Though the 2020 Olympics have been pushed back to next year, Olympic athletes are still training and gearing up to play again when able. Team contact sports, in particular, are hit by the regulations in place to prevent the spread of disease as they cannot be played as usual without getting close to other players. District Fray got to speak with the women’s Olympic rugby team’s prop Alycia Washington about how she and her team have navigated their practices during this time, how she has been staying sane and what the Eagles’ future looks like.
District Fray: How have you been training during the quarantine?
Alycia Washington: We have a great team of strength coaches that gave us full work from home training plans. You can do everything with body weight or bands and I’m lucky to live across from a field where I can do my conditioning and sprint workouts. It has been an adjustment, but getting into a steady routine definitely helps. My brother and I drove 6 hours round trip to get a bench and a squat rack for my house and I feel like I won the lottery! It’s a great addition to the home gym.
Have you and your teammates been able to figure out a way to practice “together” via Zoom or some other way?
Luckily, the team is already used to working remotely with each other. We’ve added working groups to do fun activities and a group of us are doing film Fridays to keep our rugby brains in tact. In a lot of ways, this situation has brought us closer together.
Rugby is a full contact sport, will players be able to return to the pitch anytime soon with restrictions in place?
I wish I could be optimistic here but given the guidelines from USA Rugby and World Rugby, I am not confident we will be playing in the near future but my teammates and I are dedicating ourselves to our training just in case we will get to step on the pitch together soon. Fingers crossed!
Is there anything you’ve added to your training since the shutdown (IE: running, cycling, hiking, other solo activities)?
I’ve added a lot more recovery and YouTube yoga which has really helped my mobility. I am also sending skill videos to my coaches and getting a ton of feedback on things like passing and scrum form which is helping me tweak little things that will hopefully make a big impact on the pitch.
How have you been staying sane during this time?
I’ve always been taught to control the controllables. I am in charge of myself, my mindset, and my outlook on the situation. I’m intent on keeping myself and my family healthy and safe so that’s what I’m focused on. Also baking and cooking new and fun things has been an exciting addition to my lock-down routine.