TAKE IT FROM A COLLEGE ATHLETE
By Tracy Rainey, Senior, Lake Forest College
Captain of the Women’s Varsity Basketball and Softball teams
As an athlete, one of the most repeated sayings I have heard throughout my career has been, “players are made in the offseason.” Looking back at my high school and collegiate careers, I couldn’t agree more. The success I have achieved in both basketball and softball stems from the hours I put in when no one was watching. In fact, I believe that lifting and training during the offseason is just as important as the work you put in during season. But it is the offseason workout that enables athletes to become quicker and stronger for longer.
In my experience, resistance and weight training are important for peak performance. Before young female athletes are properly trained on working with weights, the focus should be on resistance exercises (like sit ups, push ups, dips and leg raises) that can be incorporated into workouts. While resistance training provides a great start, in order to compete at the varsity at the high school and collegiate levels, an athlete must progress to weight lifting. I was properly trained and started lifting weights when I was a freshman in high school. Since then, I try to lift three times a week during the offseason because of the obvious benefits.