By Shameka Smith
Although the Lady Spartan basketball team is far from starting their first game, that doesn’t stop them from training hard to prepare for their season that starts this winter. Due to the training and hard work, according to CNCC women’s basketball head coach Antowin Edwards, the overall talent and size of the team has improved since last year.
“We are much bigger than last year,” Edwards said. “We were small, but not anymore.”
The Lady Spartans started working on skills and conditioning by Aug. 23 and have been training hard ever since. According to sophomore Da’Naiveia McDade, they have been training for about three hours a day.
“We can feel ourselves getting in better shape,” Mcdade said. “The less tired you are, the better you perform.”
However, some distractions have interrupted their practices, leading to the enforcement of “closed practices.”
“We have closed practices because (having people watch) is a distraction,” Edwards said. “(Players) will be focused on what’s…on the side instead of what’s on the floor.”
With fewer distractions, the team is working harder than ever.
“We work hard in practice and we are very aggressive at everything,” McDade said. “We always go hard on one another.”
Apart from working inside of the gym, the lady Spartans also hit the weight room, attend study hall, and occasionally run outside when someone on the team breaks the rules.
“We are tired from running a lot, but it will pay off,” McDade continues.
When athletes train hard, injuries often occur. During the course of their training, there have been muscle tears, dislocations, and sprains amongst the Lady Spartans. According to Edwards, the reason for most of these injuries was the fact that the athletes came to CNCC out of shape.
To prevent further injuries, coach Edwards tells his athletes to take care of their bodies, rest, and drink plenty of fluids on their days off.
When asked what injuries she had acquired from training, McDade responded, “just soreness from not stretching right.”
Despite last year’s record of 3-28 for the Lady Spartans, this year’s expectations for the team are set higher.
“We have a chance to be good, but the wins and losses, I don’t know,” Edwards said. “If we play well, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”
The team has a positive attitude and players are going into the season with their heads held high.
“Everyone has a will to win, but few have a will to prepare to win,” Edwards said. “And if we prepare to win, we will be successful.”
Starting Oct. 22, the Lady Spartans will begin preseason scrimmage games. Check out the Lady Spartans game schedule located online or at various places throughout town and come support them!
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