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Athletes work on fundamentals during the off-season

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Maxwell Hinton, ’22, focuses on specific stroke skills in tennis practice.

Practicing sports after school takes up time in the afternoon for an athlete. For this reason, some athletes then see the off-season as a time to take a break and relax. Others, however, see the off-season as more time to practice. But how much of a difference does off-season training make?

Before rushing into off-season training, people should know that it exists so that athletes do not burn out. A sports blog published on Ohio University’s website offers insight on balancing training when not in a sport. The anonymous writer recommends this method because playing a sport for too long without rest, results in losing desire to continue.      

“Playing the same sport over a long period of time can lead to a loss of interest,” the author suggested. “The same routine, practice and workouts can cause athletes to ‘burn out’ on their sport and potentially lose interest in athletics as a whole. That is why it’s important to find balance in the off-season through new or different exercises and activities.”

Another sports blog by Barbell-logic.com states why athletes should train to improve traits needed during game time. The fitness site goes on to say that careful planning of workouts help the athlete prepare for their game, match, meet, etc.

“Competitive athletes are going to be subject to a competition calendar and regular practice for their sport,” the Barbell Logic team wrote. “The athlete must preserve their ability to perform on game day. This takes more careful management of the standard training variables. They must focus on the general principles that drive strength progress and adapt their training for the realities of competition.”

Training often consists of two types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. Both of these vary in usefulness depending on the sport of the athlete. Aerobic exercise consists of running, swimming, biking, and other forms of exercise with low to moderate levels of exertion. These become beneficial during off-season because they preserve athleticism and burn fat.

Anaerobic exercise consists of high levels of exhaustion for short periods of time. Sprinting and weightlifting fall into this category. Anaerobic exercise aids in the building of lean muscle. Lean muscle excels in burning calories, even when the body rests.

Brayden Iest talks with Coach Jon Penberthy about training in the off-season on May 20, 2019. Penberthy lists advantages for athletes that train in the off-season.

Junior Blake Burdan has played football for the last 10 years. He regularly works out when in the off-season and sees value in staying in shape. Burdan, previously positioned as running back, is attempting to be quarterback next school year.  

“Working out in the off-season is really important because it keeps you in shape and healthy while you’re not playing a sport,” Burdan said. “Keeping your body strong and hydrated throughout the year in the off-season is just as important as doing the same in season is.”

P.E. coach Mick Fuller believes that junior high and high school students benefit from a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise to increase performance. Fuller also stated that power is strength used quickly.

“There are no athletic endeavors or demonstrations of physical skill that I can think of which are not improved by increased strength,” Fuller stated. “Regardless of the sport one competes in, strength makes performing the skill easier. The term athleticism refers to a suite of physical qualities, including strength, agility, power, speed and coordination that are demonstrated during physical activities such as athletics and dance.”

FCS Athletics Director Jon Penberthy views the off-season as an opportunity to rest up and improve the body for the next season. He said that training to improve muscle, speed, and endurance allows an athlete to take a break from the specifics such as catching a football, serving a volleyball, or hitting a baseball. 

“After school practices are geared toward team improvement and team oriented activities,” Penberthy said. “During the off-season, you get to do your own one-on-one practice. If your a basketball player, you can work on you shooting or dribbling. If your a football player this would be throwing or strength training for plays. Now when you show up to practice, your individual skills will shine with the team.”

Alyssa Reese | The Feather Online

Ellie Scully, ’21, (right) and Rosie Barrios, ’20, practice during the girls’ soccer season.

Summer practice schedules:

Many of the FC fall/winter sports teams utilize summer vacation to focus on fundamentals.

Football

Football practices Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in June from 5-7:30 p.m.

Tennis

Girls tennis practices Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in June from 8-11 a.m.

Volleyball

Girls volleyball practices Mondays in June from 7-8:30 p.m.

Soccer

Boys and girls soccer holds clinics on Tuesdays in June from 7-8:30 p.m. for incoming 7th-12th graders.

Basketball

Girls basketball practices Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in June from 9-11 a.m.

Varsity boys basketball practices are from 6-8:30 a.m. (dates TBD) and JV practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m.

Cheer

Starting practice on June 11 and ending on August 1, high school cheer practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8-10 a.m.

For further information, contact the sports coaches.

Brayden Iest can be reached via Twitter and via email.

For more articles, read Senior Reflection: John Monke or High school summer internships aid student career choices.

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