Cross training a-cross the board


Junior water polo player Hannah Schwegmann pulls her arm back with the ball preparing to take a shot. She stays strong enough for important moments like this by conditioning herself in the winter, awaiting her “Moose league” in the spring. “I swim in the winter and also run to stay in shape and keep up with my skills for spring, summer and fall water polo seasons,” said Schwegmann.

Athletes of literally just about any sport have an option to cross train in some shape or form. And in virtually any athletic activity it proves to be a helpful decision that wreaks benefits.  What is cross training though? Cross training put in its simplest form is an activity done besides the sport that is used to benefit your performance, for example lifting in the off seasons for football players is considered cross training.

Losing momentum with training in the off seasons could be detrimental to the athletes next season and they could potentially be put behind the curve of their competition. Doing activities that strengthen a certain muscle group that is needed to prepare them for the high demands of competition is cross training in a nutshell and may be referred to as “conditioning”.

Things such as jogging, lifting, walking or cycling are popular choices for cross training or “conditioning” because while strengthening your body you are also performing low stress activities that can prevent later in season injuries or off season injuries.

“I go on runs every now and then and it prepares me for both basketball season in the winter and track in the spring. I believe keeping myself in shape will prevent any injuries in either of these seasons because my body is already used to exersize and isn’t used to sitting on the coach and doing nothing all day,” said sophomore athlete, Victoria Bell.

In two of its options conditioning for athletes can either be done alone and separate from the team (non-mandatory) or in a group setting with the team (mandatory). In Bells case it was her own personal training that was not mandated by either of her teams and was done by her choice. In others cases like football players who lift together in the off seasons and through the summer it is expected that everybody conditions.

“Cross training for football is so important because all of the other teams do it, so if we didn’t too we would fall behind and the goal is to train harder and be better,” said Junior kicker, Rachel Cogen.