by Michelle Brooks | staff writer
The first thing on junior Jabari Aiken’s mind the morning after losing to Vandegrift High School by 1 point in the football playoffs was: offseason. He planned to use his time to get better so that he can come back stronger next year.
“Yes, every day after school me and some of the other players go out to the field and we do footwork drills and other drills to get us faster for the season because it’s not only about getting stronger, it’s about getting faster as well,” Aiken said.
Athletes and coaches often use the offseason to sharpen their skills to prepare for the next season.
“Right now, in the offseason, we are lifting weights three days a week and we are outside also running,” head track coach Byron Randle said.
Taking advantage of the workouts in offseason can help players gain more skills and talent.
“Yeah, definitely. It definitely helps you improve. It helps get you stronger so you’re just better as a player athletically,” junior volleyball player Kaylyn Winkler said.
Meanwhile, coaches can use offseason as a way to watch for players who have gotten better.
“We kind of identify the athletes as far as what events they could potentially be in. But, yes, we do put a good eye on those athletes,” Randle said.
Each offseason is unique to each different sport, but all of the offseasons still help players stay in shape.
“We run a lot of sprints. We do testing in the beginning, so we run the mile and horses. And then we do weight room most of the time,” Winkler said.
However, some athletes go from one sport to another sport, so they don’t have an offseason.
“Actually, 3 of our girls are playing soccer this year. I know a lot of our girls on JV are playing basketball too. And running track,” Winkler said.
The common goal of offseason to all athletes is to get better so they can improve on the next season.
“I hope it does, because the goal next year is for us to go all the way to state and not lose in the first round again. By 1 point, cuz you know it kinda hurt. But, I think all this training we’re doing will help us next year,” junior Derek Morton said.