“Off-Season My Ass”
For this weeks blog post I am going to talk about how off-season really isn’t off-season.
So basically I am in off-season right now, and you would think during off-season, I wouldn’t be training as hard right? Well you and I are both wrong in assuming that. We train just as hard, if not harder, its 5 days a week, and up until recently we had the weekends off.
So basically the way off-season/spring season works for us, is for the first like 10 weeks of school we have what is called 8-hour weeks. And basically we have lifting/conditioning for an hour and a half every morning, and then we have practice for 2 hours. But practice is called “open gym” because they aren’t supposed to make it mandatory it is against NCAA rules. They are only allowed 2 hours of mandatory “ball handling a week” during this time. So they do what is called 30 min of individuals, which is where the coaches can be with us/coach us for 30 minutes and we are split up into groups. But oh they have figured out a way around just being with us or making us practice for only 30 minutes. They do an additional 30 minutes of non-ball, which is just footwork, and non-ball handling. So they creatively came up with a way around not using a volleyball and make us use those spongy ball, the ones many of you probably used for dodge ball growing up, and because they aren’t volleyballs it is considered non-ball.
And for the rest of the time remaining (1 hour and 30 minutes) they have us play on our own on different courts. Now the coaches aren’t supposed to be there, so the way they get around this little rule, is they lower a curtain separating the courts so it is as if we are playing without the coaches present. Like com on that’s some bullshit.
Now this “open gym” shit is not mandatory, but lets be real it practically is. It’s an unspoken mandatory practice, because if you don’t show up, coach is going to get pissed, and he is going to ask why you weren’t there and its just all bad from there.
Now basically we are working-out/practicing for 3 and a half ours a week maybe less, and we have 2 days off on the weekend, where I basically sleep all day because I am so exhausted, and this is supposed to be our off-season.
Now because of this, many of us have lost our minds basically. We are overwhelmed with schoolwork, along with being mentally and physically exhausted everyday of the week. We basically don’t have social lives; I haven’t seen some of my friends in months. It’s so brutal.
We don’t have an off-season. Trying to stay awake during class, or turn assignments in on time when you are running off of barely any sleep is brutal. It is so difficult, and you could say oh well I do that too, okay yeah you do you that every single day, every week, not just during finals week? Try that and then come back and talk to me. I mentally can no longer handle school, I almost gave up, because I am exhausted and worn out. I have turned in almost every assignment I have had this semester in late, and I should be worried or freaking out, but I am so drained that I genuinely don’t care anymore. For example this blog post is about 2 weeks late, sorry Coach.
Well back to the topic, working out and training this much during off-season is extremely difficult, and it’s not really an off-season for us. Its basically like we are in season but we don’t have games, but oh wait we are now in the midst of what they call 20 hours (which is after the 10 week period). Which is where we can practice 20 hours a week, and they can make this mandatory. So now it is a normal 2–2 ½ hour practice a week a long with weights and we now have tournaments on Saturdays on the weekend where we pretty much play 3–4 matches. So no we only have 1 day off, and like I said this is our “off-season.”
Being a collegiate athlete is extremely draining, and I honestly can’t wait for summer to get here. However we train during the summer too, but at least I won’t have to worry about school or pretend to worry/feel like I should be worrying about school work unless I take summer classes. I hope I make it through this semester alive, and please pray for me.
Later I am going to go take a nap. :)