think outside the box. These are all things that the water polo program at Capo has had to do. Ever since COVID-19 has fit itself into the equation, sports like water polo have had to step away from how the program is traditionally run and see how they can adapt. Though this can be discouraging, water polo has not lost its game and will continue to stay strong through it all.

Like most sports, tryouts are the first thing that water polo hosts when heading into the season. Head coach of the water polo program, OJ Vazquez, has concerns about tryouts this year. 

“Tryouts are based on the interest of students joining. Water polo is a no-cut sport currently because I was worried that we wouldn’t get the same numbers that we would get previously. Fortunately, our numbers ended up similar to last year’s,” Vazquez explained.

In general, worrying about getting enough students interested is a common concern with everything going on. Luckily for the team, a substantial amount of interest turned up. Vazquez shared that they now have roughly 28 in the boy program and 24 in the girl program.

Due to safety protocols, finding productive yet safe ways to practice can be challenging.

“You have to be creative with how you demonstrate contact without having contact. As the months go on, we have continued to try to introduce new concepts to them while we continue to take safety precautions,” Vazquez stated.

Water polo is a sport that involves a lot of contact, and to take away that element of the game in practice can change up a lot of things.

Since their practice methods are limited, a lack of attentiveness by the students is another concern for the coaches.

“A major difficulty is keeping it interesting for the athletes each day. While doing the same repetitions each day can be useful, it can also lead to disengagement,” Vazquez mentioned.

With this being said, practices have still been going smoothly and are an enjoyable part of the students’ weeks, according to freshman Logan Urquhart.

Going to practice during COVID-19 is always nice because it gives us something to do during the week and it’s fun to be with everyone. We usually go two hours each day, Monday through Friday, so we are always able to get a lot done,” Urquhart remarked.

In times like these where our range of activities are limited, it can be useful and enjoyable to have things like sports practices to busy yourself.

Looking forward, it is important for the athletes to keep themselves safe for the sake of the team.

In addition to the weather and time changing, we are also heading into the flu season and it’s really important that they’re all staying on top of it and doing things like wearing their masks. We want to make sure that we’re not subjecting ourselves from being able to continue our practices and season,” Vazquez brought forward. 

Hopefully, if everything goes to plan, water polo hopes to start their season late into December.

“We never know when the pandemic will spike up again, and if it does, then we would have to go back to our more basic practices like before,” Urquhart explained.

This season has brought forth many unexpected challenges for the water polo program, and they will continue to face new ones. Through it all, they are staying as productive, motivated and flexible as they can be.