Spring practices get teams going full-steam

Gabe Pacheco

Spring is the time when athletes begin their training – a long stretch that, for them, paves the way to fall.

Most students are still recovering from final exams and essays, but Sacramento State athletes are building endurance and strength and hardening themselves against exhaustion.

Players will log countless miles during this process that makes sweat drip from foreheads and noses and T-shirts stick to rippling bodies.

“The importance of spring workouts is very high,” said sophomore point guard Dylan Garrity. “All of us got a paper with a list of things we need to improve on. The purpose of these workouts is to try and improve on our weaknesses to make them our strengths.”

Garrity said it is a grueling task that affects his body throughout the day with soreness, lack of rest and hunger. 

“The waking up early in the morning is hard to get used to but – after doing it for two years now, I can say it’s gotten easier, but still is no fun at all,” Garrity said. “Especially when we have class after and no time to take a nap; it becomes very difficult to stay awake and pay attention. Also, what’s hard is not getting a chance to eat a good breakfast because we usually go straight from the gym to class.”

Hornets’ men’s head coach Brian Katz said his players’ workout routines put them in the weight room lifting three to four times a week, and he requires each player to workout two hours individually every week. 

“We are really excited about our guys’ developments,” Katz said. “We see daily improvements and a little more experience from players starting to show up a bit more. We have (Mikh) McKinney and Garrity back, and (Cody) Demps with a year under his belt. They are starting to show a spurt of tranquility, and really improving on what they are expected to be for next year.”

Spring workouts can also be a team-bonding experience in an effort to get through some of the most intense workouts many of them will face. 

Hornet’s women junior point guard Alle Moreno said her team workouts often center around speed and quickness.  

In a system coached by Hornets’ head coach Jamie Craighead, who operates an intense full-court press, it is important each athlete is able to move well, Moreno said.

“We, as a team, really try and work on our speed and agility,” Moreno said. “We work on pushing and getting off the ground quickly to move from spot to spot as fast as we can.”

During her individual workouts, Moreno said she is constantly working with her coaches on how to improve her one-on-one scoring ability and ball handling.

“As an individual during the spring, I like to work on my weaknesses,” Moreno said. “Right now, I’m working on my step back to the right and maybe a couple other moves to get the defender on their toes so they don’t know if I’m going to shoot the three or drive. Shooting, shooting, shooting is always what I work on.”


Gabe can be reached on Twitter at @sh_sports