While the primary focus in sports for this time of year may tend to be on basketball, hockey, maybe some baseball as we get towards the spring season, this does not mean that our fall sports are taking their time off and having a leisure off-season.
“I don’t even really care for the term ‘off-season.’ I like to think of it as a developmental season.” said head football coach Greg Youngblood.
While the teams aren’t having actual competition in most cases, arguments can be made that the workouts and practice schedule are more strenuous than the actual season can be.
The fall teams roll onto campus a week or two before actual classes begin, and during that time, the focus needs to be on integrating new players to the program and logistics for the team. Having an “off” season allows the team to focus on more of the physical aspect of the game. Most teams will have a combination of strength training, conditioning, and they agilities, or plyometric training.
This is also the time where teams have an opportunity to come together, build team unity, and begin to focus on what your goals are both individual, and as a whole unit.
“No matter what part of the season you’re in, there’s always going to be that team element. While you’re going through the grind of a season, however, you just don’t have the time or focus to build it up to the extent you need to be successful.” said Youngblood.
Football currently has strength training four days a week, while having a more conditioning oriented session twice a week during the morning.
Both the men and women’s soccer team are lifting three days a week while, similar to football, having conditioning practices in morning. Both of those sports are primarily outdoor, and cannot head outside until weather permits them to.
Volleyball has the luxury of holding their games in a gym, and have already started court work along with their lifting.
“The off season is huge. Teams are built and games are won during this developmental phase of what really is a year round season.” said Youngblood.
Justin Pastoor, Sports Editor