Preseason conditioning prepares athletes for tryouts

Midtown athletes are given the option to participate in morning strength and conditioning workouts.

Archer Streelman

Midtown athletes are given the option to participate in morning strength and conditioning workouts.

Archer Streelman

Many sports teams are beginning to offer strength and conditioning sessions to prepare for their upcoming winter and spring seasons.

Basketball and baseball are among the sports that hold strength and conditioning sessions. Although baseball does not start until the spring, Assistant Coach Demarko “Coach Dee” Farley said starting earlier gives the team an immediate head start over competitors.

“It is very important to get your body up to par and ready for the regular season, as well as having an early jump on other teams who are not strengthening and conditioning,” Farley said. “Our guys will be stronger, as well as in shape, before the season comes so when the season comes they are hitting the ground running.”

Players trying out for the baseball team train Monday-Thursday after school, alternating workout types each day to prepare all the muscles necessary for success during the season.

“[The workouts] change. It depends on what most of the players are trying to attack that day,” Farley said. “Normally, we do upper body on Mondays and Wednesdays, and lower body on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are rest days for recovery.”

With the exception of last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the baseball team conditions before every season. The coaches and school cannot make the sessions mandatory due to the Georgia High School Association’s out-of-season practice rule, but many players participate, regardless.

“It is not a requirement,” Farley said. “Our guys just buy into the system. Anytime you have a program that is a good program or a growing program, you want your kids and their parents to buy into the system. This means they believe, and they trust that this is what’s needed to advance within the situation. We get a very good percentage to come out, and anybody who does not come out has their own trainer, or they are doing fall ball.”

Junior Ethan Polk has played baseball at Midtown for three years. He said preseason conditioning is important to train for the serious part of the season.

“It helps us get stronger for the year,” Polk said. “It helps for double headers to allow us to be competitive in both games, and compete against all the teams we play.”

Basketball, a winter sport, is holding several preseason conditioning sessions a week, both before and after school, for players looking to participate this coming season. The teams first scrimmage is Tuesday, Nov 9 against Carver and the first game is Friday, Nov 12 against Paideia.

“A lot of times ,we will do our small group workouts in the morning and then we will do our conditioning stuff either in the morning or the afternoon when we are all free,”Athletic Director and head boys basketball coach Patrick Johnson said.

According to Johnson, most of the team’s work has been running miles on the track or up and down the stadium steps and getting in the gym for strength work. However, as the season gets closer, the team will begin practicing more with a ball.

“We do some general conditioning stuff, but as we get closer, especially as we get closer to the season, we will do more and more stuff that is specifically designed for basketball and getting them ready to start practice,” Johnson said.

Both Johnson and Farley said preseason activities are essential for a successful season.

“Obviously, you want to get in as good of shape before practice starts,” Johnson said. “It’s helpful for our players and us to be around each other more, for them to be around each other to get to know each other, and hopefully, develop some of that team bonding that’s going to pay off.”