Spring sports are just around the corner, meaning pre-season for softball is in full swing. Now is the time for the whole team to focus on conditioning and skills in order to get themselves ready for regular season.
Keene State College senior Shae Crosby said the pre-season is the time that the team starts working with Sarah Testo, who is the Strength and Conditioning coach. With the new exercises and focus on improving physically, Crosby said Testo is really helpful with designing programs and workouts that are specific to the softball teams skills and movement.
For the team, having that starting foundation and guiding leadership is important with helping them become faster and stronger players before the winter’s end. The work is hard, though, and every practice pushes each athlete to their maximum potential Crosby said.
“The workouts are tough, and can seem tedious, but it is all because we are just so ready to start practice and games. Pre-season is really the time to get in shape. Our workouts are so intense that they motivate us to get be in the best shape that we can be,” Crosby said.
The softball team has to cover a lot in limited time, so they try to focus on hitting specific pitches, bunting, small ball, as well as defense such as ground balls and fly balls. “We try to make it as realistic as possible indoors,” Crosby said.
Pre-season primarily focuses on conditioning and physically improving, but Crosby said it is also a time where team bonding occurs. Crosby said that pre-season is a time to build team relationships, especially with the incoming first-years who are awaiting the start of their first college season. “Pre-season it is a less intense version of the season, so a time to practice time management and balance all aspects of life before crunch time really begins,” Crosby added.
Sophomore Alli Canavan said that pre-season is the foundation that helps the team build up for the rest of the year. The pre-season allows each individual player to grow and improve physically, as well as bond with other players through practices Canavan said. Team bonding especially makes the first-year students feel more welcomed and a part of the team, which then gives them more confidence during the regular season.
Pre-season is also a time when the team’s schedule is more flexible, which allows the team to do community service, such as chaperoning middle school dances at the Keene Park and Recreational Center and also helping with Special Olympics Bowling at Yankee Lanes.
Overall, pre-season really helps the team get back into the routine of things, as well as getting ready for softball in general, Canavan said.
Team members Mikayla Pacy, Katelyn Hill and Cassie Woods were unable to comment.
With the spring right around the corner, the softball team hopes to cover a lot of ground and get into the thick of practices so they can be ready to win during the start of regular season, added Crosby.
Caroline Perry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org