CJ Richardson Oral History, 2020/11/17


Title (Dublin Core)

CJ Richardson Oral History, 2020/11/17
Head Sports Performance Coach from StMU Oral History

Description (Dublin Core)

An oral history interview with CJ Richardson the Head Sports Performance Coach at StMU discussing COVID-19 protocols and life during the pandemic.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Creator (Dublin Core)

Contributor (Dublin Core)

Event Identifier (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)

Oral History

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)


Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

Exhibit (Dublin Core)

#CoverYourFangs>This is Sick

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Blake Hatt

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

CJ Richardson

Location (Omeka Classic)

San Antonio
United States of America

Format (Dublin Core)


Language (Dublin Core)


Duration (Omeka Classic)


abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

An oral history interview with CJ Richardson the Head Sports Performance Coach at StMU discussing COVID-19 protocols and life during the pandemic.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Blake Hatt 0:09
All right. So my name is Blake Hatt I'm here with CJ Richardson the head, sports performance
coach here at St Mary's University CJ just want to tell us about yourself, where you're from,
how long you've been here, stuff like that.
CJ Richardson 0:29
Sure, and then been here for. I guess almost three years now.
I've been living from
different places in Texas I lived in Colorado, and I grew up in Chicago.
Blake Hatt 0:45
Awesome. And before COVID-19 happened. What would be like a standard day in the life for
you as a, as a coach?
CJ Richardson 0:55
Ah get in. Around five or so in the morning. Prepare for the day
have several teams come through, you know, we'd have anywhere from, you know, sometimes
you have smaller groups of, you know, whatever 10 people or so in the weight room but
sometimes as many as 50, 60, 70 kids in here sometimes when bigger teams are involved in pop
student population as well. So, and then yeah, just do that for a few hours in the morning, and
then work, you know, in the office for, you know, most of the kids are in class and then
afternoon usually have another, you know, handful of groups come through. Days done. Late
Blake Hatt 1:48
And so, When the shutdown happened did things kind of stop all of a sudden, and kind of
flipped upside down or did you kind of sense that,
there was going to be movement happening with COVID-19 and that, things started to dwindle
down or was it like a. Just stop right in the middle.
CJ Richardson 2:08
As I remember it. There was a little bit of growing concern. But no one was really expecting it to
affect us. And then we went on spring break. And while we were on spring break. I remember it
was a Utah Jazz, it was a Utah Jazz game. It was Rudy, Rudy Gobert got the virus, because I
remember up to that point they were talking about, you know, possibly doing events with no
fans and stuff like that. And then when an actual player got it seemed like everything just went
crazy at that point. And everyone started canceling their seasons, not necessarily canceling but
at least postponing, and then eventually some had canceled. But, and then it kind of became a
thing where we were like, oh man, it's gonna happen us too. And then our school extends from
break initially by a week, running in two weeks I can't remember, but they initially just
extended spring break, to give professors a chance to basically catch up and get ready for
online school. And then once that happened. You know, I mean, nobody came back to me some
kids came back, the likes especially some of the international students. So they were around
but everything was closed and yeah so it was pretty sudden but I guess might have been less
sudden if we hadn't done Spring Break it might have been more gradual but because we're on
spring break. Once you know once. Once everything happened it was just done, So things never
really got back to any sense of normal until the fall
Blake Hatt 4:00
the spring break, that lasted for like six months.
CJ Richardson 4:00
Blake Hatt 4:00
And how specifically did your life change, you know from your busy days where you started the
morning go to like the late afternoon to you know it's complete shutdown. How did you kind of
deal with that and what were some changes that you had to make in your life. During yeah like
during the shutdown.
CJ Richardson 4:24
Um, yeah so I guess it changed so we started, uh, you know, we know we know anything's
gonna last so initially it was like alright let's put together some, some workouts that we can do
virtually with the athletes. You know it won't be as good as, obviously, you know, our normal
training but it'd be something to kind of fill in the gap for a couple weeks until we can go back
