Cheyenne Hodges and Gabrielle Hart are both sophomores at Pike High School. Like high schoolers across the nation, they have been adapting to online classes for the past several months. Along with changes in their classroom settings, both girls are getting used to not being on a volleyball court. Hodges and Hart both play on the school’s volleyball team, as well as club volleyball in the spring. While COVID-19 has made it impossible for the two students to participate in team sports, neither have allowed the pandemic to put a damper on their training.

While Hodges said working out without her teammates took some getting used to, she’s still motivated. “I put in the same work I would put in if I was at training,” Hodges, 16, said. 

Like many other high school athletes around the city, Hodges has had to get creative to get her workouts in without a gym. As a middle hitter, she has to find ways to work on her arm by herself.

“I have been doing drills to make my arm swing better,” Hodges said. “I practice hitting the ball onto a flat slanted surface and it helps. I do a lot of abs … and there’s a lot of cardio involved as well.”

Hart,16, said she has been doing volleyball drills outside her house and is learning to play tennis with her mom since the stay-in-place order began. Both girls also get some virtual help from their coach throughout the week. 

“My coach has us doing Zoom workouts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” Hart said. “They are an hour long and it’s a variety of different exercises.”

Besides adapting to workouts in their living rooms or backyards, high school athletes also have to adapt to a new school schedule. Without set times for workouts or practices, students are having to balance virtual school work with their training. 

Hodges said if her workload from school is heavy, she’ll push her workout to later on in the day. Hart is slowly getting used to the balancing act she and other students have had to do to be successful in school and sports. 

“It’s hard balancing [school work] and the workouts,” Hart said. “But it’s nothing new. … I still get the work done just like if we were in actual school. Sometimes it gets stressful because I have all this time to do my work.”

While there remains to be many unknowns about when things — from school athletics to grocery shopping — will get back to normal, Hodges is trying her best to look forward to next year’s sports seasons. 

“I hope we can win a lot more, and hopefully have a good, strong team,” she said. “I really hope this virus doesn’t carry on through the season, and I am really worried that it will.”

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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