Bearcat athletes spend over 440 hours in summer preparation for the fall season
Over 180 fall Bearcat athletes did not spend their summer binge-watching Netflix and swimming at the Ravine; instead, over 440 hours were clocked into practice in the summer heat in order to prepare for a potentially record-breaking fall season.
“The coaches always say that our season’s success is determined by the work we put up in the summer. It is vital to the team that we put in a large amount of miles to support a team’s success… This summer milage is the base for the rest of our season,” said senior Luis Armendariz, who has ran with the cross country team since his freshman year.
A typical summer morning practice for cross country starts at 8 a.m. and includes a mile warm up followed with an eight to 10 mile run. The average runner will cover 300 miles over the course of the summer; Armendariz completed 560 miles over the course of 133 hours. Seventy-five of those hours were spent training during practice, with the other 58 hours sp
went running on his own time for personal success.
Summer practice is also a time for team bonding, alongside individual training.
“The first day of [football] practice there was just a feeling in the air that instantly told me that this team was gonna be great. They are honestly family to me and I’d do anything for them and will always be there for them. We have formed a strong brotherhood that’s unbreakable through thick and thin,” said senior safety and blocker Nolan Binkele, who practices four hours per day at football summer practice, with school practice being about three hours after school and a 6:00 a.m. weight training session before school.
“Summer practice gets us in shape, and we can get our technique down so we are ready to play against other [tennis] teams… Our coach keeps us motivated and we all encourage and support each other,” said sophomore Siena Berry, who spends about two and a half hours a day at practice since joining the tennis team her freshman year.
Even while Bearcat athletes are trading in the dog days of summer for hard workouts, the drawbacks of too much summer practice still occur. A total of four weeks is required for student athletes to rest and prepare for the next season, according to UC Irvine Health.
Senior Madison Mitchell has suffered the negative effects of over training. Her hip flexor became pulled during hurdles in track, and a torn rotator cuff from a varsity volleyball practice.
“Even though summer is my free time, I dedicate to getting better everyday… Summer practice gives me a chance to just focus on the sports I do,” said Mitchell, who is on varsity soccer, volleyball, and track teams.
Once the summer preparation has ended, student athletes start to balance schoolwork with sports practices.
“It gets difficult at times balancing school work with sports but our [football] team is like a family and we all help each other out with our work… I spend a lot of time in my classrooms during nutrition and lunch to try to get my work done ahead of time and set aside an hour or 2 after practice to get work done,” said Binkele, who has played on varsity football since sophomore year and varsity baseball as a relief pitcher since his freshman year.
Summer practice is a time for vast improvements for the upcoming season; and with over 440 hours spent training this year, Bearcats are sure to shatter many records.