Off season conditioning prepares athletes for excellence


Dennis Dolan, school trainer, instructs baseball players during a workout.

Max Stoneking, Co-Editor

The off-season is an opportunity for athletes to capitalize on building a solid base of fitness. That is why teams like the baseball and track teams hold winter conditioning sessions.

“It [conditioning] is a chance for us to get together twice a week and start getting our minds back on baseball,” Josh Perkins, head baseball coach, said. “It is important for players to start playing catch and get their arms in shape before tryouts. There can be serious damage done to the arm if a player does not prepare properly.”

Baseball meets twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, for a variety of general fitness drills. While they are prohibited from playing catch during a formal conditioning workout, per KSHAA rules, many of the players find time to condition their arms on their own time. For the general fitness workouts, Perkins takes half of the team to work on sprints and core work and Dennis Dolan, trainer, directs the other half in the weight room.

“Conditioning gives our guys a chance to grind together. When you see a teammate putting in the same work that you are, it increases your faith in him,” Perkins said.

Matt Bohm, head track coach, and his team have a similar approach to off season workouts.

“We do all kinds of activities. We work with running, core work, form running, weight training, etc.,” Bohm said.

For track, the conditioning program helps build and maintain a fitness base so that they are able to hit the ground running once the season starts and practices are every day. During the winter, conditioning is only two times a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, but most runners run on their own almost every day.

Preparing for the season starts with the offseason conditioning program. While KSHAA prohibits a full off-season practice schedule, some work can be done to capitalize on building a solid fitness base and getting a jump-start on developing team chemistry.