Mustang athletes realize winning starts long before the game

Hayes DuJardin – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – As the school year starts many teams have been training since summer to prepare for their games, and the practice doesn’t stop now.

One team that has been working hard since summer break is the football team. Over the summer, they worked 9-11:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday.

Now they are practicing 2:55 – 5:30 p.m. or sometimes 6:00 p.m. every Monday – Friday.

Sophomore Julian Hurt said, “We start with stretching, then we go to individual position specialized drills and work with our specific coach. We practice plays through different formations, such as 7v7, perfect play, and other drills. Then we do competition, which is a drill putting the offense against the defense. Every day has a winner between the offense or defense. Then we do conditioning until it’s over.”

According to Hurt, “The most intense part is definitely on leg days. After squatting for an hour, your legs are dead, but it’s immediately followed up by [roughly] an hour and a half of running.”

However, he believes everything does pay off, “I definitely think that I’ve improved, and some of that credit has to go to training.”

Another sport that has started practice is swimming. Sophomore Victor Kassabov is on the school team and a club team. He practices three days a week with the school and two days with his club.

“I try my best to train every day throughout the school week from 2:45 to 5:00 p.m.,” Victor said on his personal routine. “I like training because swimming is fun for me, but it’s always so hot.

He continued, “I think it’s definitely worth the extra work, I’m always trying to put in the work. If you don’t put in extra effort, you won’t get any good results.”

The training schedule is different every time, but he said, “Usually we warm up, do the main sets, and then cool down in the pool. If there is thunder, we have a dry-land practice where we do swimming based exercises in the YMCA.”

Another swimmer is sophomore Emily Brandt. She said, “My favorite stroke is butterfly and my least favorite is breaststroke.”

Brandt enjoys training, “although it gets super hot right around the time I train.” Apparently, the heat is a common negative.

The cross-country team has also been training for some time now. Sophomore Garrett Blake is on the team for the second year, and he truly enjoys the time he has spent training.

“I would definitely say that putting in the extra work is worth it, mainly because the more you work towards running the more fun you can have and the easier it becomes,” he said.

According to Blake, the regular training schedule is pretty straightforward.

“During an average practice, we would run a warmup to get started, and then the coaches have us doing certain runs/workouts to help focus on an area that we need to work on to help better us as runners,” he said. “The hardest part about practice is pushing yourself to keep on going and not give up.”

The team trains after school until around 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday.

“I think that the coaches do an excellent job organizing the practices. We are able to get a beneficial and balanced workout,” said Blake.

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