Fall sport athletes gear up for a new change in schedules

Relaxing, recovery and training during the off season for fall sport athletes

By Lauren Perry, PerryL4@Findlay.edu

Fall sport athletes at the University of Findlay look forward to a crucial off-season. With winter approaching, fall sports come to an end, while winter sports are off and running.

At UF, multiple sports take place each season. According to the athletic administration staff, around 685 student athletes are at the University. Fall sports include men’s cross country, football, soccer and golf; the women’s sports include volleyball, cross country, soccer and golf. There are also six other sports teams for both men and women’s teams that take place during the winter and spring seasons, which can be found under the University’s athletics website.

The life of a collegiate athlete can be time-consuming, but their off-seasons can free up their schedules and allow for other activities. Football player Vernon Williams described his days while in season as being scripted and structured between practices and other mandated activities.

“We have a routine,” Williams said. “It’s pretty much every week looks like same with practice, meetings and stuff like that.”

Athletes choose to spend their free time in different ways. Some may take this freedom to focus more on school, while others may choose to dedicate this time towards preparing for their next season. Some sports teams require their athletes to keep up with their conditioning and stamina, even when they aren’t in season.

For fall sport athletes, the off-season during winter and summer months can be a crucial time to not only train but focus on team bonding. According to BleacherReport, “winter workouts and summer conditioning help build that camaraderie on the field, but summer goes a long way towards building legitimate friendships within the team dynamic.”

At the University, the football team focuses on team chemistry during the summer as well. Williams also mentioned that the football coaches will occasionally organize some fun games and competitions to keep the team chemistry going during summer workouts.

“In the summer, we do this pool thing where everybody who is working out can show up to this pool and then we [football team] all hangout,” Williams said. “It’s a really good time.”

Along with their team coaches, athletic trainers and strength coaches on campus play a role in keeping the athletes in shape during their off-season. For most athletes, the off-season is also a chance to get stronger and train harder. Strength coach Chad Wagner expressed some of the important aspects of both an athlete’s on and off-season training.

“You’ve got to have that off-season mentality, even though it’s just an in-season lift,” Wagner said. “I think our kids as a whole, especially the sports I’m directly involved with, are actually pretty good at keeping that off season focus and that mentality into it.”

On the other hand, some of the athletes are looking forward to other luxuries they now have time for.

“I’m looking forward to not having stuff to do after classes,” Volleyball player Ava Doster said. “I can just relax, do homework, or I can take a nap.”

For some athletes, their off-season provides time to make money.

“I think my favorite thing to do [in the off-season] is to make some money,” Williams said. “Whether it’s at work, maybe door dashing or doing outside jobs, like painting houses or working on somebody’s car; I like to make money.”

Wagner also stressed the importance of rest and recovery during the athletes down time. “Because of how hard the training is, nutrition and sleep are the two most important things that the kids can do,” Wagner said. “Because their social life and academics come into play, but your body is in its largest recovery mode when you are sleeping, so they need to get the proper amount of rest.”

Wagner further advised the athletes at UF to listen to their bodies, so they are fully ready to prepare and heal for their next season. More time also allows student athletes to focus more on their academics.

“I have a lot more time to commit just to school because we have slightly less practices,” Doster said. “So then the whole afternoon I can dedicate to school.”

Although these student athletes look forward to downtime, they still look forward to the next season.

“I like the being in-season more. During the off-season, there’s a bunch of stress and anticipation preparing for what you don’t even know is going to come,” Williams said. “I like being in season better because now it’s time to compete, time to let out all I’ve trained for, and put the pedal to the floor.”