Winter break? Not always for sports

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Nate Waggenspack

One of the most interesting things about the winter sports season is the giant hole in the middle of it.

Teams have been practicing since October and most have at least a handful of games/duals/meets in the books by the time winter break comes around. Along with winter break is a CHSAA rule that makes practices similar to the way summer conditioning works — it can’t be mandatory and coaches aren’t allowed to direct it.

In many ways this is a good thing, because a little relaxation is good for everybody. But it throws a whole new wrench into the season in terms of the way teams look when they return.

Two weeks isn’t long enough to forget how to shoot a basketball, but it can be just long enough to make that jumper rusty. It’s also plenty long to send a wrestler or swimmer back to where they were near the beginning of the season in terms of conditioning.

After winter break in any state across the country, it never fails. Some teams simply don’t look the same when they return to competition. Others look just like they did when we saw them play last, and it’s that group that keeps on winning.

Traveling, spending time with your family and friends — that’s what break is for. But for a competitive athlete, the training can’t stop altogether.

For Moffat County athletes, it won’t. In seeing the winter break schedules and speaking with coaches, Bulldogs athletes across all sports will be getting after it almost right away after Christmas passes.

In order to stay sharp for swimming, there isn’t much to be done other than getting in the water and working on conditioning and technique. That means getting into a pool, and Moffat County’s swimmers plan on doing just that. Coach Meghan Francone said some swimmers traveling as far as California for the holidays asked for workouts to do on their own. Others will get pool time in Craig or Steamboat Springs and stay strong.

The basketball teams will hold open gyms and scrimmages, with a game almost immediately following break at Aspen.

It’s a good sign to see athletes understanding they’ve put the work in so far and not wanting to waste it. These teams and individuals will continue to be worth watching in 2014.

Nate Waggenspack has been enjoying relaxing, unlike the dedicated MCHS athletes. Contact him at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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