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Looking ahead with winter sports

Looking ahead with winter sports
Sofia Boddy ’25

Despite the transitioning weather, the motivation to be better doesn’t slow for athletes in the off-season. Winter athletics at South have ended for the 2023-2024 season, but some of the most valuable lessons and improvements happen during off-season conditioning. Kathleen Smith, head coach of the Unified Basketball team, says that despite not holding practices, their athletes are still encouraged to get together and participate in activities around the community.

“We have monthly meetings, and support inclusive activities to continue here at GPS in the off-season,” Smith said. “We have signed up to work concessions for spring sports, organized a senior send off kickball game with lunch, and gave these students cords in honor of their continued support and dedication to creating an inclusive community here at GPS.”

From an athlete’s perspective, the off-season is an opportunity to play and practice their sport without the added pressure of competition. For Lucy Tull ’25, the off-season is used to stay in shape and stay in the groove of things.

“I generally try to keep in good shape and for field hockey I usually do a few camps over the summer,” Tull said. “I enjoy doing things in the off-season, I believe it’s a good way for me to continue playing the sports I like while on my own time.”

The off-season looks different for every athlete since there’s no set routine. Now, when it comes to the team practice portions of the off-season, this flexibility is used by coaches to balance out what worked well from the previous season, while also incorporating new exercises for their athletes.

“We are continuously adapting, especially since being flexible is one requirement of supporting athletes and partners of Unified [athletics],” Smith said. “We have athletes of all abilities and giving students the opportunity to be part of a team, experience the camaraderie, and play for their school is the heart of what we do.”

Molly Reynolds ’25, believes this camaraderie is what makes all of the effort in the off-season worth it.

“I always get excited about my winter sports starting up again,” Reynolds said. “It’s a lot of prep work in the off season, like workouts and training but I really look forward to getting to work with the team and be with my teammates again.”

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