Snow Leopards: The effects of indoor training

Jessica Deutsch

Photo by Christie Behot ‘16

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The Lafayette baseball field has been covered in snow for weeks.

The seemingly never-ending snow has forced Lafayette baseball to move from the diamond to its indoor facility for preseason practices. Based on the weather conditions forecasted for this week, it should be more of the same.

Each position has various obstacles to overcome when only training indoors.

Third base is one of the most difficult infield positions due to the hard line drives and ground balls rocketing in that direction with just a split second to react.

“Inside we do some drills where our coach hits reflex balls at us and you just have to react to them, which translates to the game,” junior third baseman Robbie Caliento said. “It’s tough to actually simulate ground balls but we do the best we can.”

These reaction drills employed by the coaches are crucial for third basemen especially in the beginning part of the season when the weather can still be cold. The cold can also tighten up muscles more quickly, which makes the throw from third to first base difficult.

All hitters face the problem of translating indoor batting practice to outdoor success.

“It’s a different perspective hitting indoors than outdoors,” catcher Zach Gross ‘15 said. “It’s hard bringing what we’ve practiced for four weeks inside to outdoor games. In terms of vision you see the ball differently; inside the conditions are tighter.”

Outfielders are also forced to change their usual training, according to center fielder and tri-captain Andrew Santomauro ‘14.

“Inside we can’t practice catching fly balls so we just do footwork and first step drills to track down balls efficiently in games,” he said.

Despite the various issues practicing indoors may present, Lafayette feels fortunate to have an indoor facility unlike many of their counterparts in the Patriot League. The Leopards continued to train in the Morel Field House this week before they left for George Washington University on Thursday for a weekend series.

Hopefully, they will return to warmer weather.