Mandatory masks in practice cause big adjustment

Miscommunications, discomfort experienced at first


Isra Mohamed

Gov. Tim Walz allowed high school sports to resume Jan. 4 with masks having to be worn at all times during practices and games. This has taken some time to get used to but I am still grateful to have a basketball season.

One of the first things to get used to was the discomfort of the masks while I was heavily breathing after running for a while. I found myself keeping the mask below my nose so I could control my breathing. It was challenging to run with a mask because I felt like I could not breathe fully. After a few weeks, I have gotten used to it and breathing has improved.

I have noticed that wearing a mask improperly is basically the same as not wearing a mask, although some people do not realize it. I noticed a lot of my teammates and I wearing our masks below our nose as we did various exercises. It was kind of frustrating having to pull it up every few minutes which was really distracting especially when scrimmaging. 

During games, the masks threw off our communication because we could not read what our teammates were saying to us since their mouths were covered. We would miscommunicate, causing us to not play as well as we would have wanted. Having signs we could throw up helped us get to where we need to be on the court.

Although playing and practicing with masks on has been a tough adjustment to make, I understand we need to protect each other from COVID-19. The masks decrease the spread of this terrible disease so we will continue to do what is right by wearing our masks. It has been an interesting season, to say the least, but I am making the best of this situation.