How spring sports teams deal with winter weather

The beginning of the season is coming around for athletes who participate in a spring sport. As many of the seasons begin in the early part of February or March, winter weather has a large impact on the location and regularity of practices and games. 

Sophomore tennis player, Ciarra McWilliams, said that playing a sport in the spring can add a little stress to the semester with all the tournaments and that they can sometimes get in the way of homework. Many spring sports team members have to adapt to not only the added workload but to the winter weather that might get in the way of preparing for games.

“We have to drive to Lawrence to practice,” McWilliams said, “and it’s really hard to get courts available for a long enough time to have a good practice. The ball also travels different when you’re inside, So you have to adjust a lot from playing outside.”

However, Baker tennis is just one of the outdoor spring sports impacted by snow and cold temperatures. Junior outfielder Hailey Hatfield spoke about softball season and how weather impacts their practice. Hatfield mentioned the Wildcat softball team has access to an indoor practice facility located on campus.

“Specifically for outfielders, we are not able to see live balls because of the obvious: there’s a roof,” Hatfield said. “For the team, it’s difficult because we can’t work on full team defense So we only get to work on break downs.”

Though the indoor facility can sometimes cause a disadvantage to players, Hatfield talked about how fortunate the team is to have a place to continue practices even in poor weather conditions.

“Being indoors is a blessing in itself but it does have its downsides,” she said. “The upside of having the indoors is when we start the season, the weather is usually not in our favor. So on colder days we can use the indoors and still get the work in to prepare us as much as possible.” 

Again, softball is not the only sport that uses outdoor fields for practice and gameplay, as baseball also has to find ways to escape the cold. Baker’s baseball team is getting in gear for their upcoming season and has had to practice inside for most of their practices early this year due to freezing temperatures and bad weather.

“Games are constantly moved to early times of different days,” sophomore pitcher Nick Bergman said. “You have to be able to adapt quickly to change.”

Bergman also mentioned that the winter weather can make games more difficult. However, they have an advantage over the tennis team with an on-campus indoor practice facility.

“The cold is sometimes hard to play in,” Bergeman said. “But we’ve practiced enough in it that we are fairly acclimated to it. I feel as if we can overcome these challenges because of the facilities we are given.”

Even when the weather is bad, the spring sports teams have action plans put in place to combat the cold weather and continue to prepare for their seasons.