After final exams, most students packed their bags and headed home, but for some student-athletes, winter break brought heavier workouts and more time on the courts.
For men’s and women’s basketball players, winter break is a time when they can take a break from academics, but time on the court is extended.
Players spent approximately six hours a day practicing, which included training, film watching, working on the court, lifting and participating in other forms of treatment to improve their games.
“To be able to do something that I love and not have to worry about school work is wonderful,” said freshman BTMM major Kristen McCarthy, who is a forward for the women’s basketball team. “Practices get intense depending upon when our next game is, and we have to be here the entire break except two days – Christmas Eve and Christmas day.”
Other winter sports like fencing, gymnastics and track and field, allowed athletes a chance to take some time off, schedule permitting, but their breaks were also cut short to return to practice.
While teams’ records indicate the harder an athlete works, the better his or her results, winter break practices cut into time spent with family and friends and leave little time for student athletes to go home and celebrate the holidays.
“It’s hard not to see your relatives and eat those special home cooked meals,” said Lindsay Kimmel, a guard and sophomore university studies major. “There just isn’t that mental break time I would like to have with my family and friends.”
Being a student athlete may take a toll on the mind and body, but taking time off is not an option.
“We train year round: fall, spring and summer,” Kimmel said. “But basketball gets my mind off of the stresses of being a student, and the hard work I put into it is definitely worth it.”
Women’s and men’s basketball routines are strict, and the days seem to blend together.
Temple basketball players are limited to six consecutive practice days, which vary in intensity depending on when games are scheduled.
“Even though it’s rough sometimes to see teammates miss their homes and get caught in the basketball routine, it becomes a part of our lives and not much a problem anymore when we stick together,” said Ryan Brooks, a junior advertising major and guard for the men’s basketball team.
Though most students went home for the holidays, 1300 residence hall and the Edge were filled with the chatter of student-athletes fulfilling their duties and demonstrating a commitment to their teams.
“Temple University is known for its rich history in basketball, and we all take pride in representing Temple,” Brooks said. “We work day in and day out to keep the success alive.”
Monica Sellecchia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.