An athlete’s guide on how to succeed in sports; Kyle Cohen and Molly Alstodt

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Senior Kyle Cohen pulls up for a mid-range jumper during warmups against the East Meadow Jets on Feb. 10. The Vikings won the game 54-33 but eventually fell in the playoffs to MacArthur 58-56 to end the season.

Kyle Cohen and Molly Alstodt, Staff Writer, Contributing Writer

Playing on the Varsity basketball team requires much dedication, sacrifice, and hard work.  Every single day, everyone on the team must show up with a positive attitude and a desire to improve.

With winter being the longest sports season, basketball season is always a grind.  There is a combination of late practices and multiple games each week, so it is not easy to bring the intensity every single day.

But it’s important that everyone on the team is on the same page and brings it each and every day.

When practice starts, the team will run a few laps to warm up followed by a series of moving stretches.

After the warm up, we run a drill called “perfection” in which the team goes through a series of drills under a time constraint.

If the time limit is not reached, the team will do sets of “Vegas Closeouts,” which are essentially a form of conditioning.  After this, we perform a group of drills to improve our game and go over plays.  Usually, practice culminates with a scrimmage.

During the season, the coaches and leaders stress mental toughness.   Basketball is a rough sport.  We will miss shots, turn the ball over, and get bad fouls called against us each game.

However, it is important that this doesn’t affect the team more than it should.  It is critical to forget about it and move on to the next play.

In order to be successful, the team knows what needs to be done.  Everybody needs to have the same goal, which is ultimately to win as many games as possible.

This year, we had a great group of guys who were able to do the right things and have a pretty successful year.

 

~ Kyle Cohen, Boys basketball

 

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream…. well, not exactly.  Rowing is actually an intense sport that takes place in sleek, fast boats.

Rowers sit in a boat and use an oar to propel the boat.

Rowing is the only sport where you face backwards from the direction you are heading.

The fact that you are facing forward and do not know the distance to the end of the race creates a feeling of uncertainty.

It takes a tremendous amount of training and focus in order to prepare your body and your mind for a race.

Contrary to popular belief, rowers use much more than their arms to move the boat.  The main muscles used to make a boat go forward are the legs, then the back, then the arms.

It is a full body exercise that involves both strength and cardiovascular components.

Rowing races are tests of endurance, strength and good technique in changing water and wind conditions. Races are held over a distance of 2000 meters.

It is similar to a track and field race, with a fixed starting line and a fixed finish line.  Boats race side-by-side in their own lanes.  The first to cross the finish line wins.

Rowing demands high degrees of endurance, strength, teamwork, mental toughness, and an ability to continue on when your body is telling you that you can’t.

As Daniel James, the author of The Boys in the Boat put it, “It’s not a question of whether you will hurt, or of how much you will hurt; it’s a question of what you will do, and how well you will do it, while pain has her wanton way with you.”

 

~ Molly Alstodt, Girls rowing