Teams Begin to See the Value in Conditioning Workouts

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To prepare for the season, the girls basketball team at GCHS spent many afternoons in the weight room. A strong conditioning program helps players build endurance.

Kaylee Ray, Staff Reporter

When people think about sports the first thing that comes to mind is the competition or very close games, but a very important part of being an athlete that is often overlooked is what it takes to get to where you need to be is the conditioning. Without having time devoted to weightlifting and running and building endurance, student athletes would have a much harder time competing.

Coaches understand that conditioning is essential to preparing a team.  Tia Ford, freshman girls basketball coach at Great Crossing High School stated, “For the upcoming season, I plan to prepare my players by running sprints and running through drills that require endurance. These drills help the players prepare for games when they have to consistently compete without a break.”

Rachel Smith, junior, believes that being prepared physically for a game helps performance on the court.   “Conditioning is super important. Being able to give it 100% effort the whole game is severely under looked. Being in a tight situation at the end of the game and not being completely winded can make a huge difference when that buzzer goes off ,” Smith explained.

Zackarrey Kelley, junior football player at GCHS, also sees value in conditioning. “It helps us stay together even in hard times. We all struggle in conditioning, and we are all going to struggle in games. But if we learn to stay together through that it benefits the whole team,” Kelley explained.

Trainer Jocelyn Bartmess, owner of Georgetown Fitness and Strength, has worked with the girls basketball team on their pre-season conditioning.  She also stresses the connection between conditioning and game performance.  “You have to be mentally and physically strong enough to sustain the pressures of game play. You never want to get beat because you lost your lungs, legs and will half way through the game.” 

Conditioning is super important. Being able to give it 100% effort the whole game is severely under looked.”

— Rachel Smith, junior

Bartmess explained the benefit of the time spent building up one’s stamina.  “Conditioning allows an athlete to be strong enough to allow one’s skills to be just as sharp as they were at tip off.”

Conditioning can be very beneficial for game performance, but it’s also a way to improve an athlete’s overall physical health. Keisha Young, a junior varsity coach for GCHS girls basketball said, “Three benefits of weight lifting are boosting metabolism, strength, and maintaining a healthy body weight.”

Athletes don’t always enjoy the process of conditioning, although they recognize it’s necessary.  “I don’t necessarily enjoy full sprints for hours and hours,” said Smith.  However, she tries to find the positive in the process.  “I personally like using the shooting machine for conditioning and full court shooting. Swimming and riding bikes are also good workouts that I love to do,” she explained.

Like Smith, Kelley doesn’t view conditioning as fun either, however he admits there are positives that come from it. “I’m willing to do it, but no one really enjoys conditioning.  I appreciate what it does for me.”

Although athletes have learned how important conditioning is to keep up your endurance, it is also something that can improve players’ relationship with their teammates. Bartmess stated, “I’ve also seen you guys [the girls basketball team] grow as a team and as a group.”