Volume 95, Issue 1

Thursday, May 24, 2001


Keeping on their game

Mustangs bridge culture gap

The diamond in the rough: Lercara's legacy to Mustang stardom

Czech invasion of the NHL

Keeping on their game
Western athletes stay sharp

By Ryan Dixon
Gazette Staff

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 cause.

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 the off-season.

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 around.

"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 said.

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 program."

Christine Bryant/Gazette
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 said.

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," she said.

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.

To Contact The Sports Department: 

Copyright © The Gazette 2000