Student athletes feeling the mental strain of COVID-19 before training season

University of Arizona

UArizona football

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona’s Football team is scheduled to start training camp at the end of the week. But given the events of the last seven months, including a pandemic, it has taken a mental toll on student athletes.

“Your head is in the sand if you are not realizing this can be taxing mentally,” said Kevin Sumlin, University of Arizona Head Football Coach.

Sumlin says given everything that happened in the last seven months, he wants to remain open and honest and compassionate with his team.

“I think the communication piece becomes critical particularly in times like this,” said Sumlin. “Even if we don’t have an answer we would say that.”

The pandemic is hitting this team close to home- right now. Coach Sumlin is at home quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

“The lesson is this thing is serious,” said Sumlin.

He says he is fortunate that up to this point he has been asymptomatic

“I’m not the only one that this has happened to,” said Sumlin. “I’ve been really vigilant. You cannot be too careful. You just can’t.”

Coach Sulmin says the plan for how he plans to coach, come training camp, is still up in the air due to his coronavirus diagnosis.

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