Conditioning helps prep for upcoming sports

Rebekah Burgweger, opinion editor

This winter, De Soto High School has a two conditioning group who have decided to battle the winter weather in hopes that they can stay fit for the spring.

One of the groups consists of cross-country runners who run during the off-season. The athletes train most days in the winter, even in the snow and rain.

The reason these athletes run is to keep their endurance and fitness ability they had built up over the season.

“If you want to get fast, the best thing for you to do is to run consistently year round,” said head cross-country coach Chris McAfee. “The off-season allows you to train at a quicker pace, and it allows you to recover quicker in workouts which means you can run faster and at a higher volume.”

“I think it is a good chance to bond not only as a team but to get the chance to run some extra miles and prepare for the next season,” senior Shelby Stephens said.

However, there are some other reasons athletes continue to run. Come February, sophomore Meredith Wolfe, senior Sarah Churchwell and Stephens will be participating in a half-marathon.

“We’re going to bump up the mileage a little bit and see what we can do to prepare for that,” Stephens said.

Another group that conditions during the winter is girls’ soccer. Their training will begin the second week after winter break. According to Kansas State High School Academic Association’s rules, the athletes are not allowed to do any footwork or enhance their skills with the ball. They are only allowed to condition through cardio and work outs.

“We go for distance, we go for speed. We also do core work,” assistant coach Melissa Stone said. “That way, by doing all the fitness stuff during the off-season, when we get to the regular season we can focus more on actually playing soccer and our ball skills.”

On average, there are 15 girls conditioning. Understandably, though, fewer girls come in the end than the beginning, even though the program is strongly encouraged by the coaches and it would help one make the team.

“Part of our tryouts is a fitness portion and you can definitely tell the ones who have been to off-season training,” Stone said.

While these programs will not be competing, all of the athletes involved are working hard for the moment when they can.