The university sports season may be seasonal, but the progress of a team is ongoing.
Many intramural teams wait eight to nine months before they get a crack at the next season, and with so much downtime, it takes leadership and hard work to stay focussed. At heart, it remains a team effort. It begins in the off-season. An out-of-work player is guaranteed to be in the gym working on his craft.
UTM’s own Michael Prempeh, a veteran stamp on the Varsity Blues football squad, is no stranger to the off-season workout. “I look at the off-season as the hardest part of the athletic year,” he says. “If you work hard during the off-season, the regular season will come natural.” And indeed, this is the kind of dedication needed from the whole team to ensure success.
Even players who may not get a lot of playing time are integral to a team’s positive direction. “Bench players are important, especially during practice,” Prempeh preaches. “It’s important for them to work hard so that they give starters a good look during practice.”
Prempeh is adamant that it is not about how much playing time you get but how you carry yourself when you aren’t getting any. “Confidence. You gotta have it in yourself and to put into your teammates,” he says.
Most importantly, he adds, “You gotta lead by example.”