Some sports face challenges with indoor practices
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
As spring sports approach, not many of the teams had a chance to get on any of the fields around campus due to the snowfall this semester. So far, practices have been regulated to indoor facilities.
Sports such as baseball, softball and lacrosse have all been practicing indoors, whether it be in Pelz Gymnasium or Moore Field House. However, coaches from their respective teams said it has not hindered productivity and the training that needs to be done can still be done.
“We’re trying to keep practice as normal as it’s been in the past. We’re normally inside at this time, we try to get out if there’s no snow out there and it’s not too cold, but that’s not the case this winter so we are inside,” said baseball head coach Tim Shea. “Trying to keep it as normal as we’ve done in the past, we’ve just had to modify it in terms of sizes of the group, the types of drills that we can do, but the whole staff and I are confident we’re moving in the right direction.”
Softball finds themselves in the same position as baseball as they have been indoors while preparing for the spring season, occupying Pelz Gym for training. Assistant Coach Christine Akcer said they too are keeping things business as usual and when it comes to training inside, they try to get more creative with the kind of drills they do to keep the players on their toes.
One difficulty that the coaches have acknowledged from all the teams practicing indoors is scheduling. Especially with COVID-19 social distancing protocols in place, it can be difficult to split gym time up between all the programs, but the coaches said they make it work.
“The biggest challenge is just scheduling. We have all of these sports now that have to be inside instead of using fields and then we have to worry about when the strength coach is there, when the trainers are available and all of that,” said women’s lacrosse head coach Kevin Siedlecki. “Because we’re usually scheduled on the turf, we have to change our schedule when the weather’s no good, which is just a headache for everybody. Coordinating that is the most challenging thing.”
On top of training indoors, the teams are in the middle of the three-phase plan put in place by the university to contain the spread of the virus, with contact starting to be permitted in the next phase for spring sports only, for out of season sports started the phases two weeks after spring sports did.
The coaches said the players fully understand the situation at hand and that their season could be taken away at any moment if there is a spike in total cases in the athletic programs and on campus. They’ve been making sure they do not take any day for granted and have tried to follow the guidelines as well as possible.
“I think everyone in the athletic department is very focused on what they’re doing, something that is really the identity of the Southern student athletes and really all the students at Southern,” said Siedlecki. “People are very focused, willing to make sacrifices for whatever it is they’re passion is, and I definitely see that from the athletes. They are focused on making sure they’re doing things right so we can get these sports in.”