By John McCarthy
Volume 1 Issue 3
December 16, 2020
Image provided by Stack
The period where the players aren’t competing, the coaches aren’t coaching, and the fans aren’t cheering - or the offseason - brings new hope for franchises and fans hoping to build a better team for next year. For the professionals, this opens free agency, a market of players waiting to be bought by hopeful contenders for their future, and loads of trade possibilities. While the business side of the game entertains the crowd watching for updates on their favorite players and teams, the offseason also provides time for players to rehab injuries or binge exercise to get in the best shape possible for next season. This holds true for all levels of sports, not just the major leagues. High school sports have been on hold since the beginning of March. The pandemic has affected our lives in many ways, but one part of an athlete’s routine that has not been majorly impacted is exercise.
Since Nassau County’s high school sports seasons are scheduled to be a metaphorical sprint in the second half of the academic year, it is imperative for athletes to enter their sports in the best shape they can be in. There’s still time to improve before the “restart”! Although gyms might be a scary place to lift weights because of the pandemic, many fitness centers are open and are following health and safety protocols to protect their members. However, gyms are not necessary to lose fat, gain muscle, and work on cardio. Personally, I lost over 50 pounds before ever stepping foot in a fitness center.
There are many at-home exercises that will help you attain your fitness goals or anticipate joining a North High sports team. Push-ups are an integral workout routine to build strength. Push-ups target your chest, shoulders, and upper-arms, but could also build muscle in your core and lower back. Many sports focus on lower body strength as well. Squats are a great way to build muscle in your legs and will improve your explosion and agility. Finally, to improve cardio...RUN! It doesn’t matter the distance or speed you run at in the beginning. Those will increase over time. The effort you put in will be worth the health gains in the long run (so to speak). My dad always said running is the ultimate form of exercise. Even hours after you finish running, your body is still burning calories.
The offseason is a time for self-improvement. More time to work out, more time to study, and more time for yourself precedes successful showings at games, meets, and matches. Coaches will notice the changes you make in the offseason. Make the most of this time you have, and make this offseason the most fun and productive one you’ve ever had.