Pitching Into Spring Sports

Kelsey Brown throws a pop fly for Cassidy Dickinson to catch during practice. (Photo Courtesy of Gracie Beddingfield)

Kelsey Brown throws a pop fly for Cassidy Dickinson to catch during practice. (Photo Courtesy of Gracie Beddingfield)

Spring is arriving, and its sports have already begun. Students playing Soccer, Softball, Baseball, and Golf have started their preparations for the season with preseason practice and scrimmages. Much effort and time is put into preparations as teams build themselves, and their skills, up to match up against opposing teams.

“As a Soccer team, we’re trying to get everyone on the same level because we have a lot of new players who need to have more experience in high school Soccer. Allowing these new players to work on building up their skill sets will push them to be the best player they can be,” says junior Sydney Pinochet.

It is crucial to make sure all players are on the same level before games as it better prepares the team for what’s to come; practicing situations that could occur in real games and matches are crucial.

“So far, we’ve been working on infield, outfield, and hitting. We’ve also been practicing real game scenarios. This better prepares you for what’s going to happen in a game, and it mentally prepares you in what you’re going to do next,” says junior Gracie Beddingfield.

Working together builds strength and betters the team as a whole. Most players would agree that teamwork is the most beneficial thing you can get out of practices.

“The biggest thing a team needs to do in order to compete well is to work together. Learning each other’s playing styles allows you to get to know someone better as a player. Not only is practicing with each other necessary, but just knowing each other on a personal level is helpful in building a strong team and gaining trust in one another,” says junior Hannah Fugate.

While practice as a team is most definitely necessary, individual preparation is also very important.

“On my own, I sometimes go to the range and work on putting and chipping. Doing this outside of practice allows me to better myself in these areas and enhance my overall performance,” says sophomore David Thompson.

Individually practicing can improve yourself in areas you struggle in or feel the need to work on. Practicing a specific skill repeatedly increases your strength and knowledge in that particular area. While this is true, physical conditioning is not the only thing that must be considered in preparation.

“For my own preparation for Soccer, I have been working on staying healthy. I try to drink more water, rather than sodas, and avoid eating out all the time, as eating is definitely a big part of getting in shape. You want to eat a lot of carbs the night before a game, and what you consume after a game is just as important. After a game, you want to replenish, so it’s good to drink Gatorade or chocolate milk,” says junior Kaytie Williamson.

Practice can be a lot of work and take a lot of time, but some may look forward to it due to a love of the sport and a chance to let loose, as well as being a fun way to stay in shape.

“During practices, we learn how competition really is. It gives you a better understanding of the rules and Golf etiquette. I look forward to playing nine holes this season, because Golf is relaxing to me and it’s nice being outdoors in the fresh air,” says junior Thomas Kraus.

Being physically prepared for any game or match is the best way to make sure you play well. Consistently practicing and setting goals are important for any team.

“I want my team to be as good as they can be. If we can work to achieve our personal goals, then I know our team goals will follow. We’re returning six players from last year’s team, so there’s a lot of experience that should help us. The biggest thing I want my players to get out of practice is a rhythm and some comfort in Golf,” says Coach Stallard.

Setting goals and having confidence in your team is important. Showing your team you have faith in them can build up their confidence in themselves as individuals, and boost the team as a whole.

“I believe in my team and I believe that we will go undefeated, win the region, and hopefully make it to semifinals. We have a group of well-rounded players who all know each other on a personal level. We also have a great coach. The teams we play aren’t that great, so as long as we follow instruction, I believe we will do really well,” says sophomore Joel Houston.

With practice, preparation, and faith, players look forward to a great season ahead and are excited to play the sport they love.

“I am really looking forward to Baseball season because I really enjoy the sport. My team and I have put much work and time into getting to where we want to be,” says junior Max Hunt.