Illinois State junior DeAnna Wilson works on drills during practice against an ISU women's basketball manager. 

Student-athletes wrapped up their first semester in the new normal after finally adjusting to practicing in masks, staying 6 feet apart, constantly getting tested for COVID-19 and quarantining.

Now, going into winter break athletes get a chance to finally go home to their families and enjoy time off working hard during a pandemic.

Most athletes do not have the facilities they have at school to do workouts at, but something has to get done. For spring athletes to stay in shape for their upcoming season, this semi-offseason is very important.

The importance of working out during break can make or break your season in the long run. Taking breaks during sports will set you back a lot because you are not physically prepared. It is harder to stay in shape than to get out of shape. Of course, athletes are used to this everyday plan and routine, but once finals are over, some student-athletes finally think it is time to rest.

It is important to keep up with your training over breaks and off-seasons. Once school is back in session, all spring sports are starting back. Staying on top of your game tells how dedicated that athlete is to their particular sport. Off-seasons show exactly how athletes will perform during their season.

A lot of athletes train much, much harder during winter break and summer break. Two-a-days are very often in breaks, meaning athletes must practice twice a day, not including weight training. Athletes are constantly developing their skills, and they return back to the basics during the off-season. It’s important to develop better, stronger foundations and systems. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are athletes who have a tendency to lose focus, direction, and motivation in the off-season. Even if the athlete previously set strong goals, they might find themselves getting distracted with life events.

Promoting year-round activity strengthens the season’s starting point and decreases the overall time it takes for them to get back in race shape. 

Training hard to win, is in itself, very enjoyable to most athletes. Athletes do not want to be training during the season likes it is their off-season. Most athletes’ bodies are not capable to bounce back from preseason training after taking a short break off. It never really works that way.

MYA ROBINSON is a Photographer for The Vidette. She can be contacted at mrobin7@ilstu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @Im_Myaaa

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