The fall athletic season on campus features football, soccer, field hockey, volleyball, golf, and more. Every day these teams use the gym to stretch, catch a quick team lift, the sports medicine clinic for tape, pre-practice stretching, and of course, the fields to drill over and over again. This in pursuit of being the best team in the conference, and even more coveted. With the fall athletic teams commanding the attention of all Ursinus sports fans, winter and spring sports continue to grind in the off-season and take advantage of the time to improve as much as they can before competition.
All athletics teams use the off-season to perfect their craft and make sure their bodies are ready for the spring season. Every team does this by utilizing different strategies; whether it be extra team bonding or extra time in the gym. One team, in particular, has been going the extra mile to put its members first over a few additional hours of sleep: the Ursinus Men’s Lacrosse team. They hold four team activities throughout the school week including lifting, intersquad basketball bonding, and speed & agility training all starting at 6:30 AM. Having several teams in their own off-season grind and in-season competing at the same time can prove to be problematic when trying to schedule time in the gym. Time as a team is valuable, and with so little space and availability the guys bond with one another before campus has even woken- up!
Coming off of two seasons which were both cut short due to COVID-19 and with athletes having limited contact with each other off the field, being able to spend time with the team is more important now than it has ever been. Tommy Reinhart ‘22, who was the captain last spring, explained why it’s so important to fit in team bonding, “Last year, during Covid, we really missed out on just being able to get together as a team. I think these lifts and activities are a time where we can get together and have fun, work hard, and get closer as a team. In the past couple of years, our best teams on the field were the closest off the field.”
Jake Stackpole ‘22 also had some words regarding the added benefits of waking up early to bond. “Early morning lifts have helped us instill the ethos of our culture in a much more meaningful way. Our emphasis from the very start of our time here as a team has been on the importance of family, trust, and holding each other accountable for a high level of effort and play and having that time as a time in the morning continues to emphasize that. The less obvious benefit of lifting all together and waking up early so often creates discipline and mental fortitude.”
In their first full season since winning the Centennial Conference championship, the Bears will certainly look to come out firing and make another run at the Centennial Conference and NCAA tournament. Ursinus will be hosting multiple high-powered teams this season including: St. John Fisher and the defending National Champions, RIT. With all the extra time the Ursinus Men’s Lacrosse team is putting into the gym and their added efforts to become closer off the field, they should certainly be ready to run the table come February 1st.