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How Athletes Maintain a Positive Mindset During This Non-Season

By: Julia Strachan

Covid-19 has invaded the personal space of every person in the world: including the athletes at Adelphi, who have had their lives disrupted in a massive way. Sports have been cancelled, postponed and put on a biweekly basis of “seeing how things go.” The yearly schedule of several sports teams has been modified, so that preseasons are not full-length, games do not start at the typical times, and the amount of games to be played are limited.

How on earth can athletes stay positive during this time? How can they stay ready for game time when this virus has upended 90 percent of an athlete’s life?

At the end of September, sports teams were reintroduced to “lift” with head strength and conditioning coach Keith Ferrara leading the charge. He is the first full-time strength and conditioning coach at Adelphi and has been working here since 2014. He previously worked as a strength and conditioning specialist for the United States Tennis Association Player Development.

When asked about how the athletes are doing in their first week back to lift Ferrara said, “I think everyone’s been doing great, I think it’s good just to get into the rhythm of things. A lot of athletes don’t have this opportunity to prepare before their season, especially the fall athletes. It gives us a bigger opportunity to prepare for all the season moving forward. But I think everyone’s been doing great, the effort’s been great, the energy’s been high. And I just really think it's good for everyone’s mindset to get back to working with their team and competing again one way or another.”

Men's basketball guard Isaiah Salter. Photos from

AU Athletics.

For many veteran athletes, this is just another opportunity to overcome adversity. Being a collegiate athlete is not an easy task, and it requires 100 percent of your attention, time management, focus and dedication.

Katie Murphy, senior captain of the women’s basketball team, said, “I don't get too high or too low. You just have to take things as they are and stay levelheaded no matter how big the win or how bad the loss.”

Murphy has been an instrumental leader for the Adelphi women's basketball program. Among her achievements from this past year are NE10 Academic All-Conference (2019-’20), CoSIDA Academic All-District (2019-’20), All-Met First Team (2019-’20), ECAC All-Star (2019-’20), NE10 All-Conference Second Team (2019-’20), and she was also named female athlete of the year.

Perhaps her alacrity is contagious because the same sentiments were shared by Isiah Salter, a transfer from American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. In his freshman campaign he was named to the NE-10 All-Rookie Team.

I’ve just been keeping a positive attitude through all that’s been going on,” Salter said. “It’s been a huge adjustment not only for me, but for everyone and I think it’s important to stay positive and continue to stay ready because we never know what can happen next. I am hopeful for the season and am continuing to work every day to make sure I can give my all to the team when it’s time. I think it’s important for everyone to be productive through a time like this and continue to support each other so we can all get through these crazy times and come out even better together.”

Another decorated athlete at Adelphi, Paolo Maraciano, is a junior for the men’s soccer team. His accolades from this past season alone include NE10 Player of the Year (2019), ECAC Offensive Player of the Year (2019), NE10 All-Conference First Team (2019), United Soccer Coaches All-America First Team (2019), D2CCA All-Region First Team (2019), and United Soccer Coaches All-Region First Team (2019).

When asked how he is keeping a positive mindset during this time, Maraciano said, “I think for student athletes keeping a positive mindset is the key to success. It is fundamental to grow and become a winner. In this difficult and unprecedented time where we are unable to play, I keep a positive mindset by focusing on my goals both academically and athletically, training as much as I can to be at my best for when we can return to play.

“A positive mindset helps contribute to successful performances, reduces stress and helps to improve us in general as people,” Maraciano continued. “I always try to smile and stay positive in everything I do. I am using this time to improve myself, by setting goals which I think is a really

Women's basketball Senior Captain Katie important skill. I believe with perseverance

Murphy. and hard work these goals can be achieved

and I strongly believe that hard work and dedication always gets rewarded. I am a person that always wants the best from myself and keeping a positive mindset is the solution to face any obstacle.”

The sentiment of overall perseverance within the athletics programs at Adelphi holds an overwhelming presence. However, perhaps it is made clear that to be able to do the job of a student athlete, one must be positive in their tenacity towards success.

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