Athletes give their tips for staying in shape

Many UW-Eau Claire athletes will be taking time this summer to train and keep in shape for next season.

For junior Becca Spaeth, a women’s basketball team member, the summer will be a time for her to stay in shape and work on improving her skills.

“(I do) summer basketball, lift and a workout program put together by coaches,” Spaeth said. “I practice every day, either playing or doing shooting workouts.”

As for dieting, Spaeth said she just tries to avoid too much junk food.

Blugold football quarterback Nels Fredrickson said he also follows a schedule created by his coaches.

“Over the summer, I lift five times a week and try to run – basically sprints – three times a week,” said Fredrickson, a sophomore.ÿ”It is hard to find time to do all this because of working and all, but it has to get done.”

He said he tries to keep his eating habits as healthy as possible.

“I try to eat a lot of protein and drink a lot of water,” Fredrickson said. “This needs dedication, but with the help of my mom sending me food, it works out just fine.”

Off-season practice can really make or break your game, he said. Not only is it important to stay strong, but not training in the summer can put a damper on your abilities during the season.

“It wouldn’t make sense to be lazy during the summer and expect to be ready to play during the season,” he said. “Dedication is key and if you don’t train hard, you won’t perform to the best of your ability.”

Sophomore Alison Eagles, of the gymnastics team, said she believes the summer workout plays an important role because it keeps the gymnasts in shape for the next season.

“I keep in my sport in the summer by going to my gymnastics gym at home and working out with my old teammates and coaches,” Eagles said.

“Gymnastics is a sport that you cannot take a lot of time off of,” she said. “It’s important to keep in shape and continue working skills.”

Runners have been known to have quite a dedicated workout schedule. Sarah Kasabian, a junior cross country runner, said this is true with her summer workout schedule.

“During the summer, I doÿa few road races, mostly 5K races, and I run about four to five of them in the summer,” Kasabian said. “I do a lot of miles throughout the summer, trying to average 45 miles per week to build a good base for the fall season.”

She also agreed with Fredrickson, saying that she believes the summer workout has a great importance on the athlete’s performance.

“If you don’t train in the summer, you won’t perform in the fall season,” she said.

“But if you do put in the miles, build up that base, you will have a spectacular season,” Kasabian said. “Putting in the time and effort now will pay off in the end when it really counts.”

Sophomore Dan Archambault, a men’s basketball player, said he will be working on his diet more this summer on top of his physical aspects.

“I never really have (dieted) in the past, but I am starting to get into making sure I get the right types of vitamins and minerals in my diet,” he said. “Plus, I’m trying to lower my intake of all the sweets and fatty foods.”

Beyond his diet techniques, Archambault said he also will play in basketball tournaments and work to improve his individual skills by doing drills and working his legs without limiting himself to just running.

“The best way for my sport is just to keep playing,” he said. “Even if you just run, it doesn’t completely keep you in shape.”

There’s a difference between working out for fitness and for improving your physique, Archambault said.

“There is running shape and then there is basketball shape,” Archambault said.ÿ”In basketball, your legs are working so hard that it is easy for them to get tired quick.

“Doing defensive slides and other drills to keep the strength in your legs is very important,” he said. “If you run all summer, coming into the season your legs will get very tired fast.”

There are also athletes who compete in more than one sport and must use their summer workout times to prepare for multiple sports. Junior Brooke Wozniak is one of those athletes. During the school year, Wozniak competes in basketball, volleyball and track.

During the summer, Wozniak said she’ll keep busy working out and challenging herself by working at camps.

“I lift weights at McPhee and run five to six days per week,” she said. “It helps a lot that I work the volleyball and basketball camps because we all get together and scrimmage or work out during our breaks and night.”

Her best advice for students looking to keep in shape during the summer is to have a routine and stick with it.

“It also helps to workout with other people who will push you to improve,” Wozniak said.

Contrary to many athletes’ dieting techniques, senior John Brumund-Smith, captain of the men’s track team, said he probably has the “worst diet in the history of the world.”

“It basically consists of fruit snacks, Nestea, bacon cheeseburgers, pizza, Skittles and spaghetti,” he said. “I don’t drink alcohol hardly at all and I never ever smoke. Basically, I avoid any low-fat food because it tastes like crap.”

If you can keep in shape by staying active in anything, that is best, he said.

“Just keep doing stuff, even if it isn’t sport-specific,” Brumund-Smith said.ÿ”Shoot hoops, ride your bike, go rollerblading or play some pickup football.

“But make sure you do some weight lifting and endurance training as well,” he said.

Brumund-Smith also said the key to being a college athlete is lifting weights.

“I did notÿbelieve that my first three years here, but then my senior year we got a strength-and-conditioning coach named Jeff Trochil,” he said. “After following his program, I significantly improved my times and was voted the team’s Most Improved Athlete.”

Freshman Rachel Anderson, a member of the cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams, said because running is a different type of sport, runners need to be sure to continue running during the summer.

“Running is more fitness and less skill and form than other sports,” Anderson said. “Fitness is easy to lose, skill and form aren’t; so runners have to take extra care not to take too much time off.”