Crowded YWCA makes practice hard and coaches nervous
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What if your practice was interrupted by different sports running through your space? This has been a problem since the beginning of the spring sports season at the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) off of Lake street. When spring sports first started the weather wasn’t nice enough to practice outside so Softball, Baseball, Ultimate Frisbee and Track all had to practice inside the YWCA. It may see that this problem is over with the better weather, but with rain, or there’s bad weather all the teams will yet again be stuffed together for practice.
Tova Breen is a senior on the Ultimate Frisbee team, Breen explained “When we play in the Y[WCA] there’s so many other sports, like Baseball and Softball and Track all going on. So it was super busy and there’s not a lot of room to do things.”
Breen went on to talk about how people “kind of look down on ultimate,” and don’t think it’s an actual sport so the team doesn’t get much room. Breen explained that they only get about half of the gym space, they’re all cramped in. “So it’s not that effective,” said Breen.
Breen also explained how the team was affected, “We don’t play games inside,” she explained. “We don’t get the practice of throwing outside, which is really important with the wind, being able to have bigger distances and play actual games and scrimmages and stuff. So, we can’t get used to game like scenarios as much.”
Augie Wifler a sophomore on the pole vaulting team also expressed the problems he faced in the crowded YWCA. “I couldn’t really do much,” Wifler said. “There’s no pole vaulting pit in there, we just jumped in the sand pit.”
Joseph Shallenberger is the baseball coach here at South and he explained that the YWCA limits what the team can do. “Our throwing is short, [and] our cages are on the track, so runners run in between the cages.” Shallenberger explained. They’ve hit track runners when practicing and “feel really bad.”
Shallenberger also explained that you can only practice basics in the YWCA. Shallenberger has noticed that some of the teams throws have “come up short” and links that directly to the crowded ywca. “Working on hitting our cuts, and long throws home are non existent indoors.”
Something else that concerned Shallenberger was in the future when there is bad weather and everyone will have to practice in the YWCA again. “I believe someone is going to get hurt.” Shallenberger explained. “I have no problem sharing the space, but I believe that club teams should not get time over high school sports. We all need to work together to help each sport get there practice space and time.”
Shallenberger expressed praise for the YWCA staff, “The YWCA has been nothing but exceptional when assisting us with time slots, and very cordial.”
Morgan Kane is the softball coach, and went into further detail about the problem with the crowded YWCA gym space, “With so many teams in the Y[WCA] we are only allotted a certain space and it makes it difficult to get everything we need to get done for the day and to be prepared for when we start games.”
Similar to Shallenberger, Kane expressed her concern over students getting hurt in the crowded atmosphere. “Track is massive, they can take up the entire space. With so many kids it makes it hard to efficiently practice,” she continued, “It’s a concern that someone will get injured. Softballs are typically rolling on the track and we absolutely don’t want anyone to get injured.”
To explain further Kane said, “You practice like you play is a saying that you always use in sports and it greatly affects our team for games. It doesn’t give the girls enough experience they need outside and it is difficult to create game-like situations with less than half the space we need.”
Ellie Meier is a freshman on the Ultimate Frisbee team explained the confusion there was at the beginning of the spring sports season. “Frisbee had to practice inside because of the weather, [and] we weren’t able to practice outside at Powderhorn Park. Also there was baseball tryouts there, and then track was also using the Y[WCA]. Sometimes not everybody would get to practice.”
Meier went on to express her concern, “If you can’t practice in the real size of a field or a track or the distance you have to run than in a game you won’t be as prepared and things could shock you or you could be confused.”
The rainy season can be tricky to maneuver for spring sports. As Meier explained, “It’s frustrating because the Y[WCA] is so crowded and then especially with a frisbee you can’t really throw it that far if there are a ton of people.” She continued, “And you don’t have a lot of space, practice gets cut short too, if we have to leave or we can’t go there until a certain time.” Hopefully once the April showers have ended sports like softball, baseball, frisbee, and track can look forward to a sunny season outdoors.