Sports

Athletes condition in off season

The athletic teams on campus participate in hard workouts multiple days a week to keep in shape when they don’t have games.

A wide array of athletic teams train during their off seasons. Off season workouts for cross-country, soccer, volleyball and tennis have continued into the new year with the tennis team preparing for an upcoming game on Feb. 17.

The NAIA allows for 24 weeks of specific sport training and competition during the year, giving leeway for coaches and teams to make their own workouts.

The cross-country team conditions on Mondays and Fridays and run between eight to 15 miles depending on the training schedule. The team works on abs stretches on their own on the weekends to stay in good shape for any road races or half-marathons they may participate in during the off season.

“Physically we stay hydrated and continue workouts to build mileage and endurance, and mentally we just encourage each other to stay focused on getting better for the next season,” Jennifer Poole, junior cross-country runner, said.

Many team workouts consist of conditioning and strength training. These exercises keep team members in shape while strengthening the bond between them. The JBU men’s soccer team focuses on leadership and ownership of abilities during the spring semester–training the individuals to build up the team. The team often does technical training, which consists of repetitive action specific to the positions the individuals play.

The soccer team’s off season training begins after their last game and continues to the end of the fall semester. In January, JBU soccer begins preparations for the next season doing running, lifting, or training on the field around five to six days a week during the spring semester.

“There is something terrible and wonderful about waking up at 5:30 in the morning, knowing that you are about to push your body into significant levels of discomfort, and then successfully getting through the session with your brothers,” said Scott Marksberry, head coach of the JBU men’s soccer team.

Alyssa Arnold, senior volleyball player, said the JBU volleyball team practices four to five times a week lifting, weight training and working on vertical jumps. As the season approaches, the team increases their time practicing on the court.

“When we become tired it becomes easier to skip a rep or become lazy, but this is when encouragement from our teammates and coaches really comes into play,” Arnold said. “Keeping our team’s energy up and focusing on all the potential we have makes us all extremely excited to see where we go next season.”

Tennis season starts in two weeks, and the team’s hard work and preparation is reflected in their practices. Working out two to three times a week as well as building up the team during practices is vital to the tennis off season.

Stone Swieter, freshman tennis player, said that in the off-season the JBU tennis team focuses on tactical and situational conditioning as well as endurance.

“It should not be about coaches screaming at them to make them work; it should be about self-motivation and working as a group,” Marksberry said. “If we are going to wear jerseys that say ‘Christ Over All’ on the back, then we better not put ourselves over Christ when our workouts get difficult.”

KARLA CONDADO/TheThreefoldAdvocate