The country was rocked on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, when U.S. gymnastics Olympian Simone Biles – the most decorated American gymnast with 30 Olympic and World Championship medals – withdrew from the Olympic gymnastics final. Since, she has also withdrawn from the individual and all-around gymnastic competitions – decisions Biles said were to protect her mental well-being, breaking open oftentimes the hidden stigma of mental health issues in our professional athletes.
If one thing is for sure, it’s that this past year has shined a spotlight on what it truly means to rally. We’ve rallied together in the face of a global pandemic; we’ve rallied in the face of injustice and we’ve rallied to make progress as a society when we otherwise could have rolled over and called it a day on the year 2020.
Where else have we seen a rally recently?
On Sunday, February 7, 2021, the world tuned in to watch the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. While watching the Buccaneers beat the Chiefs 31-9, it was clear — through subtle and not-so-subtle messages — the game quickly became the perfect metaphor for an unprecedented year that shines a light on social responsibility.
The ongoing pandemic has certainly brought with it a continued stream of cancellations this year. COVID-19 is the unfortunate culprit of recent delays to the New Jersey winter high school sports season, in-person extracurricular activities and many organized team workouts, too. But there is some good news when it comes to these cancellations (yes, some good news in 2020!).
COVID restrictions have increased personal wellness and individualized fitness activity among athletes and the average person looking to stay healthy – and this new way of working out and wellness has many positive long-term health benefits.
So, before you lament your child’s cancelled sports season or your own gym’s modified hours, check out how COVID has forced us all to change our perspective and personal well-being for now and, perhaps for the long haul.
In episode 3 of the Academically Speaking podcast, Laura Perillo — Oak Knoll's Marketing Content Strategist — sat down with Athletic Director Dr. Kelly Childs to speak about navigating athletics during a pandemic and how the school is preparing for athletes to return to the playing field safely this fall.
Listen to the Podcast
Playing a sport in college is a very personal choice that can change the entire shape of your college experience. Only a very small percentage of high school student-athletes will earn the opportunity to move on to collegiate athletics. In fact, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), out of nearly 8 million students playing high school sports across the country each year, only about 6 percent compete at NCAA universities.
If you do find yourself aspiring to become a college athlete, there are several tips to help you decide if the race is right for you.
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 during Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, February 2, 2020. But it's not all about hot wings, cheese platters and face painting. There are at least three crucial life lessons that can be learned by paying attention to the events on and off the field that should be shared with students and beyond.
Whether in-season or out-of-season, it’s important athletes take care of themselves during the winter months. The cold weather impacts your body by tightening muscles, causing dehydration and, for some, triggering asthma. As the extreme temperatures settle in, use our guide to athletic health care to help athletes prepare their bodies for the cold winter months.
Balancing school and sports is not always easy, but being a scholar athlete at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child has been one of the most formative and rewarding experiences of my life. A normal night in-season usually consists of me, scrambling to finish what feels like endless homework and studying for my tests and quizzes the next day, after a 2 ½-hour practice at our field complex in Chatham, New Jersey. By the time it reaches midnight, I’m setting an alarm for 6:30 a.m. to do it all again the next day.
When asked what I learned playing private high school sports, I immediately started to smile. My mind was flooded with a lot of amazing memories, great friends and coaches, different games, winning highs and losing lows, all of which shaped me to be the person I am today. I can’t write about all the things I learned playing private high school sports, so I broke it down into four main categories to reflect a few of the lessons learned, including to be respectful and a team player on (and off) the field, how to lose graciously, own up to my mistakes, and to put things into perspective.