For The First Time Ever, Sports Stopped

Deaths, illness, poverty, wars, and numerous other disasters are experienced throughout the world all the time. Some people always have something to get away from the madness of life, by watching and playing sports. Sports are something almost everybody can enjoy in some form whether it is playing or watching sports, and many people around the world need sports for their mental and physical health. Worldwide you can find anybody in any country playing some sort of a sport whether its playing stickball in a street alley with a twig and a rock, or a professional sports event with 100,000 people in attendance, rooting passionately for their team to win. However on March 13, 2020, all of those bad things constantly going on in the world were happening along with a global pandemic, but we could no longer rely on sports to escape. It was just shut down. There was nothing. No NBA and NHL regular season, MLB was getting ready to start their regular season, college basketball was about to start one of Americans’ favorite sports times in the year in March Madness, and it was all gone. 

We couldn’t even manage to play casually with friends, or in our local leagues, kids couldn’t play with their friends, seniors had their high school and college seasons cancelled, and may never get to play the sport that they love again. People’s lives were  changed forever.  

I have a personal  connection with my grandfather who lives alone, and sports make him happy. He had struggled with health issues and it was very difficult for him to be able to leave his apartment for anything. He didn’t live near us but we always had a way to connect through sports. When everything was shut down he felt depressed, until I was able to start up baseball games for him to follow again. After almost every single game I had he would discuss what happened and give some advice, because he was well had a baseball background with having tryouts for professional teams, and working at baseball stadiums. It made him feel so much better when sports were finally back.

I even felt defeated mentally, I had almost no optimism on anything. Professional sports leagues couldn’t even figure out any way to start up so I couldn’t see any way that local leagues would be able too. Baseball season was my favorite time of the year, and I didn’t think that it was going to happen at all.  I haven’t had much struggle in my life, but this was the first thing that made me lose hope for a while. I have a great family, friends to hang out with, and lots of other things to be grateful for. I never had to worry before about what I was going to eat that night, or other things that so many other people struggle with, but the shutdown was something that had made everybody feel defeated.

The only form of sports that I had was occasionally going up to a field at the school and hitting and playing catch with my dad, this went on for months with no sports to watch, couldn’t hang out with friends, could hardly leave the house, and couldn’t do my favorite thing in the world in playing baseball. 

I got out of shape, and felt worse than ever before. I had worked out a ton through the winter and the start of the spring to get healthier, and stronger, but when everything was shut down, I lost all of my progress.

 Then one day changed everything. When Westmoreland County reached the yellow stage where things started to re-open we were allowed to start practices as teams, but there was no certainty that we would ever be able to play games that year. It all could have been worthless, but then on June 4th, we were allowed to start our games back up again. I felt so great and was willing to do anything to play ball. 

Numerous teammates, and even coaches had expressed similar experiences to me, and really shows how important sports were to people’s mental and physical health, and is a time everybody will remember, and will hopefully show the world how important it is for sports across the world, as it teaches everybody life lessons, how to work in groups, perseverance, and other important life lessons, along with improving everybody’s mental and physical health.