long winter break can put a lot of pressure on college athletes. Everyone wants to catch up with old friends and just relax, but with a season still ahead of them, the Slippery Rock indoor track and field team has to stay focused and stick to their workout plan.
Sophomore distance runner Travis Arrigoni said remaining focused on staying in shape and staying prepared is the key to success for the team.
“It was extremely important to maintain and build our fitness during the winter break,” Arrigoni said. “We all worked very hard during the fall to get in good shape, so we didn’t want to lose the fitness we had gained. With no coaches or teammates to work with every day, we had to ask ourselves ‘how bad do we want to be good’ and put in the work, become self-motivated, and make no excuses.”
To help the athletes remain motivated throughout the break, the coaches provided them with a calendar. Each athlete was instructed to record their workouts on the calendar and hand them in when school got back in session.
This system helped the athletes have a visual motivation tool, and let the coaches know that everyone was continuing to work hard while at home.
Once the spring semester began, the team jumped right back into their regular practice schedule in preparation for the Youngstown State University Invitational being held today. The team meets Monday through Friday for two hours each day, with a few weight lifting sessions.
Leading the team to the meet is head coach, John Papa, who is entering his 25th year with the program.
Behind Papa is a well-qualified staff consisting of six assistant coaches and a graduate assistant, each specializing in a specific event.
Assistant coach, Meagan Cook, is in charge of the throwers, and is also the team’s strength and conditioning coordinator. Cook was pleased with the overall condition of the team when they returned from break and feels they are in a good position to do well this weekend.
“Expectations for this meet are mainly to get back into competing and try to match where we were in the fall. We hope to make some progress and work towards improving,” said Cook.
The Youngstown State University Invitational is held in the Watson and Tressel Training Site. The meet is not very large, but will be a great opportunity for the Rock to get back into the routine of competing.