Athletic Director Steve Trachier and Texas Wesleyan athletes agree: off-season practices prepare Rams and Lady Rams for their games.
“Off-season training is critical for all sports,” Trachier wrote in an email. “It is an opportunity to increase strength, power, speed in preparation for the following season.”
Trachier believes that working out during the off-season is beneficial to the mental and physical health of all the athletes.
“Constant conditioning equates to constant wellness,” Trachier wrote. “People who condition are less likely to be ill and are generally less stressed than those who don’t condition.”
Rams pitcher Steven Frederick, a sophomore exercise science major, also thinks that off-season is the best time to build stamina and prevent injury.
“It keeps your endurance up, so whenever you’re having to go through multiple games in a week, or even in a few days, it keeps your arm and your whole body healthy,” Frederick said.
Conditioning in the off-season is mainly about getting in shape, while practices during the season are about perfecting skills and getting reps in for the upcoming game, Frederick said.
“Off-season is mainly to make sure we are [physically] prepared for regular season,” Frederick said, “so we can have less lengthy practices and focus on our games rather than having to focus on practice and getting in shape.”
The baseball program tries to make the most out of off-season practices for the players, Frederick said.
“We practice five times a week usually, sometimes six times a week, and then we practice from two to about five or six,” Frederick said. “We go in and get as much work done as we can in the time that we have and then we leave.”
Frederick thinks that the goal for most sports during the off-season is to prepare for next season’s games.
“Our off-season practices are more running intensive than our regular season,” Frederick said, “mainly because our regular season is more making sure we are prepared for the game that we’re about to play rather than conditioning ourselves.”
Head coach Mike Jeffcoat expects the players to keep perfecting their skills over the summer Frederick said.
“[Our coach] doesn’t care what we do for summer ball as long as we are playing competitive baseball so we can keep getting better,” Frederick said.
Volleyball player Kiersten Mebane thinks that volleyball’s main goal in the off-season is to perfect fundamentals and endurance.
“The reason for an off-season is to be prepared for the upcoming season and to get you in a good work ethic mode before the summertime,” the junior psychology major said.
During the summer volleyball head coach Kimberly Weaver still expects them to condition and work out over the break, Mebane said.
“[Our coach expects us] to stick to the work out plan that our strength and conditioning coach gives us, eat healthy, and make sure we are touching a volleyball any opportunity we get,” Mebane said.
A lot of the things that volleyball does in off-season is to help guarantee that the athletes are healthy and ready to work next season, she said.
“We work on strength and basics,” Mebane said, “and when you break down fundamentals you know how to do things to the point where you won’t get hurt.”
The volleyball team practices and works out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the off-season, Mebane said.
“We also have things we do outside of practice,” Mebane said. “We swim and have jump workouts and beach workouts.”
Mebane thinks most sports on campus work on things like the basic aspects of their sport, conditioning, and strength training so they can be ready for their seasons.
“Off-season is when you break down the skills and you focus on more individual things and more positional things as well,” Mebane said. “Whereas in-season it’s all about putting it together and playing as a team.”