The new life of our athletic director

By Alyssa Borring, Floating Editor

The start of this school year has been like no other, especially when it comes to athletics. Athletes have to wear masks unless they can properly distance themselves outside, and many sports have been pushed back or canceled. Now, instead of slapping one another on the back because of a good play, the athletes have to bump elbows. 

Our school is very fortunate to have such a passionate athletic director, Glen Wilson. He has adjusted to these changes as best as he can. When athletes are practicing inside the building, Wilson has to enforce very strict precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing. 

¨They are almost in like PE rows across field house courts one and two,¨ Wilson said.

It almost looks like a zombie apocalypse due to the restrictions of audiences and the distance between everyone. 

According to Wilson, his school day consists of checking emails, phone calls, and any other tasks. In the afternoon, he checks in with the athletic trainers. Keeping a positive attitude is very important to him. 

After school, he focuses on ensuring that all the sports are distancing and following the regulations. He also does this to greet his athletes and make sure they are doing okay. 

¨I really feel for and appreciate our student-athletes and coaches,¨ Wilson said. 

Upon departure, he has to make sure that they all leave in a staggered way. He understands that this is rather hard on our athletes. 

¨We are human beings. You are used to just standing next to somebody and having a normal conversation, but I am a helpful reminder for students to space themselves,¨ Wilson said.

He wants to make sure students are still doing the things they enjoy. If the athletes continue to stay safe and listen to these restrictions, they are guaranteed a season. 

Seniors are devastated by the outcome of their last season. They are trying to finish their final season with a bang. Wilson feels very empathetic for them, so one of his main goals is to make sure this happens.

¨I want to do everything we can to allow them to have a shot at their season. If that means we have to wear a mask, be 6 feet apart, and do some things we are not accustomed to [then that is fine],¨ Wilson said. 

He also understands that it is hard for the athletes to adjust to these changes, not because of a lack of care, but because of old habits. 

¨When you see [people] you have not seen in a while or are familiar with, [you] naturally gravitate towards each other. That is natural human interaction.¨ Wilson said. 

The biggest difference in his job is having to wear a mask and the constant contact with health departments. 

According to Wilson, he is now highly involved with the Mchenry County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Health, and our school nurses. 

He understands all the guidelines put into place, but he finds himself missing the simple interactions with his students and other workers. 

¨The importance of smiling with a student. The smile that shows them respect, shows them your commitment to watching them do something they truly enjoy or something they are working hard at or they had an error in softball so you give them a [comforting smile],¨ Wilson said.

Wilson hopes to find a better technique so he can convey that support. When we figure that out, athletes can continue supporting one another behind a mask and he can continue that special interaction. It all goes down to adaptations and finding the new norm. 

On the behalf of all athletic directors, this has been very stressful for them. They usually have a season planned months before they even scheduled tryouts. 

¨Athletic directors know what socks they are wearing three weeks from now because they are so OCD organized.. so one of the biggest changes is that we have distant schedules.., but not concrete schedules in place,¨ Wilson said. 

In the end, Wilson is feeling very similar to the students. He feels for all his athletes and just hopes it gets easier. Wilson continues to put a lot of hard work into making these seasons the best they can be.