SSC becoming a popular exercise option for athletes

Seniors, freshmen, boys, girls, lacrosse players and football players. Where can you find a place with all of these people and more under one roof at 6 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Dec. to May? Stevenson Strength and Conditioning (SSC). SSC has been around for almost seven years, and each year it has become increasingly popular. Not only are more female athletes participating, but also more sports programs are getting involved. Every day is a different workout and athletes get the chance to improve on their skills before their season begins.

“It’s nice because the guys are able to push each other since they’re obviously a lot bigger, once you get to junior and senior year, and the girls motivate each other, all the while we’re all in the same gym,” Sarah Walker, girls’ varsity lacrosse coach and SSC coordinator said, “It’s not just the girls versus the guys, it’s that feeling of being a Stevenson athlete which is really cool.”

As the program continues to grow, the need for more space is becoming more and more apparent. Currently, SSC is held in the Sports Center and averages anywhere from 170 to 200 athletes. One of the reasons so many students show up is because no matter an athlete’s age, gender or experience, everyone can benefit from the workouts, Walker said.

“Whether you’re a guy, [a] girl, [part of] varsity, [or a] brand new freshman who’s never played a sport at a high level before, everyone’s in the same room,” Walker said. “Because of that, you see the older kids motivating the younger kids and the younger kids go through a huge transformation as a result.”

As for the students, waking up at 6 a.m. twice a week isn’t something to smile about, but the added bonuses outweighs the early morning wake up. Nicole Jeon ’17 is in her third year of SSC and likes that it gives athletes a chance to get better and stronger with their teammates.

“A lot of people think it’s really brutal because they hear stories of people throwing up. Yes it’s intense, but it’s not like that,” Jeon said. “If you play a sport, it’s just really any other conditioning practice.”

At SSC, athletes of all kinds get a chance to dip their feet into something new. According to Jeon, they’re not only growing as athletes but they are also strengthening or forming new relationships with other athletes.

“I like SSC because it’s hard to get gym space, and it’s encouraging to condition with a group of people who want to work as hard as you do.” Jeon said.