Athletes prepare to spring into the new season
With the beginning of the new semester starting, Alma College’s 2020 Spring sports teams prepare to kick off their seasons within the next upcoming weeks.
While Fall and Winter sports’ teams dominated much of the Fall semester, the new winter semester welcomes the beginning of Spring sports’ teams, such as Softball, Baseball, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Track and Field, and a few others.
Unlike the other teams, who work on most of their pre-season workout in the spring and over the summer, Spring sports teams begin their pre-season workout in the Fall with it intensifying over winter break and the Holidays.
“We have a short fall season. I believe it lasts for about a month or two. We practice four days a week during that season and we also host a small tournament with 3 teams, including us. During the whole fall semester, we are in the weight room with Fletcher [the team’s strength and conditioning Coach] 4 days a week working on our strength training,” said Softball player Hannah Cambe (’21).
For many Spring teams like Softball, they ease back into the school year with a short “fall season.” This is primarily a time to refresh the fundamentals and start bonding as a team with the new incoming players.
At the end of the “fall season,” teams typically compete in a tournament or a friendly match to put their fundamental work to the test.
“[Fall practice] is mainly a time for people on the team to prove themselves and show what they can bring to the table. We also get one play date against another college during the fall where we get the chance to show coaches and ourselves how we can compete in a game,” said Baseball player Logan Huff (’20).
Following these fall practices, each Spring team begins to move into weight lifting. Each team is assigned a strength and conditioning coach to map out a specific workout plan for them. These workout plans vary between each team but can consist of four lifts a week until the start of the team’s season.
Each workout plan is molded to meet the team’s needs and to get them in the best shape possible for season. Some teams also set up team workouts to add to their training.
“In the offseason, we do team workouts four days a week at 6:30am before classes. We have certain hitting and fielding groups that we work with during the off-season as well,” said Huff.
For Spring sports, extra team workouts without their coaches, due to MIAA rules forbidding coach and athlete sport interaction until season, help the team gel and prepare the fundamentals for the season.
Some Spring season coaches also offer one credit classes in their particular sport during the last seven weeks of the Fall semester for not only their team, but any Alma College student to take. This allows players to not only keep their skills fresh, but for any student interested in that sport to learn more about it.
“Denny, our coach, teaches a 1 credit softball class that is an option for girls with room in their schedules,” said Cambe.
At the end of the Fall semester, all of the teams extra training and conditioning typically does not stop. It actually begins to intensify as teams inch closer towards their season with their strength
and conditioning coach providing them with a workout plan to follow over winter break until the start of their season.
“Over winter break, Fletcher provides us with a 4-day per week workout plan. We also do what we can as individuals to get into the gym to workout. The few weeks before we start is usually when girls start getting back in the gym and working on their swings, playing catch, etc,” said Cambe.
Teams start to get back into the swing of things when the Winter semester begins. They receive new season workouts from their Strength and Conditioning Coach to lessen their weightlifting for the season. Athletes also continue to work out on their own to work on personal goals and skills.
“I mainly follow the team workout and hitting plans, but I do like to practice tough throws on the run and eating healthy as way to keep myself ready for the season,” said Huff.
With personal goals in mind and continuous practice from the beginning of the Fall semester, Spring sports have spent the majority of the school year prepping for their season. Their constant emphasis on hard work in the off-season not only pushes them to excel in their upcoming Spring season, but to meet the expectations they set for themselves after their last season.
“One of the biggest things our coaches are hoping for this year is for us to really come together as a team and to work together toward a common goal. We as a team are really preaching the idea of ‘serving’ each other,” said Cambe.