Training to the top

Athletes exercise over the summer to prepare for the fall sports season

Lena Nadaner, Assistant In-depth Editor

After a year without school sports games, many students honed their skills and maintained strong physical condition over the summer. In order to ensure a successful season absent of injuries, athletes attended camps, clinics, private lessons and followed training schedules. Some athletes trained with no teammates and limited guidance from coaches, which required them to develop extra self motivation. 

Although the CESJDS athletics department does not require summer training for student athletes, Director of Athletics and Summer Camps Becky Silberman recommends training to avoid injuries and be in the best shape for the fall season. 

“You can’t end one season and then just not do anything until the next season and then expect to get any better,” Silberman said. 

The High Holidays make the short fall season even more concise. The limited school practices adds to the importance of out-of-school training, according to Silberman.

Cross-country and track students were expected to follow a detailed training schedule that Track and Field coach Jason Belinkie designed for them. Each day of summer, runners completed a set of specific exercises, a run that varied in distance depending on the day of the week or a rest day. The mileage of each run gradually increased each week, and athletes ran a total of 291 miles by the end of the summer. 

Senior Ariana Ravitz found the schedule intimidating but helpful to stay on track and challenge herself during the summer heat and humidity. 

“It can be nerve-wracking because you know you have to put in the work. But at the same time, it’s a good reminder that you’re doing this running for a reason,” Ravitz said. “You’re doing these runs to be able to do well for yourself during the season and then for the team.” 

As a result of injuries, Ravitz modifies the schedule by supplementing some running with swimming and cross-training to ensure she is not over training. 

In addition to the cross country training regiment, JDS held outdoor volleyball and tennis camps at the beginning of the summer. Over 25 campers, including athletes who are not enrolled at JDS, were separated into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. 

Sophomore tennis player Alec Silberg attended the JDS camp. In addition, he attended a camp at 4-Star Tennis and private lessons with two other students coached by JDS tennis coach Brendan Mattingly. Silberg found the camp at 4-Star Tennis to be especially helpful because he competed against some players who were more skilled than him, which forced him to work harder.

“[Playing against more advanced players] builds your confidence, and I found that when I’m more confident in my playing, I feel better…” Silberg said. “When I try to stay focused and relaxed, I can just whip through the ball even faster, and it’ll go in and be a winner, and I’m much more consistent that way.” 

Intense training without a proper increase in activity can cause injuries. In order to combat this risk, JDS held a fitness clinic the week before school. 

“It helped me feel what it’s like to be in intense scenarios in sports where you have to be very fast with your reactions and movement,” junior soccer player Jaren Goldberg said.

Taught by PowerTrain, a fitness company located near the Upper School campus, the clinic focused on the fundamentals of movement through speed and agility training. 

“Those tools that we learn from running over summer is kind of that mental toughness of just pushing through no matter what comes up and staying dedicated and motivated, which is really hard,” Ravitz said.