Off-season training is key for athlete success

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Off-season training is key for athlete success

Jacob Parker practices his dribbling for the upcoming season

Jacob Parker practices his dribbling for the upcoming season

Sanjiv Iyer

Jacob Parker practices his dribbling for the upcoming season

Sanjiv Iyer

Sanjiv Iyer

Jacob Parker practices his dribbling for the upcoming season

Sanjiv Iyer, Photo Manager

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With basketball season just around the corner, open gyms have started as part of the off season training. Open gyms are student-led practices that are crucial in maintaining and improving skills in order to be ready for the season. While open gyms are optional, they are highly encouraged by the teams. 

Basketball isn’t the only sport to have off-season practices though. Cross country has had summer runs for those interested in participating in this season. Boys tennis has Sunday practices in the fall that help in determining rankings for the season. 

“Off season practice allows for a non-competitive setting in which players can have fun and get better at tennis,” says Varsity tennis player Kiran Marla. The ‘noncompetitive setting’ is a crucial part of every off-season practice. It allows for athletes to practice without feeling the pressure of having to play against other schools and be able to improve their own craft.

Most out of season practices are conducted in the absence of the coach due to high school rules with when coaching is allowed. This creates an interesting dynamic in the team because leaders have to step up in the absence of the coach. “Without having a coach, it is sometimes difficult to have everyone playing to their highest potential and generate intensity.”‘ says Marla.  

While not having a coach present may be a detriment in most scenarios, it allows for captains to assume their leadership positions and help bond with the team. In high school athletics, team bonding is crucial due to the amount of players graduating and new players coming in every year. 

This cyclical process is difficult to manage and it is important to get to know the team. “Spending as much time as a team is critical to having a good season,” says senior Jacob Parker. “Having a coach present doesn’t affect what we do as we are going to have fun and work hard.”

These off-season workouts are especially good for freshman to get a feel for the high school level of athletics before season starts. The intensity and rigor can be challenging for many to jump into immediately and the off season helps ease the transition.

Off season training as a whole provides an opportunity for athletes to fine tune their abilities and participate in an open setting where they can bond with team members. The motivation to succeed in the off-season can help propel athletes to head into a strong season in any sport.