Spring teams, including lacrosse, baseball, and softball, are preparing for their season in the weight room and at informal group practices. These vary from sport to sport and coach to coach.
“The more the coach is involved in the process, the more organized it is and the more it seems to occur,” Athletic Director Larry Dukes said. Off-season practices are not required for the coaches and athletes, and coaches are not paid for running them. “It is something they do on their own to make it available to our student athletes,” Dukes said.
Women’s sports are allowed two hours of practice per week with the coach due to the MIAA rules. “It used to be they wouldn’t allow it at all,” Dukes said.
Off-season training can comprise a wide range of activities. Athletes utilize the school weight room and gather in the gym to practice skills together. Many athletes also cross-train, joining the swim team or track to help build endurance and stamina for their spring seasons.
“I practice with a private pitching and batting instructor that’s not with the school,” junior softball pitcher Bethany Toy said. “[Off-season training] helps a lot because if you don’t, you’ll become really rusty, and when you go back to play, you won’t be that good.”
“Some people are in the weight room, some are running, some are swinging their golf club indoors somewhere,” Dukes said. As the winter season wraps up, pre-season meetings are happening, and ImPACT testing starts Feb. 3.