Monday, February 18, 2008

Spring Training in Chestertown

A new blogger joins us today ... Washington College senior softball player Tricia Carroll. A native of Owings Mills, Md., Carroll sheds some light on the preseason preparation that goes on in getting ready for the start of the 2008 softball season. Or as we call it ... spring training in Chestertown.

Spring training is pretty long in the Centennial Conference. We start practicing February 1st and our first game is not until March 1st. During this month, it is important that we train hard but make sure we have fun so things don’t become tedious. As a team we practice six days a week for about two hours. Our practices involve lots of conditioning focusing on our legs and sprints. In addition to the conditioning, we focus on the fundamentals. After a three-month break since fall ball ended, it is very important that we fine-tune the basics.

In addition to practicing as a team, it is very important that we hit the weight room. The weight room is our way to stay in shape during the off-season and to continue to say in shape during season. In the weight room, this is my time to build up my endurance and strength. For me, as a pitcher and outfielder, endurance is very important, so I am a huge fan of long-distance running and strengthening. In the weight room, I make sure that I get a good 30-minute cardio workout and lift both upper and lower body. This is stuff that you cannot do at practice, so as an individual it is very important to make time for the weight room.

It is also important that I find a balance for my academics during this first month before games start-up. Beginning in March, I become pressed for times with three-hour games and then bus rides. I am also forced to miss classes at times for either home or away games. Therefore, it is important that I get my academic priorities straight so that I do not get behind on work. If I get behind on my academics it just adds more stress which in turn affects my focus on softball.

For me this physical preparation has been made a little more difficult with my senior year student teaching internship. Since I am at the elementary school all day and get back just in time or a little late for practice, and then have lesson planning to do, I have to do my conditioning in a different way. Instead of relying on weights and machines for conditioning, I have been using resistance training by doing band exercises and relying on my own body weight. No matter how busy you are it is very important that you find a way to condition. Your body is put through three months or more of strenuous physical activity. Our preseason is spent getting our body back in softball shape by conditioning and fundamentals training so that we are ready to play 30+ games in a two-month span.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a High School player going into College in the fall this a great tool for someone who does not know what is coming in the future. I sort of know how you feel with the whole priorities thing but being a part-time Senior and going to College the other half of the day, and then going to High School for sports it is tough. Especially with softball coming up and I have two part-time jobs aswell I have a lot on my plate. But to know that I'm not the only one out there is really nice.