The space between

By: 
Sonja Karp, NLJ Sports Editor

I know that many people hate it, but I am always grateful for “falling back” to mountain standard time as the sun sleeps longer and longer as we head toward winter. I need the sun to shine in order to wake up, and who doesn’t appreciate an extra hour of sleep?

So, on Monday when I awoke to sun, but also to the sound of howling wind and the sight of snow on the ground, I was grateful, but at the same time felt a sense of dread at the thought of the rapidly approaching winter.

And, I was also feeling a bit melancholy that the fall sports seasons have come to a close.

I can’t believe how time flew from August to November, but I always feel like it creeps to almost a standstill as I anxiously await the start of the winter sports, and especially basketball.

Though I struggle with filling my time in the space between fall and winter sports, the athletes are doing anything but, as they switch gears and dedicate themselves to preparing for their next season.

I’ve spotted coaches working on getting ready, and can almost feel their shift of energy and excitement for what is to come.

I know that athletes whose passion lies with basketball, wrestling or swimming have already been spotted in the gym, the mat or the pool getting a jump start to put themselves in the best position to hit the ground, or the water, at full speed when practice begins in two weeks.

How many shots can the ladies and men put up in two weeks of open gym? How much can wrestlers increase their strength and agility during open mat times? How much precision and speed can the swimmers gain by working an extra couple of weeks before season starts?

And, how much can each increase their conditioning so that those first few days of practice will be a little less painful?

Obviously, it depends on the athlete. 

I know that many winter athletes don’t wait until now to work on honing their skills. Many are multi-sport athletes who participate in sports throughout the year, which is an excellent strategy to improve and diversify their skills.

I know that basketball players put up thousands of shots year-round, and I expect some will reach that number in just the next couple of weeks.

I know that some participated in fall sports for the sole purpose of giving themselves an advantage as the winter seasons get under way.

I also know that some athletes are just now getting started in their preparation. 

It will be more than evident on the 21st of November who has used the break between seasons to get up to speed, and I’m sure those who have taken advantage of easing into things will be grateful for having done so.

There will still be sore muscles and plenty of huffing and puffing as coaches start whipping them into shape, but there may be a little less pain for those who have begun the process.

As for me, I’ll try to find something to fill my time throughout the month of November since contests don’t actually get under way until Dec. 9, but I will be anxiously awaiting that first tip off of hoops season.

Category:

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