In the world high school athletes are living in now, where everyone is facing the same opponent in COVID-19, players across the nation are trying to come up with safe, and creative, ways to stay in shape while waiting for word if their seasons will begin, or happen at all.
One athlete, Tunkhannock Area senior Paul Binner Jr., has taken a novel approach to keeping active in a world of social distancing.
Binner has created a series of videos, posted on his YouTube Channel, depicting him playing volleyball, baseball, and basketball...alone.
His videos have since gone viral.
He said, “I have been disappointed that my senior volleyball season might not happen, and started thinking about how I could still play.”
“How can I be my own team,” he asked himself.
Capitalizing on a hobby he has always been passionate about, Binner began designing, filming, and editing videos of himself playing sports solo.
As he edits, he splices himself into the frame, as different participants in the game.
“My mom and siblings were all in from the beginning, and eager to help,” Binner said. “I didn’t have to force them, they had a strong willingness to help. Besides, it isn’t like they were doing much else.”
Binner, who was a homeschool student until half way through his junior year, admitted that he and his siblings might be handling the quarantine easier than others.
“With a homeschool background, it is a little easier for me to grasp the current situation,” he explained. “But I am disappointed we are not in school. This was not how I expected my senior year to go.”
Sister Kayla, 20, and brother Marcus, 14, helped with the filming and camera angles, and along with mom Lynne- the Tigers girls volleyball coach- even made a cameo in the videos.
He began with the volleyball video, where he plays the roles of offense, defense, officials, and bench players. He has been making videos for around 9-10 years, so it wasn’t difficult for Binner to imagine the concept.
The senior also narrates the short videos.
“I use an app on my phone called LumaFusion,” he explained. “It is an app you have to buy, but I enjoy the features and like to use it.”
Binner explained that from concept to posting, it takes him less than three hours to complete.
He said, “It takes about 45 minutes to film and 45 minutes to edit. From there, it just takes a little while to upload, and then it is done.”
The general idea behind the videos is that they
could be anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Binner, who plans on attending Wilkes University this fall for mechanical engineering, said his family has been very cooperative.
“I say to them ‘stand here’ or ‘hold this’ and then I play through in my mind how I want the scene to develop,” said the director. “They trust my vision, and are so helpful. I am so thankful
for their support, and their willingness to put up
with me in this quarantine.”
For the baseball video, the Binners headed to Baumgartner Field on Rt. 92 for fun one afternoon. Binner admits he hadn’t picked up a baseball since his teener league days and thought he would take a comedic look at America’s Pastime.
Again, Binner portrayed multiple characters- hitter, pitcher, catcher, left fielder, shortstop, third base coach, and even a raucous fan.
In an effort to maintain their social distancing, all but the baseball video were filmed at the Binner’s home, and they did not see anyone else at Baumgartner Field.
The volleyball video has gone viral, with over 7,000 YouTube views and 64,000 TikTok views as of Friday, March 27.
Baseball and basketball are averaging over 300 YouTube views each.
He was also featured on local television news programs.
“That really encouraged me to keep going and make other videos,” Binner explained. “It is nice to be able to make people smile. It is also pretty cool that people are willing to share the videos with others.”
Binner intends on making more videos, teasing football as his next sport. He is also making volleyball tutorials, and posting them in between his short clips.
Sports fans, as well as those impressed with
his Rubik’s Cube solving skills, can find Binner’s work by searching Paul Binner on YouTube.