O'Connor football tackling yoga to improve flexibility, avoid injuries

O'Connor football hopes yoga training helps flexibility

In sports, it's all about finding that edge on your opponent, something that can put you over the top. The O'Connor Panthers football team believes they have one such advantage this season.

The players are working out this summer... with yoga.

That means some sore muscles stretching much more than they're used to stretching, plus plenty of moans and groans.

"I actually saw a picture in a coaching magazine with a football team at the end of their workout going through yoga," coach Dave Malesky said. "One thing we probably don't work enough on is flexibility with our athletes. Because of the time we do have in the summer in our strength camp, we felt, let's give this a shot and see what happens."

Malesky thought he might have to do a hard sell, but that hasn't been the case. Everybody bought in.

"Coach talked to us and told us how it will help us with our flexibility," one player said. "It's only going to make us faster and prevent injuries."

Another player said he was glad to be doing yoga because he has had hamstring injury problems.

"I'm glad we're doing it!"

Instructor Hope Pedraza is leading the team through the yoga moves.

"It's not really just for the ladies. It helps with agility, helps prevent injuries, helps build speed and gain strength."

Malesky said he thinks the work has been good for his players.

"When you get past the moans and groans of every new little stretch, the kids get out and say, 'Hey, I feel a little better.' It's been nothing but positive."

Their yoga instructor agreed.

"I know that they'll appreciate later," Pedraza said. "Once the season starts, I know that they'll really be able to tell the difference."

© 2017 KENS-TV


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