Dedication and practice are a major part of any sports team’s success, but with the arrival of the winter sports season, athletes are forced to practice over the holidays, which can prove to be difficult for people going on vacation.
The winter season includes Thanksgiving and Christmas break, which means three weeks without school. As a result, coaches and athletes need to practice on days when school isn’t in session.
According to the California Interscholastic Federation’s (CIF) Constitution and Bylaws, With the exception of religious schools, sports teams are not allowed to have practice or competitions on Sundays in order to provide students with a day of rest. There is no mention of holidays, so practice is technically allowed on any other day, including Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.
Girls’ basketball was one team to have practice over Thanksgiving break. Coach Patricia Perez believes the commitment is important, but understands the personal importance of holidays.
“As an athlete you’re committing to the season, and for any other sport you’re not going to take a whole week off just because,” she said. “But I do think that we shouldn’t be practicing on the actual holiday because that is a day for family and to celebrate.”
Junior Olivia Sipila has been on the varsity girls’ soccer team throughout her three years at Branham. Her team had practice and a scrimmage during the break. She feels that it is necessary to stay fit, and also values having fun with her practices.
“Of course people think it’s annoying because it’s break, but being in a team is really important,” Sipila said. “I don’t necessarily mind it because it’s an hour and a half of our day, but we put in the work, and we can have fun with it, too.”
Sophomore Sara Vela is a wrestler who went to CCS as a freshman. Wrestling had practice over break, and many people on the team had to monitor their diet. Vela needed to exercise and eat smaller portions during Thanksgiving because of a girls’ tournament two days later.
“I kind of sucked, but it’s totally worth it to be able to wrestle,” she said.
Despite being on holiday, basketball, soccer and wrestling saw a majority of their players attend practice and games.
“I think part of it is hard – winter sports do have one of the toughest schedules because we play through all of the different big holidays,” Perez said. “But I think most people go into that, hopefully understanding.”