to you know it's kind of what everyone's thinking was, um, you know, and obviously that didn't
happen but so I guess Initially, it was more of a thought of, like, okay, just let's just kind of stay
in shape. And so I would do these virtual workouts every morning with. I think it's 7:30 or 7:15
in the morning, which was much later for me. Actually, than the normal, but we would do the
workouts then it'd be 30 to 40 minutes and kids would get a chance to get ready if they had to
log on to a class at like, I think it was 7:15 and some kids had classes that they had to log on to
at eight or something like that but anyway. So we do that and then I would basically, I mean I
work on stuff that I could that I knew we were going to be doing. But a lot of it was still up in
the air so I didn't really want for too much work into something that might never happen. I did
a lot of professional development is personally a lot of research just study on different topics
and things just to try to expand my own knowledge base and just keep trying to improve and
while I wasn't able to actually work with kids, try to reach out to as many kids as I could, you
know, electronically, email, text whatever social media. Just try to stay connected with them.
But yeah, I have a lot, a lot more time on my hands for sure. So, yeah, spend a lot more time
with my family, obviously, you know, I was I wasn't able to really work out like I like I used to
but I ran a lot, and stuff like that so it was a weird time for sure. Like, I get the feeling of being
kind of bored at times and things got very repetitive, after a while. But, yeah, everything that I
said that the number one thing is just that nobody knew what was happening and how long it
was going to last. So like the confusion of that I think was kind of the main thing I remember,
through those especially those first that first month first six weeks first eight weeks kind of
thing. It was just kind of like everyone just thought out some like one day it'll just be okay,
everything's normal, but obviously. Yeah.
Blake Hatt 7:22
Okay. Um, yeah it's interesting I remember the beginning too I found like okay this my last few
weeks. Get back to it. Yeah. Yeah, boy, were we ever wrong. So now that students are back in
that you're training athletes again. What are some of the major changes you notice from before
the lockdown to now, and how does that kind of affected your life, and just how you do your
day to day job.
CJ Richardson 7:54
In terms of like the restrictions that we have?
Blake Hatt 7:55
yeah restrictions and, you know, maybe some differences you notice even with the athletes and
how, you know, they bring a different attitude maybe or if you sense like concern amongst
some things along those lines.
CJ Richardson 8:12
Sure. Okay. Um, so when it comes to, um, Sarah restrictions, much smaller groups training at
once. We're only allowed to 20 in the weight room at a time and it wasn't even that in the
beginning it was 10-15, as the time in the beginning. So, smaller groups means usually a little
less energy. You know, we've tried to limit movement we're players that are coming into
contact with each other, you know, sharing the same physical space. You know, and by doing
that you kind of the distancing takes away some of the intensity of the training and so I do feel
like they are a little more subdued than I've seen in the past, not that they don't work hard, but
it's just a little less energy. The mood is a little more or less excited or something maybe. We do
have some athletes that you can tell them one nurse than others. I should you have that, too.
There's some athletes that are that are like genuinely nervous about getting sick. That's a pretty
small number, but there's, there's some. Then there's a lot who are like very intent on taking all
the protocols seriously as far as the wearing masks and the distancing, and you can tell they're
very visual on about like using the hand sanitizer and stuff like that. And then you got some
who are kind of, they're trying to do it but they're not maybe like super strict about it. And then
you've got the ones who are like, I don't want to wear a mask, like you don't really like that
stuff unless you tell him. I've never seen them wash their hands like you know you got ones that
are just like, kind of, essentially, ignoring everything, so it really does run the run the gamut,
through a wider range of reactions. But I would say, I would say the ones on the ends obviously
are the minorities and most fall into the middle section of, even if they don't necessarily agree
with all the protocols, they're still gonna get on board, because they understand the way we
keep doing what we're doing so
Blake Hatt 10:32
good. All right. Awesome, thank you that's all I have for you.
CJ Richardson 10:37
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