Behind the preparation for winter sports tryouts

Elijah Kasten

More stories from Elijah Kasten


Photo by Lianna Rosman

Sophomore Lianna Rosman dives into the water during a school meet. Winter sport athletes have prepared during the offseason to contribute to the success of their teams.

Whether it’s on the track, in the water or on the hardwood, WJ winter sports athletes have devoted their offseason training for the first day of tryouts and a successful season ahead. As most winter sports launch their 2019 campaigns in early December, the time leading up to day one can reflect the outcome of the season and the performance of individuals.

Offseason commitment can be displayed in different ways, one being the continuation of club teams. For sophomore swimmer Lianna Rosman, swimming for her club team in the offseason has assisted in preparing her for the 2019 season.

“I did club swimming for All Star Aquatics all year that kept me in shape for the 2019 season,” Rosman said.

Swimming isn’t the only sport that provides opportunities for club teams, as many WJ athletes turn to teams outside of the school during the offseason.

Junior Patrick Kemp played for Tranzition Kingz, a local AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball team, during the offseason to better prepare himself for the competition that Montgomery County varsity basketball offers.

“Tranzition Kingz has helped me work on my fundamentals and make them clean and crispy for the 2019 season,” Kemp said.

Some WJ winter sports teams provide workouts for hopeful athletes at the school. This could include strength and conditioning or actual practice of the sport. For varsity boys’ basketball, every Tuesday and Thursday morning before school, players could be found starting their days off with three-point shots and defensive work, rather than the ordinary breakfast and drive to school.

“We had workouts before school every Tuesday and Thursday morning at WJ. During these practices we could work on our game and help others get better at a time when not many athletes practice. It reflects our work ethic and will get us one step closer to a successful season,” Kemp said.

Coaches have the last look on athletes at tryouts and many of them, including boys’ varsity basketball coach Kevin Parrish, have certain aspects that they look for in players.

“Athletes who are trying out should focus on improving their overall skills, conditioning and weight training and playing against high level competition,” Parrish said.

For most student athletes, a balance between school work and athletics has come familiar every year, day in and day out. Morning practices, after school workouts, offseason club teams and preseason scrimmages leading up to the first game, match or meet reflect a commitment and work ethic that many athletes share.