Student Athletes Prepare for Fall Sports
As the school year comes to a close, it seems as if tryouts and new sports seasons are just around the corner for student athletes. Even athletes who have secured varsity, club, or all star positions on a team in past years still find themselves succumbing to the stress of new beginnings. During the off season that many athletes have had in recent weeks, student athletes are taking on the responsibility of working hard to retain and gain skills on their own.
Whether or not they have secured a position they want on a team in previous years, student athletes are bound to worry about the security of this position. Athletes work very hard to make teams and obtain certain spots, so it makes sense for them to value their place on a team. And for an athlete to show a coach that they value their spot, they need to work hard and make improvements, rather than simply staying complacent in a spot they already feel they earned. “Its always stressful, because you want to show the coaches that you’re better than you were last season,” NHS varsity cheerleader Serena Genna said.
Leading up to new seasons and tryouts, the structured practices for a sport generally come to a temporary halt. During this time between the end of a season and the beginning of a new one, it is left up to the athletes to decide how much they will continue working in their time off, or if they will continue to work at all. “I am attending classes, stretching, and working out on my own in my free time” Genna said. Many athletes choose to partake in extra activities such as these that relate to their sports, because it is a great way to show dedication and improvement.
Some athletes even have added work to do if they want to make improvements, because many student athletes choose to participate in more than one sport. Kattie Guerrero, a sophomore at Nutley High School, takes part in both soccer and track. “Since I do spring track, I end around May” Guerrero said, “but I have to keep doing runs and working on my own to keep up my skills for soccer season.” When athletes have more than one sport to worry about, they have to work even harder to keep up the different skills that each respective sport requires.
No matter what sport athletes participate in, or how many, there is always a similar stress that everyone feels when they are approaching a new sports season. New beginnings can cause stress for many reasons, mainly due to the fact that there are so many unknown factors. “It’s nerve wracking to start new seasons because you never know who’s improved or who’s joining, and you not only have to secure a spot, but work as a team,” Guerrero said. Additionally, there is always pressure for people to prove that they are still worthy of spots they have earned in the past. “You can show that you’re working harder to get more skills and not just staying the same,” Genna said.
However, despite the anxiety that comes with the beginning of a new season, there is also an excitement that is brought to athletes. “I miss having a structured activity, because it keeps life exciting,” Guerrero said. Athletes who choose to work hard to prepare for their future usually find themselves rewarded, and get back to the sports they care about so much for another exciting season.