Athletes train to stay fit during winter season


Used with permission of Isabell Lee

Junior Kaityln Bartolutti trains for club volleyball with her athletic performance trainer on Nov 22.

Shreya Baskaran, Copy Writer

The leaves and temperature fall as winter sets in. Despite the cold weather, student athletes, not participating in winter sports, continue to work to stay in shape for their seasons, even if they need to change their training habits.

“In the summer, I went for runs and practiced my skills at [outdoor] sand courts,” volleyball player and junior Kaitlyn Bartolutti said. “Now, I’m playing in indoor courts at gyms and [doing] strength training with my True AP trainer.”

Trainers help with agility, strength, lifting and motivation. According to The Kim Foundation, extreme cold weather can negatively affect mental health and put students in a state called “hibernation mode,” which can cause many to stay inside more and detach from everyday activities. 

“I’ve always hated winter because of the cold and how the sun sets early, which makes me feel more tired,” Bartolutti said. “I feel like getting motivated during the winter is slightly more difficult than during other seasons. However, my club tournaments start in about late January to February, so I keep myself in the best shape and mindset to be able to place well when tournaments start.”

Some sports, such as track and field, cross country and dance, are year-round. Track and field and cross country are running sports, so they transfer their practices inside when the weather gets cold. However, dance moves their competitions from the football field to the cafeteria and gym.                         

“Most of us run pretty much all throughout the year with cross country in the fall, winter track, spring track and conditioning over the summer,” distance track runner and senior Dan Carita said. “ We also go on runs every other day to keep up endurance and agility.” 

Changes in winter weather may also affect performance in athletes as maintaining skills that require outdoor activities can be difficult. Cross country, a year round sport, trains by running through hills and rough terrain, therefore, making it difficult to replicate it indoors.

“In the winter, maintaining consistency is key,” softball player and senior Alaina James said. “Since the softball field is indoors, just getting some tee work or hitting in the cage and then throwing once or twice a week is enough to at least maintain your skills until the season kicks up again.”

Putting in effort every day, regardless for how long, is crucial to creating good habits and patterns, TheWashingtonPost reports. Since breaking that lethargic mindset can be difficult, it’s recommended to make it easier by exercising as a team. 

“Working out outside isn’t appealing, and the colder temperatures provide a good excuse to just stay inside and watch a movie instead,” James said. “So to stay involved during the offseason we try to do green days to train together as a team. You really have to go [into workouts] with a mindset that the results will pay off during the season.