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How to survive when the sports world has been canceled for the foreseeable future

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

Isn’t it crazy that we live in a world that truly revolves around sports? Let’s take this recent world event of the COVID-19. Not sure many people were taking the issue seriously until the NBA and NCAA suspended their seasons. Then all other sports organizations began following suit. I read a story that a collegiate track athlete was at an event competing when he heard the news. Teams were on the road, some preparing for the march madness tournament, baseball and softball were really just beginning their seasons. And these are only the sports I’m knowledgeable about.

Why does it feel like such an empty void on “Day 8 of no sports?

What do sports bring us that makes us feel so empty right now?

And how can we find these things outside of sports?

Whether you are participating or observing, these are a few things that I believe sports bring to us.


Practice this time to find joy in other areas of your life. Talk with friends, practice new hobbies, reconnect with old habits. Use this time away from sports to find other ways to ignite joy.


Use this time to put your head together with a like-minded individual to help out your local community safely. Join an online book club, support group, interactive online message boards. Find companionship from those who are also struggling with the emptiness that is ESPN right now and connect over something new!


Quarantined time sounds like a great time to crack open some board games or a card deck and get competitive with family and or a close friend or two.

Fitness/Body Movement

Spring cleaning, walks outside, household chores, landscaping for spring, youtube videos, dancing in the house, all great forms of movement and ways to expend energy! Or maybe you can use this time as a break and reflect on if the movement you are doing brings you joy.


Finding purpose outside of sport may be something that a lot of current, now former, student-athletes may be feeling. Your purpose isn’t just one thing. Purpose is setting an intention to your daily actions. Be purposeful in the way you live your life. Use this time to explore other ways to fuel your fire.


Social distancing does not equal social isolation! Reach out, do your part. You are NOT a burden for needing human connection. I repeat, you are NOT a burden for needing human connection. Facetime, phone calls, texting, gaming, letter writing... there are a lot of ways to connect to one another in this time.

Anticipation and excitement

The thrill of sports is something that will be sorely missed over the next couple of months, particularly March Madness if you are a college basketball fan. The anticipation of who is going to get the biggest upset of the year, the adrenaline rush of a last-second buzzer-beater, or cheering your team on to victory, all are really hard to replicate. Does competition incite excitement in you? Maybe doing something fun with a family member or a significant other. Challenge one another to a game of 1 on 1 wastepaper basketball, use your creativity! Maybe it’s a suspenseful movie marathon to get your blood pumping.

What are some other ways to foster connection and other experiences that sports give you?

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