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St. Mark's School of Texas
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The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

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The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

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The effect of bye-weeks on an athlete’s in-game performance

Head+football+coach+Harry+Flaherty+assisting+in+varsity+practice+by+holding+kicks+on+the+kickoff.
Head football coach Harry Flaherty assisting in varsity practice by holding kicks on the kickoff.

In a sport where every Friday night is filled with bone-crushing tackles and thrilling touchdowns, football players often find themselves needing an off week to recover from rigorous training and tough competition. However, as teams try to plan their seasons, sometimes a bye week just doesn’t make the cut. That’s been the case the past two years for the Lions. 

Bye-weeks are very important to a football player and the team’s overall health. Nitin Jain, M.D., M.S.P.H., believes that it often falls on to medical professionals to tell players that they need to let their bodies recover.

“I think that was the traditional way of thinking,” Jain said. “You just have to work through it, but time and time again, that’s been shown to exacerbate injuries if you don’t bring it to the attention of the appropriate professionals at the right time.”

With bye-weeks, players can adequately recover and reduce the risk of getting injured or re-injured from the numerous amounts of repetitive hits that they take.

“The recovery time is essential both from the standpoint of your musculoskeletal system as well as [for] concern of a concussion as well,” Jain said.

Bye-weeks aren’t initially planned in the competition calendar, but their benefits are important to the well-being of the football team. Coming off of a three-week ankle sprain, Senior Lucas Blumenthal missed several practices and couldn’t compete in a game against Casady.

“If we had a bye week during that time, I would have had the chance to rehab my injury a little better,” Blumenthal said. “It’s funny because the game I injured my ankle was the week that we were originally supposed to have a bye-week. If we did have a bye-week during that time, I probably wouldn’t have hurt myself.” 

During the football season, having bye-weeks are a huge trade-off for some team members. On one hand, they are able to rest and recover, but at the same time, it takes away from the games they can play, given the limited number of weeks in one season.

“Although most of the time we don’t necessarily need it, it’s a nice thing to have, especially if you’re playing a long season,” Blumenthal said. “We play 10 straight weeks of football, which can be pretty physically taxing. Having that bye-week in the schedule forces you to take the week off and get a lot healthier and ready to continue the season stronger.”

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About the Contributors
Eric Yi, Head Writer
Andrew Ye, Staff Writer