Off-season

While many of his friends soak up rays and take a much deserved break from their academic and athletic requirements, Michael Hartwick ’09 will have a strict plan to stay in shape over the summer. He will spend most of his summer exercising to make sure he is ready for water polo season to roll around in the fall.

Every day, Hartwick has planned four hours of water polo training along with weightlifting sessions three times a week. Add that to two hours of club water polo at night and his schedule already seems pretty full; yet, he also wants to mix in some beach volleyball during the day. Hartwick thinks these activities will keep him in good physical condition.

“I think it’s important to stay in shape over summer because [water polo is] a fall sport and it takes weeks to get into good enough shape to compete with other teams,” he said.

Softball player Chelsea McMahon ’10 has a less rigorous routine. During the summer she goes for a run every weekday to stay in shape. Since softball is a spring sport, she has a less immediate demand to be at the top of her game once the school year comes around.
“I don’t do much,” she said. “But it works.”

Many students who don’t play on teams also have an agenda. Ryan Navi ’09 plans on running from his house to the beach and back every day, a total of six miles. He acknowledges that sometimes he will do less, but he also wants to do more than that on occasion. Following a hip injury, Navi just wants to return to his old form.

“I just want to get back from my injury,” he said. “I never have really gotten there and I want to finally get to where I was.”

Though students tend to obsess over their “six packs,” weight training coach Greg Bishop believes athletes should do some other exercise to stay in shape.

“They are encouraged to do some extra conditioning like riding a bike, jogging, running or swimming,” Bishop said.

Bishop will keep the weight room open all summer. It will be open for individual and team lifts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 6:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Team lifts hold precedence over any individual. Team workouts will vary slightly. Some teams, such as track and field, will not  even lift during the summer because their season just ended. Other squads like football will continue lifting through the summer.

Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas believes that summer is the time when athletes should get a chance to cool off. There is no summer practice policy for teams except for the CIF rules which call for a three week “cooling off” period. Barzdukas agrees with this notion.

 “Rest and recovery are important aspects of athletic success and both should be in plentiful supply during vacation,” he said.

The weight room is just one of many places that the school provides for use during the summer. The track will be open as will the pool for running and swimming.

In terms of nutrition, Barzdukas and the athletic department do not have any specific requirements. They count on the athletes to take it upon themselves to maintain a healthy diet. According to Barzdukas, the only diet ever reccomended is that one provides adequate calories and nutrients.

For athletes, summer may not be purely a vacation, but to Barzdukas, taking some time off is essential.

“Vacation is all about getting out of shape. In a very meaningful way, it’s the point of taking a vacation,” Barzdukas said. “Coaches take this into account when designing training programs. It may not seem like it, but they take vacations too.”

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