While Berkeley does not experience extreme winter weather, with daily highs and lows usually in the 60 to 40 degree Fahrenheit range, the temperature change, early sunsets, and rain are still significant factors in the winter training of many Berkeley High School (BHS) athletes. Winter may not have as much of an effect on indoor sports like basketball, but for sports like mountain biking, weather can change everything.
For BHS mountain biker Nora Kessler, a junior in Berkeley International High School (BIHS), winter can change practice times, cancel bike rides, and alter gear needs. “During the winter, the sun sets pretty early, so we have to shorten our evening practices [by an hour] due to safety,” said Kessler. “While I love some good mud, it just isn’t respectful for a team of over one hundred members to destroy these community trails, so we do our best to stay on dry trails and roads,” Kessler continued.
Coaches have found ways to adapt to conditions that aren’t ideal for the safety of athletes and preservation of community spaces. “If the conditions are bad and we know we won’t get a good ride in, our coaches alert us about off-bike practices,” said Kessler.
While winter weather can challenge some sports, other sports like crew embrace it. Emmeline Robinson, a rower and Academic Choice (AC) senior, talked about why she likes the cold. “It’s really nice to know that we can always practice, and personally I don’t mind the cold very much because it also motivates me to work harder in order to warm up,” Robinson said.
It’s not just rowers who favor the colder temperatures. Many other athletes thrive under these conditions. “Personally I prefer the cold weather,” said soccer player and AC senior Julia Thomas, “because then we are not running while being overheated.” Despite sometimes challenging conditions during winter, BHS athletes strive to succeed and remain productive in their sports in all seasons.