By Garrett Athey
As the winter season approaches, the fall sports come to an end and the winter sports start up again. These sports include basketball, wrestling, hockey, indoor track, allied bowling, and winter cheer. The athletes who participate in these activities often have not played the sport since last winter season. Therefore, the question remains of how these athletes stay in shape throughout the long offseason.
It is easy for the athletes who participate in sports in the previous fall season to be ready as they have just come from a competitive sport. However, many of these athletes are not prepared for their upcoming sports, and they need to stay in shape to remain in the best condition to continue to be a contributing player to the team. Senior Varsity basketball player Jordan Taylor said, “Hydration is key. I drink lots of water and run a lot during the offseason to stay in shape.” The basketball team hopes to make a deep run into the playoffs and win the state championship this upcoming season. Not only that, players are expected to be in the best shape possible since the sport requires a high endurance and strength to beat the opponent. Coaches expect players to be in top shape and bring their all during the season so the team is the best it can be. Workouts held by coaches for winter sports also begin within the first couple weeks of school to help players prepare for the upcoming season. The workouts involve running for endurance and speed, as well as lifting in the weight room for strength.
Along with offseason workouts, many sports have summer leagues so that athletes can continue to compete in games during the offseason. Senior Varsity hockey player Dillon Skovron said, “There is a summer hockey league that a lot of players compete in. It keeps the players in shape while also keeping the team together through the offseason.” Summer is a good opportunity for athletes to stay in shape since school is no longer in session and they have more opportunity to work out. Some athletes even try to get bigger during the long offseason in order to better themselves for the upcoming season. Senior Varsity hockey player Calvin Geisbert said, “During the offseason I like to lift so I can get bigger for the hockey season.” Through lifting, athletes get stronger and put themselves in a better spot to be a better player next season. The hockey team hopes to win the Howard Cup again after being champions in 2015.
Physicality in not the only thing that matters when it comes to preparing for a sport, a lot for sports require a certain mentality to compete. Players must mentally prepare for the season, especially before games so they are in the right mindset. Geisbert said, “Before games I listen to a playlist I made of songs that will put me into the right state of mind. Then the team has stretches and warm ups to prepare for games.” Stretching, warm ups, and listening to music are all common practices among athletes when preparing mentally for games. With the right physical body and a right state of mind, all athletes will be ready to compete at a high level.
By using these methods, winter athletes stay in shape and continue to perform at a high level during their seasons. Coaches expect their athletes to be in the best shape possible for the season so the team can be ready to beat the competition. However, coaches also want to make sure that athletes do not get hurt during the offseason and discourage any players from participating in dangerous activities. Everyone is hoping for the Glenelg teams to do well, but only time will tell if their hard work paid off.