Keeping on their game
Western athletes stay sharp
By Ryan Dixon
While the majority of Western students are soaking up the summer sun
with Mustang memories, a select few are still dedicating time to the Western
No – it's not the summer school suckers – but rather the men and women
of various Mustang varsity teams who are trying to keep in peak form during
Different teams have varying approaches to the training of their athletes
during the off-season. Some squads can count on Mustang players getting
more than their share of action during the break in university studies.
Western men's soccer coach Rock Basacco said most of his players get a
full dose of game play throughout the calendar year.
"What happens with soccer is most of the guys go home and play for their
club teams. It almost becomes a year round thing because they'll start
working out with their club teams in March and April, start playing games
in May and the season goes right through to the start of university."
However, Basacco and his coaching staff are not content to just depend
on club team play to keep the players sharp. They also set up two separate
training programs for the players, including a nine week program that is
a combination between aerobic and anaerobic workouts.
The team also participated in three indoor soccer tournaments after
the conclusion of the regular season. Basacco said it is the goal of the
coaching staff to have all players in tip-top form when September rolls
"The coaching staff put [the program] together and we've got advice
from various people on staff. We want to keep the fitness level up so that
when we get to camp, we can start right in on tactical stuff," Basacco
The coach added that in his opinion the program is paying dividends.
"I think it's really paid off the last four years we've implemented the
I COULDN'T CARE LESS IF WE WIN OR LOSE.
Actually, the men's soccer team is just one of many Western clubs
trying to stay sharp in the off-season.
Track and field is another sport where athletes can benefit from year-
round competition, according to Western track and field boss Vickie Croley.
"In track and field, you find you get your best performances if you have
two main competitive seasons. If you train to peak at the CIAU's [and]
then stop, you miss the continuation of that training. If you go through
two main competition seasons, you continue to develop and improve," she
Croley is continuing to work directly with some athletes who have stayed
in the London area for the summer, adding the construction of T.D. Waterhouse
stadium has aided the cause of training in the summer months.
"The new stadium has helped; it's more viable for athletes to stay in
London and train. It's much more conducive to high level performance,"
For their part, Mustang hockey players will consult the team's strength
and conditioning coach, Brian Allman, before departing for the summer,
explained head coach Clarke Singer.
"Most of the guys will talk to Brian and find out what kinds of things
they should be doing and a lot of them will get on the ice in the summer
and play a little shinny," Singer said.