Tag Archives: athletics

Getting an edge: How athletes prepare for their sports

How do different sports athletes’ routines compare with each other that help them perform to their best ability? Sports vary in different ways, like time, strength, and endurance. For example, soccer, baseball, and track and field long jump are three different sports. Soccer requires a lot of endurance because of constant running, baseball requires short bursts of energy and a quick reaction time, and track and field’s long jump involves a combination of strength and endurance. With research, I dug a little deeper into these sports.

Joe Young dribbles the ball around the opponent. Photo Credit: Stacy Young

Many know that a lot of running is involved with soccer. Players have to train for endurance, and it requires good leg muscles and an excellent heart to pump blood around the body: “I usually run and lift to get in shape for soccer. The most important [thing] is just continuing to practice,” Joe Young, class of 2025, stated. Young says that lifting for reps and running daily helps him through his JV soccer season at MSJ.

Drew Rybinski ’25 in a baseball game. Photo Credit: Perfect Game Staff

In comparison to soccer, baseball consists of fast, quick reactions and power. To generate this power, Drew Rybinski of the class of 2025 explains how he trains for power: “Most days, about 5 days a week, I try to lift weights because baseball is about strength and less about endurance, so [there is] not as much running but more about deadlifting heavy for quick, explosive movements.” Drew also practices his catching and hitting skills daily for an hour to prepare for a game.

A sport that people may not be as familiar with is the long jump event in track and field. To understand more about this sport, I asked class of 2023 Thomas Johnson III to explain his routine to prepare for a long jump event. “For long jump, I mostly just stretch then head over to the pit, where I do whatever drill my coach tells me to do,” Johnson said. “After practice most days, I go into the weight room and lift for reps.” Johnson also talked about how long jumping involves more strength than endurance because, “you want to run fast, jump high, and go as far as you can.” Comparing all three in the training aspect of the sport, the long jump, and soccer require lifting for reps, while baseball consists more of heavy, explosive lifting. All three sports require consistent days of training to get in the best shape.

Thomas Johnson III ’23 in a long jump event. Photo Credit: Caleb Turner

Aside from daily routines, athletes must watch what they eat to do their best in a game. Coincidentally, Joe Young, Drew Rybinski, and Thomas Johnson III have similar pre-game foods. Joe Young stated, “I usually don’t eat much before a game. I like to make sure I feel good, and my stomach sits right, so usually, I eat a protein bar.” Like Young, Rybinski does not eat breakfast but drinks a caffeinated energy drink right before a game. To combine Young and Rybinski’s pre-game snack, Johnson “eat[s] a protein bar and a protein shake with caffeine.” As you can see, these different sports have a similarity in pre-game meals, so any athlete can do their best.

Wrapping everything up, while many think that completely different sports require different training, most routines of any athlete are alike. For example, soccer and the long jump require lifting for reps, but baseball also is similar to the long jump because they are both strength sports rather than endurance sports. Comparing the foods, the three athletes, Joe Young, Drew Rybinski, and Thomas Johnson III, all eat minimal food before a game. Choosing and applying similar routines from all athletes can create a great all-around athlete.

Collin Park is a sophomore member of the Multimedia Journalism Class.

Why high school athletes should be able to go straight to the NBA

In the basketball world, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of athletes going pro straight out of high school. The current rule to enter the NBA draft is that you need to be 19 years old and one year out of high school. This was not the case until the rule was created in 2005. If athletes are physically ready to go pro and mature enough to handle the spotlight, then it should be up to them to decide what their future holds. 

For many of the highly recruited players, they will only spend one year out of high school before entering the draft. This is known as the one-and-done rule. Their goal is to get to the NBA and they are looking for the most productive way to get there. The typical route is to attend college for one year and then declare for the draft. This route however is becoming less common for the highly rated athletes who are either going overseas to play or playing in the NBA G league. These alternatives are becoming more common because they replicate the NBA game more than playing in college would. The college game is taking a hit by not getting every star player that it used to get year in and year out. 

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Some people may say that these high school kids are not mature enough to play in the NBA at such a young age but one year will not make much of a difference or not any difference at all. Also, the college game is much different than the NBA. There have been some great college players who have turned out to be busts in the NBA. The quicker these players can get to the league then more experience they will get.

One of the main problems about not allowing an athlete to go straight to the pros after high school is the risk of injury. If a player were to get an injury during that year before they are eligible, their draft stock could be heavily impacted in a negative way and could have a long-lasting impact on their whole career. Take Kevin Ware for example. Ware was a guard for the University of Louisville basketball team and during the Elite Eight of the 2013 NCAA tournament, he suffered one of the most horrific injuries in sports history. After a long recovery, Ware decided to enter the 2016 NBA draft but unfortunately went undrafted. His injury definitely stalled his progress and might have cost him a chance to play in the NBA. 

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To go along with the risk of injury, college athletes do not get paid. These athletes have spent their entire lives working to play the game they love for a living and one injury could leave them walking away with nothing.  Also, the quicker these athletes can get to the pros, the quicker they can get through their rookie contracts and earn a more lucrative contract. 

Another reason that this rule should be revised is that the ones who are going to college spend half of their time in the classroom. These athletes have to take classes that they are not going to use as a career and they spend half of their day in class when they could be working on their game instead. There are also restrictions on how much college teams are allowed to practice whereas in the NBA there are no restrictions. 

There have been multiple players who went straight to the pros out of high school when the rule was not in effect. Take Lebron James as an example. Lebron was one of the most hyped players of his generation coming out of high school.  Some may argue that he is the best basketball player of all time. Kobe Bryant is another prime example. Kobe went straight to the league from high school and ended his career with five rings. There have been many players that have done perfectly fine with the transition from high school to the NBA when there was no rule.

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The argument of whether the NBA should allow players to go straight to the league out of high school is one that has been going on for decades. There have recently been talks around this topic so it will be interesting to see if they update the rule in the near future.

Sean Thompson is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class