Article by Woosuk Kim

As the ISM athletics community wraps up one of the school’s most successful second season IASAS tournaments in history, the excitement has clearly carried onto the third season, for which tryouts have been ongoing over the previous two weeks. In hopes of landing a spot on the highly competitive varsity and IASAS teams, some of the third season athletes have begun their rigorous training regiments months ago. Bamboo Telegraph interviewed some of these students in order to gain some insight on how their pre-season preparations have shaped their current performance, and how they have prepared themselves for their tryouts and forthcoming competitions.

Sophomore badminton player Rishaan U. is a firm believer that his pre-season preparations have played a big part in helping him make the varsity team. He said, “Ever since the end of last year’s JV season I have been regularly training outside of school. I’d train afterschool on weekdays and also on weekends. I feel that this really helped me because I have been steadily improving since last season.” As a fresh face in the varsity program, Rishaan believes that he has big shoes to fill. “Since the boys badminton team won gold at IASAS last year, we really need to hustle all together as a team to work hard and hopefully win gold again.” He added that he has high hopes for his new varsity family, mentioning, “So far the team looks good, but we only have 3 returning IASAS players from last year and they are all seniors so this years team will be made up of a majority of new players.”

When asked if Rishaan has any superstitions or rituals before he goes into a tryout or game, Rishaan said, “Although it is not really a ritual, I have this bracelet that my grandfather gave me and I feel that it gives me luck.” Rishaan’s bracelet has definitely served its purpose, shown through his recent success during the third season tryouts.

Another student who has put in a lot of work during the off-season is sophomore Lorenzo Y. Lorenzo is a returning IASAS track and field athlete, making the team in his freshman year. As someone who has experienced competing at the level of IASAS, he has pushed himself to begin his preparations before most of his peers on the team. Lorenzo said, “My motivation to train during the off-season mostly stems from my desire to get fitter and become better at running.” With his pre-season preparation, Lorenzo has high hopes for the track team. “The boys can win 3rd, or even 2nd this year, but we are always aiming for gold. Our throwers, runners and jumpers are all looking really good!”

Lorenzo also does his own share of pre-race rituals. “Before races, I usually listen to music and pray. I listen to music because it helps me focus and I pray because it’s something I do before anything important.”

With more of the third season athletes like Rishaan and Lorenzo, who have only recently got to exhibit the fruits of their labor, the Bearcat community eagerly anticipates an action-packed and successful third season. Especially with the IASAS track and field and golf tournaments being hosted here at home, ISM can only expect the very best performances from its diligent athletes.

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