Once winter sports like gymnastics and basketball ended and before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, spring and even some fall sports were jumping right into workouts and open gyms way before their season started.
“The pre-season workouts and open gyms get our bodies ready for tryouts and helps us improve and get back into shape before the season officially starts,” Varsity Girls Softball player Samantha Nickl stated in an email.
Not only do these early preseason workouts help the players get ready for the season, but they also help the coaches start getting potential players into work-out mode while still giving the athletes flexibility with their schedules.
“[Open gyms] give leeway if the [players] have to cancel [while still giving athletes] enough to do [pre-season],” Head Girls Water Polo Coach Michael Vukovics said.
Even though the workouts start way before the season actually begins, some starting as early as December, the impact of the workouts are shown in other ways than just on the field.
“I like having open gyms because they give us the opportunity to work on our skills before tryouts and to get to know any incoming freshmen and new players,” Nickl said.
Some fall sports, like football, have workouts during the springtime, too.
“We don’t have a lot of open gyms because, per IHSA rules, football coaches aren’t allowed to coach their players until a certain point in the summer. Since the beginning of January, we’ve had weightlifting team sessions four days a week to help make us stronger individually and as a team,” said junior Alex Wing, kicker/punter and outside linebacker for the football team.
Everything organized during pre-season is to help those in the sports program prepare for their upcoming competition.
“There are so many weightlifting sessions around this time for football because every team in the state is trying to getting faster and stronger in preparation for the next season,” Wing said. “Good teams strive to get better every day, and that is exactly our goal and mindset.”
Therefore, serious athletes approach pre-season workout with a similar mindset as Wing’s.
He said, “If you come into the weight room with a motto of wanting to get better, then you are going to get out of it what you put into it.”