Transitioning to Spring Sports

With COVID-19 cases rising during the winter, Hackley made the decision to alter the winter sports schedule to minimize risk. In the earlier winter months, sports practices were conducted normally with practice Monday through Thursday. However, when students returned to campus after winter break, they were introduced to the new, two practices per week schedule.
The two practices per week allow each sport to have one practice indoors and the other is outside. Different sports, separated into varsity and JV, practice on varied days, which allows for more space inside Hackley facilities, lowering transmission risk. However, this new sports schedule definitely affects how the teams enjoy practice and how effective the practice is for them. While the one day a week of outside practice mostly consists of conditioning, the one indoor practice is run normally. The athletes having the opportunity to practice in their sports facilities with the proper equipment four days a week is surely more effective than once a week.
Sophomore squash player Mason Napach prefers the old sports schedule as opposed to the new one, because he especially does not enjoy outdoor practice. The outdoor practice mostly consists of running outside, which is “cold, sometimes icy, and feels scary because it is so slippery and muddy”. However, Mason said that the one indoor practice a week makes the new schedule worth it for him as opposed to having no practices because it prevents him from getting rusty and he really enjoys any time he can spend with his teammates. Mason expressed his gratitude for the school working hard to keep the season going by having practice and trying to give everyone a good experience.
In addition to Mason, freshman basketball player Jake Hendelman agreed that the outdoor practice is annoying because indoor practices were much more productive. Jake said that when the team practices outside, it was primarily running which could be helpful for basketball but is something that you can do on your own; “It is much more effective playing at the baskets instead of just running.”
Catie O’Rourke, a sophomore on the girls basketball team, feels strongly that practice both indoors and outdoors does not feel helpful and she does not enjoy practice nearly as much as she used to.
“If I’m being honest the new schedule is not fit for the winter season,” she said.
Every Monday the team goes outside to condition or play outdoor games unrelated to basketball, which is frustrating for Catie who does not feel she benefits from this time.
Catie also feels that the indoor practice does not make up for the inefficient outdoor practice because she finds it difficult to play when the athletes are not permitted to pass the ball to each other. “We get to improve our individual skills but basketball is a big team sport which means communication and passing is a huge part of that,” she said, adding that it does not feel like much of a team anymore.
Varsity girls squash coach Tina Rix spoke on her practices and opinion on the new schedule. Tina explained that “We’ve been really lucky to have the amount of on court time that we have had so far this winter season” and that she and the other coaches have been focused on emphasizing how lucky the athletes were to have had the opportunity to play at all. Although the lack of court time with the new schedule could be disheartening, Tina does think her players stayed positive and worked hard, “It’s clear that the girls are showing up for their teammates during this time.”
Although the new sports schedule keeps the athletes safe, it is clear that some students are not convinced that the season was worth it anymore. The athletes expressed that they were grateful to still have been on their teams because they get to continue playing their respective sports with their teammates to some extent, but at this point practice did not feel very effective or beneficial.
Now that the spring season has kicked off and returning back to the outdoor practices will be more enjoyable for the athletes. The regular schedule and practice locations returning to normalcy has been much more beneficial during the week, says sophomore Sam Rotenberg.