UA TEAM PHYSICIAN UPDATES ON HOW ATHLETES ARE HANDLING PANDEMIC RESTRICTIONS

Everyone would like to get back to normal. In the south, especially in the state of Alabama, “normal” means enjoying football in the fall.

University of Alabama head team physician Dr. James Robinson offered some insight on the status of Alabama Athletics and how athletes are coping with the pandemic.

“‘How do you control the virus in a stadium of 100,000 people?’” Robinson said. “You just can’t do it. We really have to treat this as a public health issue and when things calm down to the point where it’s a lot safer to be in large crowds and be around people who are sick, then I think we will get back to it.”

Until then, how are the University of Alabama’s athletes handling the pandemic? It’s a question many are asking.

“Certainly they are missing their teammates,” Robinson said. “They are missing their sport. They are missing their training. They are not able to go train like they normally do. They have to find innovative ways to train in their house or in areas where there is nobody else. Take the time to.”

And of course, athletes are humans too. Robinson said this unprecedented time is taking a mental toll on some of them as well.

“Coping aspects, most of them are doing well,” he said. “We do have a few athletes that are having difficulties from a mental aspect. A little bit more anxiety, depression.”

To combat things like anxiety and depression, athletic trainers are maintaining almost daily communication with athletes to check on them.

“They will say, ‘How are you doing today?’” Robinson said. “‘How do you feel today? How are you handling all the pressures today?’ Once we get all that information, if we have any athletes who are having problems, we have a huge resource of people who are helping us with any athletes who are having difficulties.”

And like the rest of us, Robinson said he doesn’t know what the future of UA sports looks like as of now.

“While we all want sports to come back, we really just want the health and safety of athletes just like we do the rest of the public, so we are not going to do anything that puts the rest of the public in jeopardy just to get sports back and I think that is really important,” Robinson said.

Robinson said some sports that require less contact could come back before others.

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