While most rest, Wash. U. athletes train over summer

| Sports Editor
Students take advantage of the treadmills in the McWilliams Fitness Center. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

Students take advantage of the treadmills in the McWilliams Fitness Center. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

Summers are generally heralded as a time for fun, sun and a break from campus activities. But while many Washington University students use the summer as a time to relax, university athletes are still hard at work.

Most varsity teams and many club sports require workouts from their players throughout the summer, meaning that many athletes get little time off during the four-month vacation.

The level of intensity and commitment varies from person-to-person and sport-to-sport, but the majority of student athletes complete some form of training regimen during the summer—anywhere from multifaceted exercises to leisure training to full-intensity workouts.

“The idea behind the summer training schedule is to return stronger and faster for the coming season,” agrees senior Laura Brazeal, co-captain of the Women’s Varsity Volleyball team. “It also helps build a sense of camaraderie among the team because everyone is doing the same program,” Brazeal said.

Many of the Red and Green Varsity squads receive packets of a summer’s worth of workouts to complete.  The workout schedules usually mix lifting, cardio and sport-specific drills several days a week in order to maintain and improve physical fitness.

“We want to be fitter than every one of our opponents,” states senior Becca Heymann, captain of Women’s Varsity soccer, in an e-mail.  “If every girl on the team follows the summer workouts to the best of her ability, then this can be an attainable goal.”

On club teams, the workout schedules are more flexible but widely encouraged.

“We have a [general] fitness program,” states junior PJ Amini, secretary of the Men’s Club Soccer team.  “We tell the members of the team that are returning next year to run a few times a week…. We just want them to be able to run by the time they get back.”

Despite having a more casual approach, the team finds that it is a system that works.

Additionally, those who do not work out may be weeded out.  On the Men’s Club Soccer team, all returning members have to go through tryouts at the beginning of the year.

“If someone really let loose and was really out of shape, they won’t necessarily make the team again,” Amini said.

As the fall season begins, athletes can only hope that their summer workouts were enough to bring them success. Such a commitment to a sport is admirable for any athlete, club or varsity, but it is also one that will hopefully pay off.

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