Off-season training a must for competitive athletes

Off-season training a must for competitive athletes

by Sara Sonderman

It’s not just a two or three-month season anymore. Simpson College track athletes began in-season workouts last week with 96 days until their first meet. Being a dedicated college athlete is a year-round commitment for Storm athletes.

It is a common sight to see athletes that our out of season in the weight room training and working on their physical condition.

Strength and Conditioning coaches Myles Easter and Neil Nelson along with athletic trainers Mike Hadden, Greg Seier and Nicci Whalen constantly design out of season and in-season workout programs to help enhance the athlete’s performance.

“In order to give our athletes the best opportunities to succeed we have to allow them to become the best physical athletes they can,” Head Baseball Coach John Sirianni said. “This includes strength, speed, quickness, agility and flexibility.”

Seier, who focuses on track and men’s basketball workouts, takes a variety of approaches to help Simpson athletes.

“Our main focus is to help prevent injury,” Seier said. “A lot of our athletes have tight hamstrings which leads to low back pain. I have done a lot of work with abdnominals, lower back lifts and other major lifts.”

For the men’s basketball team, Seier has been taking the men through different phases. Right now they are in a speed phase where they want to do as many repetitions as they can in the amount of time given. They will soon change to a circuit-training workout until Christmas when he will change the workout once again.

Even though the track and field team is considered in-season right now, Head Coach Tim Byers said he is fortunate to get this amount of time with his student-athletes.

“There are three benefits from starting so early,” Byers said. “It builds team cohesion, it allows me to see if things are getting done in the classroom and it helps with conditioning.”

At Simpson each sport has a different amount of time they are allowed to practice in-season.

“The non-traditional and traditional seasons are not at all consistent,” Sirianni said.

Volleyball begins in August and runs through November and is not allowed to have any type of mandatory practice in the spring. Opposingly, the basketball season begins in October and can go until March while track and field starts in October and ends in May.

Baseball and softball are allowed to practice in the fall, but are not allowed to participate in any scrimmages or games against other college’s teams.

Byers said they start the season out slow and focus on preventing injury through proper stretching, running technique, warm-up and cool down sessions.

“I was a little overwhelmed when I saw our lifting program, but I lifted all through high school so it hasn’t been that much of a change for me,” said freshman softball and basketball player Kim Mehlin. “I think most athletes are willing to do whatever it takes to be the best.”