S. Burlington Monday, March 30th
The playing fields at the University of Vermont and elsewhere are now quiet. But for student-athletes, whether in season or out, the work doesn't stop. And that hasn't changed now that the schools have been closed and the athletes, along with the rest of the student body, has been sent home.
Around this time of season, the UVM women's lacrosse team would normally be in the middle of America East conference play. But instead, the Cats, as well as the rest of Vermont's student athletes are at home, and doing their best to train in under less than ideal circumstances.
"Normally, the way to get stronger is to put a bar on your back or in your hand, lift it, and then add more weight over time."
But with the student athletes not having access to either the training facility on campus or gyms and health clubs in their home towns, UVM under the leadership of Director of Athletic Performance Marc Hickock, has developed an online training program that focuses on ways athletes can use their own body weight to help maintain and build strength. And that focus has allowed the athletes to get the most out of the program regardless of the sport they play.
"Since it's only body weight it has to be pretty general, so we decided to keep a general approach and give all our teams something very similar, because of the nature of having to do it with minimal weights or machines and that sort of thing."
The Cats are using an online application called TrainHeroic. Hickock said they've been using the app for athletes' summer training for a few years, so that helped in setting up this program. They can set up leaderboards right tap into athletes' natural competitiveness, and the players have found ways to keep the team aspect going as if they were still on campus.
"There have been some teams that have done some sort of group video workouts, all together, with their computers in front of them, so that's kind of cool.", says Hickock. "That's what all of our training is based upon. It's not one on one personalized, individual training, it's team athletic development, mentally and physically. And, obviously, looking forward to the future when athletes come back."