Sports have a designated time during the year when players focus all of their time and energy, but once that season is over, athletes still need to stay in shape. For most teams, though, after a season is over, that’s it; there’s no more training with the team until the next year. To avoid the athletic slump that comes with little to no training for a year, athletes have to look for other ways to condition for their sport.
Track and field is a melting pot of different athletes- cross country runners join track to run the long distance events, but it’s not uncommon to see soccer, basketball, and football players joining the track team. For football, the athletes have to join the track team for the benefits.
“The football players go to track practice and then go to football practice, we’re cross training during the entire track season,” said head track coach Michael Bosco.
Athletes who play multiple sports use the other sports they participate in to their advantage. Cross training with track is going to help the boys for football and any other sport they participate in. Bosco has most of his receivers run the 100 and 300 hurdles because the events loosen up the hip flexors, which helps a receiver during a game. Even though football players are required to play, the experience that comes with being on another team with people they aren’t always with lets them grow as athletes.
Cross training allows an athlete to grow and learn different techniques to help them with their own sport.
Senior Zamir Ode, captain of this year’s wrestling team, practices different styles of wrestling in his off-season. Where American high schools normally practice folkstyle wrestling, Ode has been branching off and training in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, the two styles present in the Olympics, both of which operate under their own unique rule sets and scoring systems.
“I’ve been doing folkstyle for about five years, but I started doing freestyle and Greco mainly because every coach says that great wrestlers wrestle every style, and I want to be great. At first, the transition was a little tough, but it’s getting better. I had to learn some new rules and a few different moves first, but wrestling these styles has already helped me tremendously, and I plan on continuing with them for the rest of my career,” said Ode.
Other athletes look to continue focusing on their sport by training with Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) team like junior Tiyera Joseph. She has been on the Steinbrenner track team for three years now, but has been part of an AAU team since 5th grade. Joseph has been with two different teams, but she joined her most recent team, the Track Star Track Club team at the beginning of her freshman year.
AAU is more focused on detail and every second of your race from beginning to end. It strongly looks at the mechanics of the race and your body,” said Joseph. During the Steinbrenner track season, she goes to one AAU practice a week, but she usually practices every day of the week, excluding Friday’s.
Athletes who have a passion for their sport will spend their off-season training whether in a different sport or learning an alternate version of it. Varying from mastering a new takedown to trying to shave off that extra second, off-season training is a vital asset to keeping your body in a mid-season mindset for the coming months.
By: Emma Stevens & Brett Behers / Sports Print Editor & Opinion Editor