Practice schedule differences within SCSU sports
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
Different sport teams at Southern have different practice schedules and offseason programs that they abide by. That is also the case when it comes to the swimming and basketball teams at Southern.
Men’s basketball and women’s swimming schedules differ in some areas with their in-season practice schedules. In the beginning of the year men’s basketball practices are usually longer and more detail orientated.
Michael Papale, the assistant men’s basketball coach at Southern, has a reasoning behind why they make practices in the beginning of the year longer compared to practices later in the year.
“Early in the year it’s just more trying to get the guys to learn how to play with each other,” said Papale. “We’re putting plays and defenses in and trying to get everyone in good shape for the year. As the season goes on we might shorten practice to keep everyone healthy.”
Once the season starts and the team has a strong grasp of how to play with each other, the men’s basketball team practices almost every weekday for about an hour and a half. Women’s swimming is a little different with their practice schedule.
The women’s swimming team will practice every weekday for about three hours. To go along with practice, they have two days of lifting during the week. So women’s swimming is a little more time consuming during the year than men’s basketball is.
Jesse Cyr, the men’s and women’s diving coach for Southern, makes sure his athletes don’t exceed 20 hours a week of practice because that is the maximum amount of time the NCAA allows coaches to practice with their players.
Cyr also acknowledges that if you train with athletes too long and hard, they could get worn down as the season goes along.
“It’s a long season from September to March. We have a long time to work on drills and basics and get themselves ready early so that they’re peaking at the right time,” said Cyr.
The in-season schedules of men’s basketball and women’s swimming differ slightly in the amount of time they practice. What differs even more between the two sport programs is the offseason schedule.
Men’s basketball follows a unique offseason schedule compared to other sports. In the preseason men’s basketball is only allowed to get their players on the court for two hours a week due to NCAA rules. The coaches like to use one of these hours for a team workout and the other hour for an individual workout with players.
Mike Mallory, Southern’s leading scorer on the men’s basketball team, does these set workouts and more.
“I workout with my trainer and players that play in the D-League everyday to prepare myself the right way to help out the team in every way I can,” said Mallory.
Women’s swimming, on the other hand, isn’t as structured. Swimmers are expected to do more work on their own and keep themselves in shape without the guidance of a coach or set workouts. Cyr welcomes divers to come train with him during the offseason, but acknowledges that some live closer than others.
Both sports definitely differ in the way they handle their teams, but the one aspect of the teams that is common is the success they’re having. Men’s basketball is off to a 18-5 start and women’s swimming is closing the season nicely as they won their last two meets heading into the Northeast-10 Championships.
Photo Credit: Eric McGregor