Archive for Thursday, January 26, 2006

Off-season workout helps keep athletes focused

January 26, 2006

With basketball and wrestling taking up most everyone's time around Eudora, there seems little concern for the sports that are enjoying a brief hiatus.

But while activity flows across the basketball courts and on the mats of the wrestling room, those waiting for the next round of Eudora sports are not remaining idle.

The school's off-season weight lifting program is in full force and many are taking advantage of the opportunity to stay in shape as the new seasons approach.

"We usually get together for an hour-and-a-half after school," Eudora softball coach Cara Kimberlin said. "The coaches like to have some of the players who aren't participating in sports right now come, but it's open to any student who wants to come in and work out."

Kimberlin, along with assistant football coach Ty Pattison, are two of a number of coaches who help direct the school's off-season program. Kimberlin and Pattison run the program during the time their particular sports are in the off-season.

Athletes from all Eudora sports, ranging from football and volleyball to baseball and softball are a part of the program this year. Coaches from other sports will take over the program when the spring sports begin.

Those who participate -- between 20 and 25 students during this off-season -- in the program have an opportunity to keep up physically for the approaching season with a number of routines set up by the coaches ranging from abdominal work to a cardio-vascular routine.

"We put together a timed run or number of laps to start off," Kimberlin said. "Then we do what's called a speed ladder, which helps with speed and agility. Then we go in and lift and then we have a number of routines for each group. We have a routine for the softball girls and one for the volleyball girls. We can put a different set of routines together for every sport."

And like the work that is put in during the actual practice time for the respective sports, the time put in at the off-season weight program is taken very seriously.

"The kids who show up know that we do things a certain way," Kimberlin said. "We don't want kids that just want to show up for the lifting and disappear during the running time so they don't have to run. It's like showing up for half of practice."

But as serious as the program is in its effort to provide physical training for those who participate, the routine is not inflexible.

"We have kids who come in and have other things going on in the day, like work or something," Kimberlin said. "So we try and give them a routine that gives them a workout before they leave."

The program has taken off in recent years in large part because of the upgrade in facilities the move to a new high school has afforded the program.

An expanded weight room and new indoor running surfaces have helped make the program a much more accessible and productive routine for the students and coaches alike.

"The facilities have made a huge difference," Kimberlin said. "We have three times the space in the weight room as well as the wrestling room during the fall. When the facilities grow, then the number of students out for athletics grows."

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