Varsity sports are part of the life blood of ISKL. From the blazing hot trainings on the field at 4 o’clock to the cold morning practices in the gym to the omniscient pressure of representing your school on the IASAS stage. If you have ever been a part of the ISKL sports program, you know how important it is to our students and our school.
But this year a change will come that could affect our whole varsity experience. From now on, Varsity Sports are only allowed four team contacts a week. This could mean anything from three trainings and a game, four trainings, or even four games. This is a significant change from the 5-6 contacts a week most of our sports were having last year.
Our school’s Athletic Directors Mr. Naughton, and Mr. Allum, made this change. They believe it will not only help the students with their workload and give them time to pursue other activities but also actually improve the sports program.
“Now players and coaches need to be focused and get the most out of their trainings,” Mr Allum says. “You will get just as much contact and content in four sessions than in five because everyone will be more organised and focused.”
This decision wasn’t made lightly, the Athletics directors researched into how this new training scheme will parallel that of professional and successful athletes nowadays.“Professional soccer teams like Liverpool only train with their team 4 times a week, and the other days they are in the gym or working on their own individual skill … so if you want to improve yourself you still have that opportunity,” says Mr. Naughton.
Finally, they say one of the biggest reasons for this change, is to stop the potential “death” of the three season athlete. “We are a small school, we need our three season athletes to do all three seasons, SAS does not… kids were fried, come season 3, and making choices about not participating in season 3 because they have been practicing 5 days a week all year,” Mr. Allum explains.
But what about the students? How do the athletes that are on the fields and the courts feel about this. Max ’18 a three season athlete and a full IB student, when asked about how it would effect the team’s progress he shared “I think this will only make our teams less prepared… less team trainings means less team progress.”
Max was not alone in his feelings, “I want it to feel like a Varsity commitment to our school not like a JV commitment,” Marthanne ‘19 said. She went on to say how more trainings gave the players a better chemistry, and by spending more time together they would forge a stronger bond on and off the court.
When asked if they thought this new rule would help keep students playing third season sports, “Students are stressed out at that time of year no matter what… not because of the seasons before… the third season sports are just not as fun” said Max’18.
“I get their [AD’s] thinking, but third season sports are not nearly as much fun as first or second….if you have too much on your plate that is your personal decision, not the athletic departments,” said Sophia ‘18.
While there were few students that had heard the new change and were in favour of it, none of them were willing to speak about the subject on record.Regardless, like it or not this rule is here to stay. The teams will simply have to make the most of their fewer trainings and work to see them succeed.