Grady Lee Thomas
The off-season is a time for rest and relaxation, but don’t tell that to the athletes at the University of La Verne who use the down time to work out daily and bond with teammates.
“By meeting up and playing games together during the summer, we were able to gel as a unit,” said John Leggett Jr., junior guard for the men’s basketball team.
“The two months of prep time prior to the season beginning is not enough time to realistically achieve individual and team goals,” Leggett said.
Whether athletes train during the off-season with teammates or set goals to improve their individual skill set, an off-season regimen yields maximum results.
“Some of our players were able to participate in summer league baseball games held in Colorado, Washington and Wisconsin, which gave them a greater appreciation of our university and facilities,” said Scott Winterburn, head baseball coach.
“The kids that train over the summer come back with a little more experience and have an edge on those who do not,” Winterburn said.
The summer months have long been associated with working, vacations, and parties, but not for a chosen few who subject themselves to the rigors of off-season team workouts in order to reach a team goal.
“We got our girls together and ran a lot of trails,” said Anastasia Muratalla, captain and center-midfielder for the women’s soccer team.
“We also coordinated our own workouts over the summer. That included working out three to four days a week for two hours at a time,” Muratalla said.
Off-season workouts are designed to maintain muscle, add more mass or build camaraderie with the team.
Seeing your teammates sacrifice their time and energy in order to improve their skills and gain more cohesiveness as a team, can be contagious. No one wants to be left out in that situation.
Despite the sounds of huffing-and-puffing through wind sprints and a post-workout stench only a mother could love, there is great incentive in training during the dog-days of summer — while potential opponents are elsewhere having a good time.
With early preparation, athletes are sure to be better prepared for any obstacle on the field.
Grady Lee Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.