By Rachel Parish
Fans screaming and applauding, numbers counting down on the clock, hot breath and sweat trickled down players’ faces. One decision could change the whole outcome of the game… Exhaustion is pushed aside and one more blast of energy surges through their bodies… Now sporting events are exciting to watch, but do we really know what players do to keep up with the thrilling game?
“I train four times a week, usually for about an hour and a half to two hours,” states varsity wrestler, Caleb Harris, tenth grade. Athletes keep up by exercising on the off-season as Hayley Lofton, junior, quotes, “We start conditioning months before the season, working three days a week.” Eleventh grade softball player, Jordan Phillips, tries to, “stay as active as possible on the off-season.” Well, to make it in varsity you cannot be a couch potato for the entire off-season people! That’s a no-no.
Running around and using energy is exhausting, and staying fit isn’t the only thing to keep you energized. “I eat a bag of sunflower seeds before every game and drink lots of water,” Phillips explained about her daily routine for practices and games. Other players can agree; “Water. Water is the key,” jokes tenth grader soccer player Sarah Sanford. Lofton adds, “Sucking juice out of oranges helps to keep you from getting shaky.” Running track during her junior year, she also stays strong with “Cliff bars and Gatorade, which are great for boosts of energy.”
Practice makes perfect as well as staying hydrated, but there are things that shall not be done. “Don’t eat too much before a game,” Jessika Wojciechowski, eleventh grader and varsity player of the girls’ basketball team, states. Lofton has the same advice about eating right before a track meet, “If you eat something right before an event, there is a ninety-nine percent chance of you throwing up and feeling sick.” Check that off the list of things not to do! It might be best to just hold off eating until the sport event is over. Phillips adds to what people should not do saying, “Don’t be disrespectful to any of your teammates or coaches.” Harris on wrestling states, “Bad conduct, behavior, and poor sportsmanship can make the entire team lose points, ” seeing as respectful conduct is a reflection of not only the individual, but the entire team.
Waking up early, going to school, practice, games, homework, family time… that’s a lot to schedule in a normal week. “Normally practice ends at six, so when I get home I start my homework and when I’m done I eat dinner with my family,” responds Phillips with her daily schedule on the weekday. Doing homework after late games and practices can get difficult, and players have to adjust to their sports to manage their time. “I work on my homework after practice immediately,” states Harris. But sometimes there is not enough time in the day to finish everything as Wojciechowski confesses, “If a game runs late I would have to give up something because of it.” Lofton also adds on the difficulty of having large amounts of homework on a track event, “It is a struggle. Practice runs everyday, except Sundays, after school till about 6pm…I have to do homework right when I get home. After that I just want to sleep. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes after practice I am too tired so I just do my homework in first period.” Being dedicated to a sport can be a sacrifice.
Determination, workouts, eating healthy, and juggling homework with personal time all comes along with joining a sport. It may look easy on the court and field, but behind the scenes there are long practices, commitment and plenty of homework. “Be prepared to work hard,” Sanford states on playing soccer on her team.
To have the drive to be part of a sport, it is necessary to study it and practice as the wrestler Caleb Harris said, “Look up videos, ask more experienced people questions and watch how they do the move.” Harris adds his advice, “Most importantly, keep going; its intimidating at first but incredibly rewarding.”
Every sport has its tough times Hayley Lofton states, “Track and Field is probably one of the toughest sports. If you want to achieve anything in it, you have to have dedication and be serious. Pushing yourself when you’re about to give up helps you get stronger. You have to want it.” Jessika Wojciechowski also comments on a new comer wanting to play, “If they want to go through tough practices and they have the talent to be on varsity, I would say go for it.” Want to have a challenge? Well keep up with varsity like these athletes, push to the limit and never give up.
…The last blast of energy carried through the last few seconds on the clock. The decision being made- Hawks win. Catch up on another sport event on Viera High’s school website and calendar!