The Mount Saint Joe community takes pride in the athletic teams. Massive investments are made to ensure that athletes are the best they can be, giving them a higher chance of winning tournaments and games. But while MSJ loves to give attention and plenty of details to the matches and competitions, practices are only mentioned as a footnote.
You really don’t know what practices for some of these sports are like unless you are on that respective sports team. So what should a new student, or someone who wants to be involved in athletics, expect from some of these practices?
To get insight into what some of these practices are like, I attempted to contact some of the coaches for these sports teams. I contacted Mr. Jack Peach of the cross country team and Mr. Sam Bianco of the volleyball team. Some questions I asked included how long practices last, what exercises take place, and where these practices are held.
The first person I reached out to was Mr. Peach, the coach of the cross country team. The majority of the athletes’ workouts include a whole lot of running. Mr. Peach said, “The athlete’s workouts vary between running hills, doing track workouts, or just running long runs.” Practices usually last for around 2-3 hours, and usually take place on Campus. However, Sometimes the team runs at Patapsco or Centennial Park.
The cross country team is usually expected to run 5-7 miles per practice. However, Mr. Peach says, “Newer runners may only run about 4-5 miles.” The expectation for the athletes is to run every day; however, rest days are worked into the schedule.
The second person I interviewed was Mr. Bianco, the volleyball team’s coach. Most workouts include plyometrics, a type of exercise that uses speed and force to build muscle power. Mr. Bianco says, “Practices usually focus on explosive movements. I like to combine skill work with conditioning.”
Practices take place in the Smith Center and occur 6 days a week. The time that practices last depends on whether it is pre-season or not. During pre-season, practices last for 3 hours, while during the season, practices last for only 2 hours.
According to Mr. Bianco, practices consist of a warm-up, 2 three man drills, serving and passing drills, and 3-6 additional drills. Mr. Bianco states, “There are around 8-10 exercises per practice.” However, he added that breaks are worked into the schedule.
Hopefully, this article will shed light on a typical practice for MSJ sports. Though they seem very different, the structure is similar. This information may encourage someone new to this school to try some of the athletic programs, and to know what to expect when they show up for workouts.