Personal training positively and negatively affected by COVID-19


Photo by Emily Hornbuckle

Derrick Schmidt, ETS Performance coach, Ethan Mosley, Bo Dustin, Brendan Bernier and Ethan Bernier, run a safe and productive workout.

Emily Hornbuckle , Business Editor

Workouts, personal training and athletics are being affected by COVID-19. People who would normally go multiple times a week are barely going now. The Pony Activity Center (PAC) is having its lowest numbers of attendees ever reported. On the other hand, student athletes are working harder than ever and are keeping a positive attitude. 

Safety is a number one priority. By following all rules and regulations set by the CDC staff at the PAC is handling adversity well.

Safety and making our athletes feel comfortable is my main priority”

— Derrick Schmidt

 “At Stillwater Area High School, 25 athletes per group is the standard, we have students enter the building with their mask on and stay at least 6 feet apart. They will sanitize their hands, They will stay spread 6 feet apart. Only 25 athletes are allowed in the weight room at the same time, every athlete gets their own equipment. After their training has ended we have them sanitize every piece of equipment they touch, have them sign in for our records of attendance and then exit at a different door then they came in before training started, all while staying socially distanced,” Derrick Schmidt, ETS performance coach explained. 

Staff involved in the PAC are doing their best to keep the gym Covid-free, and as safe as possible, as well as maintaining effective practices.

I think they are enjoying the ability to participate more now. There is a lot of energy,” Athletic Director Ricky Michael said. “ I know their parents are very happy to see teams playing. I think it affects them socially and there are some who really have shown their maturity in dealing with all that is happening.” 

Having a regular schedule and access to athletic facilities is all students know. Faced with adversity these student athletes are going above and beyond to overcome these hard times.

It’s not all positive though, “I find myself working less efficiently due to a lack of motivation,” junior Alisa Collyard said. 

There is an overall lack of motivation within the students. Coaches and staff are keeping a can-do positive attitude, while students are struggling. 

According to, students everywhere are lacking the drive to succeed in even the smallest of tasks. This relays negatively on students having determination to work out.

“I encourage a little bit of both,” Schmidt added, when asked if he encourages working out at home or participating in the gym. ”Getting a variety in your day to day lifting/training/working out will keep you from getting complacent. In my mind changing the environment helps with your overall physical and mental health. Getting out of your house or a building that you’re surrounded by four walls will help you and will lift your motivation. The change of scenery brings a different element to your training and changing things up is always fun and that’s what these activities are meant to be, fun.” 

No matter what, staying safe, active, and healthy is best during these difficult times. Doing whatever is most beneficial is important.

I feel that everyone’s personality and attitudes have been affected by Covid. Many of my close friends and relatives seem unhappy and sad compared to their normal selves,” Collyard remarked. “For me personally, I have been attending ETS three times a week. I used to be able to go everyday, but because of Covid, this has restricted me to be able to go only certain days.” 

Students who use working out as a form of therapy are not able to participate like they used to. 

Stillwater athletics are experiencing low numbers as well, “We are seeing a decrease in the number of participants this fall, but it is not that much. I’d say we are retaining about 85% of our numbers. Cross Country, Boys and Girls, have seen the biggest drop. This is because of pod training that must take place. They are only allowed 25 runners power pod. With only two coaches, we are at our Maximum of 50 runners,” Michael. 

Numbers are low because the capacity numbers are low. Students are always encouraged to participate, but in this current state there is not always room to do so.

Everything looks different this year. Staff and students involved in the Pony Activity Center are doing their best to keep a positive attitude through these tough times. Trying to keep as normal of a schedule as possible seems to be the best, and most effective thing at this time. Staying healthy and safe is always the number one priority.