By Meghan Carroll – News Editor
After almost eight months without sports, Lasell athletes are finally returning to practice; with some guidelines and restrictions, of course. By October 18, not only have fall sports been cleared to practice, non-traditional fall teams such as men’s and women’s basketball, lacrosse, and baseball can as well.
In late July, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) canceled its fall
season, but with some careful consideration and planning, the go-ahead to practice has been made possible while following the guidelines given by the NCAA.Athletic Director Kristy Walter has worked closely with Lasell’s trainers and team physicians on how to proceed with teams back on their field and court. Together, they have worked with other schools to see how Lasell could implement a plan to successfully get teams back in action.
Face masks are required while teams practice, as well as limiting the number of people players come into contact with. There are a maximum of ten individuals allowed during practice, referred to as a “pod.”
After asking Walter how she felt about giving teams the green light to practice, she said, “I’m super excited to get people out there but it’s still disappointing that we’re just practicing. It’s great to see everyone back out there and it’s definitely surreal to see everyone in their masks and their little pods.”
Relying on their team during a confusing time allows student-athletes an
easy transition from past seasons, according to Walter. “I think it’s great to see the students with their teammates and with their coaches working together and trying to get physically in shape, stay together, and grow as a team,” said Walter. “I’m excited to have people out there but at the end of the day it’s just practice. I think our coaches have done a really great job of staying fresh, coming up with really good ideas, while still following the guidelines and getting people back out there.”
Baseball head coach Bill Uberti is maximizing this time to help his players
work on themselves individually. “We can focus on individual development right now, in terms of breaking everyone’s swings down and really taking a close look at every one. In comparison to years past, we’d probably be scrimmaging and having a general outlook on the team.”
He said how important it is to remember to stay positive during a time where there is so much uncertainty. “Whenever there’s a negative, we try our best to spin it into a positive and beat it in their heads that this is the time to individually get better,” said Uberti.
As teams move through each two-week phase of returning, they can increase the number of people in a pod, leading up to a full practice. Athletes can share equipment during phases but it’s limited, depending on the sport. The process will be slow but in order to be able to compete, teams must be willing to go one step at a time.