Summer of a student athlete

August 24, 2018

Over the summer, Brandeis student athletes may stop being students and become interns, employees or coaches, but they never stop being athletes. No matter the results of the last season, student athletes are looking to build on success and improve for the next season, and a lot of that work and preparation happens over the summer.

For the volleyball, soccer and cross country teams, their summer ended early. Brandeis saw them return to campus over a week prior to the rest of the student body to begin pre-season. Their preparation, however, started before that.

David Murphy ’20, a member of the men’s varsity soccer team, spent time over the summer in the weight room and on the soccer field. Jake Picard ’16, the physical trainer for a variety of varsity teams including men’s soccer, compiled a summer training regimen designed for soccer players specifically. Picard, Murphy said, put together an amazing program that has the soccer team lifting weights three or four times a week and doing cardio two times a week.

Murphy spent his summer working in Undergraduate Admissions as an admissions assistant. He and other local members of the team were encouraged to participate in pickup games twice a week to keep their skills fresh. “I know for most of the guys getting out on the turf to play is the best part of the week. We get to roll the balls out for a couple hours and forget about everything except what we love,” he said.

The track and field coaches also encourage student athletes to train with teammates over the summer, according to Regan Charie ’19, a captain of the men’s track and field team. Charie and his teammates are encouraged to “stay in shape” and remain active by cross training in ways other than track. The senior captain has been spending his summer playing soccer when he isn’t at his marketing internship at Wiley Publishing.

Like Murphy and the soccer team, Joanne Carminucci ’19 and the rest of the women’s fencing team have been given workouts for the summer created by Picard, who also acts as their team’s personal trainer.

While in a period of transition to a new fencing coach, the women’s fencing team has been particularly motivated to hit the training hard over this summer, according to Carminucci, who will be leading the team as captain in the upcoming season. Carminucci, who is spending her summer doing research in the politics department at Brandeis, has been attending nearby fencing clubs to train over the summer.

Keri Lehtonen ’19, captain of the softball team, describes summer training expectations as an “unspoken agreement” between the girls on the team. Each of the players are expected to work hard and prepare well for the season in order to ensure as much success as possible. For her, this means taking care of her body and any remaining injuries, as well as preparing the mind for preseason practices and lifts.

Olivia Leavitt ’19, a captain of the women’s tennis team, echoed Lehtonen’s emphasis on preparing the mind. The tennis coaches encourage players to compete in tennis tournaments over the summer to exercise their mind and get into “mental-match-shape” going into their six week fall season.

Leavitt has kept busy this summer with an internship at a sports marketing agency located in Portland, Maine, and working as a studio assistant at her local yoga studio. Living in Maine, Leavitt has not had access to her teammates, who live in other parts of the country for most of the summer, so she has had to find training opportunities on her own. She trains for the upcoming tennis season after her work hours and over the weekend when she isn’t competing in tournaments.

Though not always with their teammates over the summer, Brandeis student athletes still find the time to train for their sport, so they are prepared when they return to campus for the season. Preparation is a large part of sports, Leavitt said, so student athletes dedicate time in their summer to gain an advantage over opponents they’ll meet in the upcoming season.

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