Everyone has their own way of enjoying their free time, and the student-athletes of DLSU are no different. They exhibit skills and talent beyond what is seen on the playing field or the television screen, but each also has their own way of progressing their game, coming from the discipline to push themselves to go the extra mile.
One of the ways that they continue to grow and improve on their skills is through cross-training. Oxford Dictionary defines cross-training as the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise to improve fitness or performance in one’s main sport. The LaSallian talks to several athletes on training in their regular sports, cross-training, and overall preparation during the offseason.
On other sports
Students-athletes typically start their training right after class. Around 2:30 pm, Green Batter Diego Lozano heads straight to practice. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, he trains with the team to improve their skills on the field, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he works on his strengthening and conditioning. But when he is neither on the field nor the gym, Lozano explains that he plays football and tennis.
Similarly, Raisa Joseph, who plays for the Lady Batters, also plays tennis and in addition, boxing. On the other hand, King Golfo, who is a reserve of the Green Tennisters, was encouraged to play flag football to cross-train. He also plays basketball after three hours of training if there is an available court.
However, there is Sara Castañeda, who trains with the DLSU Women’s Football Team at 6 am on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays, and goes to class and therapy afterwards. Since Castañeda is also part of the Philippine National Team, she trains with the Malditas in the evening in preparation for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games.
Despite her busy schedule as a student-athlete, Castañeda and her teammates find time to do a few laps in the school’s swimming pool. Sometimes, she also bikes to training.
Benefits and downsides of cross-training
There are many qualities that an athlete can gain from cross-training. “The positive effects are you get to work on another group of muscles that you wouldn’t normally use in your regular training,” Castañeda says.
In turn, Joseph explains that it helped her develop more strength in her arms and improved her quickness. “In boxing, you need to be quick, so we need that quick movement in the field, especially because I play outfield,” the sophomore muses. Similarly, Golfo explains that playing both flag football and basketball helps him in terms of his speed and agility, as well as his footwork.
On the downside, cross-training also carries its consequences in the performance of each athlete. Castañeda says that playing other sports may be draining, especially if one has training every day such as herself. “Halfway through the day, you get really sleepy, so if you don’t have breaks in between class, good luck,” she explains.
Golfo and Lozano say that cross-training may also make one more prone to injuries. According to Golfo, “Hindi ko naman siya lalaruin kung hindi beneficial kasi prone to injury siya.”
(I won’t be playing the sport if it will not benefit me since it makes me prone to injury.)
Also, this can affect how an athlete will execute their skills. Lozano shares, “Some forms in tennis are different from the way we actually swing, so it could mess up your timing [in baseball] and your hand-eye coordination at the same time.”
It is not enough that the athletes train and exercise regularly. They also take in consideration the different factors that can affect their health. Getting enough rest is essential for the body to regain its energy. “I always try to sleep before 10 pm so I get a good number of hours of sleep,” Castañeda says.
On top of this, keeping a healthy diet contributes to the strength of the player. Both Joseph and Golfo bring out that maintaining a regular diet, especially when nearing the UAAP season, is crucial to getting in shape.
However, athletes do not only take care of their physical physique, but also their discipline and attitude. According to Lozano, the most important factor is having a good mindset.
“During my first year, two years ago, my mindset [in college] was different [from in] high school,” the former UAAP Baseball Finals Most Valuable Player shares. “In college, it’s a different ball game, more competitive, and the competition is a lot harder, so mindset really plays a big role.”
While Castañeda, Joseph, and Golfo recommend cross-training in different sports to their fellow athletes, Lozano disagrees and suggests that athletes stick to their primary sport. “If you really want to excel in one sport, might as well make the most out of it,” he concludes.