The Register

Developing Devil Athletes

Cade Richey, Reporter

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The average fan watches a Richmond game and only views the outcome. What they don’t see is the preparation and development of that all of the players put in. Players work to develop not only during the season, but for countless hours in the off-season in more ways than one. Many kids have to work around tiring schedules. A typical day for Richmond athletes is longer than many people think. Many wake up, go to practice, go to school,  return to practice and go to work all along with homework before they finally go to sleep. Some students feel as if their mental game has grown along with their physical game.

“I’ve gotten a lot smarter about volleyball,” freshman Amanda Wolfe said.

Mental development can be vital to developing into a better player. Footwork, placement, form, and knowledge can set a player on a higher level than other people in their sport.

“I know how to move around more and when to move,” Wolfe said. “Through the years with all the practice you learn to play smarter. I think it’s better to get better mentally than physically. If you have better form and play smarter you can beat a person who is a better athlete. You do have to get better as far as being athletic though because it will make you a lot better as you develop the fundamentals and timing of volleyball too.”

Some players believe that it is more important to develop physically than mentally to be the best player possible.

“[Players need to be better] physically because you need to be ready for what comes at you and if you can handle it but when your season happens then it’s time to be mentally ready,” junior Oshay Henderson said.

Many players take the lessons and failures they’ve endured during their season to get better.

“Honestly I was garbage my freshman year then I [saw] that I had to make it out and I pushed myself and my teammates did and I developed from there,” Henderson said.

It’s important to get better not only as an athlete, but also be a student of the game.

“In football I think you have to be developed mentally and physically to get to your potential,” senior Caleb Ellis said. “That’s why the coaches are preaching to hit the weight room.”

Some players turn to watching countless hours of film and lifting weights to reach new levels in their athletic careers.

“We watched films a lot and that helps you a lot,” Ellis said. “Most of it is you wanting to develop. A lot of kids can develop into a better player but they don’t want to do the work that you gotta do. Basically you gotta get in the weight room and watch a lot of film to know how to get better and play better.”

Coaches aren’t the only people to help develop athletes. Teammates push each other to their limits in order to get the best possible team they can.

“Well personally the coaches this year didn’t help me, it was my team and they helped a lot,” Henderson said. “It’s more important to be honest cause them the people you play with, practice with, and everything. In order to win you must be one.”

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Developing Devil Athletes