Offseason Athletes Commit to the Games

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Andrew Chiritescu

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Offseason Athletes Commit to the Games

Dedicated tennis athletes: Jakub Svoboda; Connor Krug; coach: Paul Von Saman; Colin O'Callaghan; Josh Samuel; Andrew Chiritescu; Kieran Killigrew; Quinn Isaac; Jake Krug

Dedicated tennis athletes: Jakub Svoboda; Connor Krug; coach: Paul Von Saman; Colin O'Callaghan; Josh Samuel; Andrew Chiritescu; Kieran Killigrew; Quinn Isaac; Jake Krug

Dedicated tennis athletes: Jakub Svoboda; Connor Krug; coach: Paul Von Saman; Colin O'Callaghan; Josh Samuel; Andrew Chiritescu; Kieran Killigrew; Quinn Isaac; Jake Krug

Dedicated tennis athletes: Jakub Svoboda; Connor Krug; coach: Paul Von Saman; Colin O'Callaghan; Josh Samuel; Andrew Chiritescu; Kieran Killigrew; Quinn Isaac; Jake Krug

 Offseason athletes work behind the scenes to prepare for the upcoming winter and spring sports, as well as upcoming season fall and winter sports, when their sport is played. If we had to describe them in one single word, these athletes are tenacious. They are unwavering in their passion for their game and their year-round effort and self-discipline, always aiming to improve their athletic skills. 

To be at the top of their game, serious athletes need to have some type of offseason training built into the year. Playing competitive sports can be extremely taxing on the human body. This is a downtime opportunity to practice technical skills, and to improve general fitness and movement – all at a lower intensity and volume than during the competitive season. The athletes on various ODA varsity teams train offseason not only to keep their body in top shape and to lower the risk of overuse injuries during the season but also to maintain their team’s cohesion – their ability to work together when the season returns.

“During the offseason of baseball, we work out the majority of the week, and then, we train for one or two days of the week,” said sophomore Dru Cappar. 

Parents do their share in helping their kids find balance in maintaining their health while juggling school with regular workouts and offseason playing. These people play a critical role in taking care of these athletes’ general well being so that they can be ready for their actual seasons, in good spirit and fully recharged.

“My daughter practices volleyball two times a week with a club and plays in tournaments. In the summer, she also participates in camps to help with her skills,” says one ODA mother of a volleyball player. 

“Rowing is like an all year season sport, but there are two months that can be seen as offseason. During those two months, the team does three hours of workouts, so we can be in good shape and increase our strength,” says sophomore Lance Pfahler. 

Chris Pfahler
Sophomore Lance Pfahler, fifth from the front, sits “5 seat” with Sarasota Crew, a local rowing team.

Besides staying in shape for their sports, many athletes also use their offseason time to enjoy playing less competitively in other sports, doing unrelated hobbies, diving into academics, or simply having more family time. Others find ways to share their sport with less privileged people, coaching them or refereeing their matches.

ODA sophomore, Jeremie Testa, volunteers with the Braden River Club’s outreach program for kids with disabilities, while several tennis players have joined Buddy Up Tennis, a fitness and tennis program for athletes with Down Syndrome.

What is the goal of all of this deep dedication to a sport? Athletes who commit so fully to their game are often celebrated and recognized not only for their fantastic results but also for their sportsmanship and teamwork. Besides the personal recognition, several teams make it all the way to states. Many more teams prove themselves at districts and regionals.

They pay the price of sweat and time during the offseason training so that they reap the benefits during the in-season battle. ODA athletes, we salute your hard work. In Thunder we trust!