By Carissa Hahn
Working out in the off-season is crucial because this time presents the biggest opportunity to make gains, according to Saint Mary’s Performance Coordinator and Instructor Jamie Herrick
“Many athletes have an off-season of four to six months, which is a great amount of time to improve,” said Herrick.
SMU baseball player Paul LaNasa agrees that working out in the off-season is important. He said, “I think it is important for athletes to work out in the off-season because it provides the physical strength and endurance that will allow an athlete to be ready to go 100 percent on the first day of practice.”
Herrick said that it is important for athletes to tailor their workouts to their sport. He noted, for example, that athletes don’t want to do a lot of long distance running if their sport is mainly power or aerobic. Instead, he said it’d be more beneficial to focus on training with sprinting or jumping.
For most sports, Herrick said he implements two days per week during the off-season to focus on quickness and agility. As the season approaches, he will make the workouts more specific to the sport.
Setting goals is another factor that Herrick said is important. He suggests that athletes not only write down their goals but also post them somewhere they can read them every day.
Working out in the off-season can also help build team unity, according to SMU volleyball player Lexi Assimos. She said this is because teammates are working toward a common goal that does not directly involve the sport they play. “Having goals can help push one another to have a better and stronger season,” said Assimos. “Pushing one another creates unity and comfortableness on and off the court, field or rink.”
Herrick also said working out is not only important for athletes but for non-athletes as well. He said working out is important to one’s overall health and fitness, and the exercise can relieve stress as well.
One last piece of advice from Herrick is to not be scared to ask people why they are doing things. He gave an example about being in the weight room and observing someone working out. Ask what the purpose of the activity is, or why a particular exercise is helpful. Herrick said it’s important to never stop learning and asking questions.