By Kobe King
At WCHS, sports teams have different types of practices during their off-season than they do in season to help players get conditioned or to just improve their performance. Coaches explained how they run their practice and also what they focus on during their practice.
Head Wrestling Coach Dave Thompson explained what he does for his team’s practices.
“Practice is very different in out of season. I focus on conditioning and getting strong more than improving technique,” Thompson said.
Thompson has been the head coach for Whiteland’s wrestling team for 38 years and is planning on coaching for as long as he can. Thompson also stated that, when in season, the team focuses more on perfecting technique than getting in shape so the athletes that don’t come to the practices out of season are going to be behind more than the ones that have been coming the whole time.
Head Football Coach Darrin Fisher explained the football teams’ off-season program.
“Well, we spend the summer time getting in shape. The off-season program for us is in the summertime … not only are we teaching fundamentals and skills, but during the month of July, we work on conditioning exclusively so that when the month of August comes and we start practice, we can worry about executing football rather than trying to get in shape. You know, if you show up to practice the first day, if you’re not in shape, you’re actually kind of too late,” Fisher said.
Fisher explained aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and how they benefit the players.
“There are two kinds of physical conditioning; there’s aerobic and anaerobic conditioning so for football, aerobic conditioning plays last about six seconds at a time, so we’re practicing those things so it’s a burst of 6 seconds. Whether it’s an agility drill or change of direction, or a sprint, or whatever it is, it lasts 6 seconds and then we take a little break and then we do it again so we have to do that repetitively in a football game about 120 times,” Fisher said.
Fisher explained the test the players have to take so the coaches know that the players are getting in shape.
“We have a conditioning test that we do the week before the first week of school and the week prior to preseason practice that we like our guys to pass and again, they involve different lengths of running but they all are those six second bursts. Being able to change directions in the course of doing that and being able to do that about 50 times is important because that’s what a player has to do during a game,” Fisher said.
There are many ways to prepare for sports seasons and to maintain fitness during season. Some practices focus on a variety of things, and other times they just focus on one thing at a time.
Coaches have different goals for their specific sports, but the overall goal is that their players are ready for their games by the start of the season. Of course, much of that preparation occurs in the off-season.