Athletes find their own ways to prepare for school sports

Junior+Kiera+Davenport+finishes+a+conditioning+session+with+the+volleyball+team+on+the+field+as+a+safety+precaution+on+September+24.+Working+out+together+is+a+way+of+keeping+everyone+in+shape+and+active+so+they+can+jump+right+into+the+season.+

Photo used with permission of Kiera Davenport.

Junior Kiera Davenport finishes a conditioning session with the volleyball team on the field as a safety precaution on September 24. Working out together is a way of keeping everyone in shape and active so they can jump right into the season.

Gray Jones, Editor-in-Chief

Achieving a new personal record, finishing first in a relay or scoring an important point with a great swing represent examples of highlights that athletes look forward to in their upcoming seasons. Although the sports seasons have been postponed due to COVID-19, with the winter season beginning in December, athletes must prepare.

Although [wearing a mask] is annoying, it’s for the safety of everyone, so we’re just dealing with it. It’s definitely worth it to stay in shape if we have a season.”

— senior and cross country captain Ben French

In order to independently train, many participate in a club team outside of school, which allows them to practice and compete separately. Many club teams run during the summer or off-season of the high school sport, giving them the chance to participate in both. Senior and varsity swimmer Katie Tsai trains with her club team six times a week.

“I feel like it was enough to prepare for the school season because we are still practicing for the same amount of time as we used to,” Tsai said. “It was just a little harder getting back in shape because we had two months off.”

Although club sports teams remain an option during this pandemic, there are still precautions taken for the athletes’ safety. Social distancing is still mandatory, even when in the pool. Tsai’s swim team can have a maximum of five people in a lane and must wear masks up until entering the pool.

“I do get scared sometimes since we obviously can’t wear masks while swimming, but the chlorine in the water and making sure everyone has been safe and healthy before entering the building makes me feel safer,” Tsai said.

Not all sports have club teams in the summer. Instead of being part of a competitive club, junior and volleyball player Kiera Davenport found a recreational way to continue playing volleyball through the summer. She plays volleyball with her teammates every Friday at the open gym that Cassel’s Sports Complex offers.

“Open gym is helping me get more touches on the volleyball and improving my setting abilities,” Davenport said. “I have been going with a friend and I can really tell the improvement in both of us.”

Davenport has also been going to volleyball conditioning at school. The volleyball program is able to have organized workouts at the school because everyone is required to wear masks and properly social distance the whole time. 

“Conditioning is helping me build a stronger core and strengthen my legs and arms,” Davenport said. “Over the summer we mainly worked on building our core muscle for the season, and now we are working on our arms and legs so that we are able to jump higher and swing faster.” 

Many people also exercise by themselves in order to be in shape for the school season. Senior and cross country captain Ben French prepares for his cross country and track seasons by doing at-home workouts and taking hikes. 

“I feel like I’m pretty much as prepared for the season as I would be under normal circumstances, but social distancing during runs has definitely made it a little more difficult,” French said.

Different athletes prepare in different ways, but they all work with a common goal of keeping everyone safe and COVID-19 free. 

“Although [wearing a mask] is annoying, it’s for the safety of everyone, so we’re just dealing with it,” French said. “It’s definitely worth it to stay in shape if we have a season.”