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Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Not just the championship season: the importance of off season training

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Hannah McVey
A glimpse of the Spartan weight room where many PV athletes do their off season workouts.

After seeing the star player of a team dominate in their game, one may think that the player has natural athletic ability. In reality, the preparation prior to championship season requires extreme amounts of mental and physical determination, dedication and passion.

Head varsity volleyball coach Amber Hall knows the importance of off season training. “It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to train in the off season. I believe the off season is where many players can really grow, develop and learn more about themselves,” she stated. 

Athletes have the regular season to progress and build up their skills and strength. However, people who have the goal to start their season at the top, begin off-season training months before their season starts, and some even prepare year round.

The stakes are high in the midst of a competitive season, and during the off season, the slow and steady progression has long term results. Off-season training also assists athletes to improve their strength and flexibility. 

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The time athletes take off from a competitive season can be over six months, allowing a period to build strength, endurance and individual skills that can improve overall performance. Athletes mainly work on their technical skills at a lower intensity than during the season and back off the competitive play in their sport.

Spartan soccer player and North Dakota State University soccer signee Morgan Russmann believes her off season training has helped her tremendously on the field. “The offseason workouts, training plans and physical therapy I have done has helped me so much in my actual games. I see progression in my speed, technique and overall performance,” Russmann explained. 

One of the most crucial aspects of off season training is the reduced risk of injury. The consistent practice provides time to focus on a range of motion, strength and neuromuscular control that you may not have as much time for during the season.

Neuromuscular control is the ability to produce controlled movement through coordinated muscle activity. This skill is enhanced through consistent and steady practice throughout the entire year, not just the season. 

Athletes that off season train stand out on their team and in their sport. Head varsity football coach Rusty Vanwetzinga has seen the positive outcomes in his athletes. “Student athletes who put in the time and work year around bettering themselves, training and competing are always more successful. In this day and age, if you don’t put time in the weight room and in your training, I don’t care what sport you are in, you won’t be as successful, period,” Vanwetzinga expressed.  

The constant build up of muscular endurance, muscle memory and bodily control has long term benefits that will shine through during the championship season.

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About the Contributor
Hannah McVey, Business Manager
Hannah McVey is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as the Business Manager for the online Spartan Shield. Hannah is the captain of the cheerleading team and is on the varsity track team. She is also the captain of Sparkles and is a member of the Love Your Mother Gardening Club. Outside of her student life, Hannah loves being outside and going to the mountains, she enjoys hikes and nature. Some of her hobbies include art, listening to music, or watching movies and she loves being with her family and friends. Hannah plans to major in Business as her post secondary education and can’t wait to see what her future brings!
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    Andrew LeonardFeb 2, 2024 at 1:39 pm

    It’s good to focus on getting stronger in the off-season so you can have the upper hand while your in season.

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