Student-athletes and coaches on morning practices

Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer

Every student-athlete knows the feeling of their alarm clock going off at 6 a.m. in order to wake up for practice, yet still having to attend classes, nursing a weak and sore body.  

Southern Connecticut’s coaches and student-athletes share the experiences they have with a.m. practices and an inside look of what goes on inside the weight room.   

Cross country coach and former Owl runner, Brian Nill, said he tries to make morning practices as easy for the players as possible while still creating a fun and entertaining environment.  

“I try to take it easy on the guys,” Coach Nill said. “No one likes having to wake up in the morning to run. So I do it in a way that makes the players feel more comfortable about having to run and work out early in the day.”

While the coaches may seem to take it easy on the players, some student-athletes think differently.

Michael Johnson, a senior football player at SCSU, said he doesn’t like the idea of waking up to go lifting, but added that it’s better to have practice in the morning as opposed to the afternoon or night.

“Our coaches force us to mentally and physically wake up quickly,” Johnson said. “Yes it sucks having to wake up early, but then again it’s better to just get it out of the way. That way you don’t have to worry about it later on.”

Yet, when it comes to a football player like Johnson, lifting is a must. Football is a sport where you have to be physically strong, which is why Southern’s football schedule is jam-packed with workouts and practices.

According to Johnson, on Sunday mornings the team goes to the gym to lift, then from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. they have their meetings to walk through the week ahead of them.

Tuesday and Thursdays they have practice from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday’s are their 6 a.m. workouts in the gym. Friday is another practice to prepare for their game on Saturday, leaving Mondays as their only day off.    

Johnson also said he likes to workout on his own time, even on the days when it’s not mandatory.  

“I always workout when I don’t have football,” Johnson said. “It just keeps your body flowing. I don’t kill myself those days, but I still get a sweat going. It helps keep your body constantly working and it personally works out sores and pains I had during games.”

Kayla Orozco, senior soccer player at Southern, said she likes having morning practices and added that she wouldn’t change it even if she could.  

I get to start the day off with people I care about,” Orozco said. “I’d prefer to get it done in the morning, as it leaves the rest of the day for me to study and get my work done.”

Despite early practices not bothering Orozco, she said she isn’t a big fan of running drills, even though she knows it’ll make her more fit.

Each athlete is different: one may say they would rather have it in the morning, while others may counter argue that. But the one thing student-athletes share in common is the displeasure of waking up at sunrise.  

Photo Credit: Kim Seng


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