Athletes spend their summers on the field and in the gym

Spending hours under the beating sun with forty-plus teammates, sweating uncontrollably, and trying  to stay healthy occupied many athletes’ schedules this past summer. Depending on the sport, teams conditioned either everyday or every few days, for a few hours at a time. No matter what sport, the athletes believe that their summer sacrifices will help in the long run.

“Being conditioned for any sport is extremely important,” sophomore Jordan Patrick said. “It allows you to play at your best.”

The skills needed for the sport are drilled as part of the conditioning.

“We do an hour of playing volleyball … and getting in shape because you want to be fast and quick on the court,” junior Elyse Boxberger said.

Summer conditioning is not only physically demanding, but mentally as well.

“During hard practices, I always think while I’m running, ‘I could stop. I don’t have to do this,’” senior Marilee Neutal said, “but I do it because at the end of the day, I love it,”

Like Neutal, Boxberger loves her sport but finds the workouts more tedious.

“I never wanted to quit the sport,” Boxberger said, “but the conditioning – yes, I did.  I did not want to come some days, but you have to push yourself.”

Off-season conditioning has its battles, and avoiding injury is challenging.

Spending his time on the soccer field may put Patrick at a greater risk for injury, but for him and other devoted athletes, the pride of accomplishment is worth the hazard.

“Injuries happen a lot, and sometimes people would get ankle sprains, back injuries.. [and] some did get sick,” Patrick said. “But that just shows how hard they were working.”

Even though off-season conditioning is demanding of the mind and body, these athletes feel as if it helps, overall.

“It clears my mind of everything. It makes me feel better mentally and physically,” Neutal said. “Clears your face, keeps you fit, makes you happier.”