The first half of UAAP Season 77 is now in the books, and each team has fought hard to try and secure the top spots in their respective competitions.Their contributions to La Salle’s UAAP General Championship run this year have already been settled, but this does not stop each squad to continue their passion in playing their sports as they head into the offseason.
Swimming is one of the sports that really require continuous and extensive training sessions. In an event where speed and stamina wins the game, it is important to maintain the condition of the players through various workouts.
Coming into the post-season as third place finishers, the Lady Tankers took a week off after the swimming competition before heading back into practice. According to Rookie Lady Tanker Cloe Paz, one of the differences between their routines before and after the tournament is that the routines before are lighter in terms of physicality. Basically, the Lady Tankers are spending the first few months after their stint in the UAAP to condition their players whereas time goes on, so does the intensity of their trainings.
Facing less strenuous sessions, this gives the chance for the players to build up the team chemistry. The post-season helps the squad to bond more with each other especially with the rookies, since the preseason was focused more on the intense trainings. Less time for practices would mean more time for team building activities, which would also benefit the players in one way or another.
In previous years, the DLSU swimming team used to join other swimming tournaments other than the UAAP, but the entry of Evan Grabador as the squad’s new coach brought changes to the system. They are not planning to join other leagues for this year, but they are planning on joining competitions next season.
The Lady Tankers are already making preparations for next season as early as now as they continue to strengthen their lineup of talented swimmers; and what better way to prepare for their coming encounters than by strengthening the relationships of the players with one another?
On the other hand, taekwondo is one of the sports that require a lot of combat skills and discipline. Hence, their team and individual practices also play a big part in the team’s conditioning.
Coinciding with the UAAP season, the squad was dominating the Philippine Taekwondo League after successfully clinching the title in the said league. But the Green Jins went downhill and fell down to the fourth spot in the UAAP Taekwondo Tournament heading into the post-season.
Overconfidence took its toll for the team but Coach Roberto Cruz stepped up to boost the morale of his players. Team captain Gerry del Rosario also continued to provide inspiration for the team leading his fellow student athletes in practice together with the veterans who emphasized the value of teamwork even in an individual sport like taekwondo.
Formal preparations for the next UAAP taekwondo tournament will begin by January. But as early as November, some players of La Salle Men’s Taekwondo Team already began in conditioning themselves and honing their skills. Their present workouts are less intense compared to the preseason but in time, they will head back to their old routine. With the right amount of inspiration and determination, the Green Jins has all it takes to bounce back and reclaim the trophy once again.
Another sport similar to taekwondo is judo, which also requires physical dexterity and mental discipline. These developments can be gained when the players exert extra effort over time, which the Lady Judokas are trying to achieve during this post-season.
Similar to the Green Jins’ performance, the Lady Judokas also failed to earn a consecutive championship, sliding down to fifth place. Their regular training sessions resumed one week after the end of the UAAP Judo Tournament. Rookie Charla Cabrera described their training beforehand as intense, since no time should be wasted in learning the proper techniques and different variations.
Subsequently, the squad is cooling down after all the intensity in the post-season. But still, there is that factor that makes the players work hard enough to reach their goal. This provided an opportunity for the players to know each other more and also improve on their team chemistry.
Coach Sam Bernales’ squad was open to tournaments other than the UAAP like the Judo Tournament in Singapore where every player who participated went back with a medal. The team plans to join one more tournament before the year concludes.
In the end, it is all about the heart for every Lady Judoka. The team has always strived hard to perform better. And if they continue to do so, another championship is just waiting for them at the podium.