UNCW Track and Field team begins workouts. (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -
The UNCW Track and Field and Cross Country teams showed up before sunrise Tuesday morning to begin workouts. Many athletes began stretching and jogging around before the gates to the track were even unlocked.
Coach Layne Schwier said athletes at UNCW will spend 12 to 16 hours a week in practice and the NCAA allows for a maximum of 20 hours spent practicing.
Schwier explained they do not use the full amount of allotted hours in order to promote balance in the athletes’ lives and to allow time for their bodies to recover.
“There's only so much they are allowed to do, and only so much they can do with their time constraints with being a student. But they are working hard,” Schwier said. “They may not be at the level of a professional athlete, but we don't expect them to be at that level. They're putting in their time, and they're putting in their effort, and they're hoping to get the results.”
He said the sport attracts many people because there is something for everyone.
“You can run, you can jump, and you can throw, so there’s a variety of things you can try in the sport,” Schwier explained. “Obviously, not everyone is able to excel in everything, but I think it’s a sport that anybody can find their niche in.”
The sport does not limit itself to college athletes either. Schwier said young kids who may have their interest sparked by the Olympics can join in, as well.
“There’s all kinds of club teams in the area,” Schwier said for those just starting out who may want to participate in college. “Track and Field at the high school level is the number one sport in the United States right now. So it’s definitely alive and well with plenty of opportunities to get involved in it.”
Schwier said the most important thing is to get outside and start working out.