Each year, every team hopes to end their season on a high note. But the nature of sports is that not every team gets to do so. The expectation is that the teams who put in the most work throughout the season are the ones who achieve the highest success and the ones who get to play the longest.
Summer is one of the best and the worst times of the year for division one athletes. During the season, which typically begins day one on campus, we are held to a high standard and a strict schedule until late March. We have little free time, and when we do it is often elected to putting in the extra, in hopes to exceed academically and athletically. As you can imagine, it is nice to have a break. But despite the rigorous nature of our in-season schedules, I bet if you asked any one of us we wouldn’t have it any other way. Most teams are given two full weeks out of the gym and off the ice post season. By the end of those two weeks, most of us are asking each other, “What do people do with all this free time?”
Two months into summer, that feeling has grown exponentially about getting back on the ice this coming fall. I think I can speak for the majority when I say, we are craving it, especially those of us who ended last season with a loss. Although it is nice to sleep in on a Saturday morning, nothing compares to waking up early for a pre-game meal.
With two months still left of summer, whether it is a 10am Starbucks coffee or a jam from the game day playlist coming on shuffle, there are constant reminders of the upcoming anticipation everywhere. There is no better feeling than logging on to your team website seeing the record; 0 wins, 0 losses, and 0 ties. Seeing that clean slate symbolizes that the work we choose to put in over the next eight months, is going to determine exactly what we get out.
Although it seems crazy to be excited for plate pushes and wall sits until you drop (the work that has to go in before we can pull on our jerseys on September 27th), the idea of being back on a tight schedule that can push your limits every day and putting in that hard work surrounded by twenty of your best friends, is part of what makes being a college athlete so special. Even in the off-season.