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Why Shannon Doepking changed SU’s practice schedule this season

first_img Comments Before the sun even rises, Alex Acevedo’s alarm sounds at 5:45 a.m. On practice mornings, Acevedo then has 45 minutes to get ready and hop on the bus from her South Campus apartment to Manley Field House. This wasn’t always her morning routine. It’s new to her and the rest of her teammates.She has just enough time to really wake up, get dressed, grab a granola bar and get to the locker room by 6:30 a.m. Fifteen minutes later, she’s dressed and ready, stretching and preparing for another Syracuse (4-9) softball practice. First-year head coach Shannon Doepking has brought multiple changes to SU’s in-game approach after the departure of Mike Bosch. Before enacting on-field switches, Doepking decided to switch the Orange practices to the mornings this spring — something none of the players have experienced before.To help deal with class conflicts and ensure that the full team could attend practice two to three times a week, Doepking had no other choice. In the fall, Syracuse had five or more players miss practice with class conflicts on any given day, sophomore Miranda Hearn said. Because of early-season travel, most players already miss Thursday and Friday classes to attend weekend tournaments.“Class schedules here are crazy. Almost every single day we were missing people in practice,” Doepking said. “If we need to go at 7 a.m., we’ll go at 7 a.m. to make sure the whole team is there.”For Hearn and Acevedo, the morning practices change their entire daily routine. On days with afternoon meetups, Acevedo said she would roll out of bed and go to class but frequently felt “tired” during her morning classes. With an ability to exercise and have practice off her mind by 10 a.m., Acevedo said her routine is more “normal.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen Doepking coached at Dartmouth before SU, she didn’t face as many scheduling issues. While all SU athletes get first choice to pick classes, senior Bryce Holmgren said that Doepking noticed there are more class enrollment offerings in the afternoon than the morning. So, the Orange switched.“You get your priorities out of the way in the morning,” Hearn said, “… I feel like I did something productive in the morning.”Once practice begins at 7 a.m., the Orange first work on skill-based drills and batting before switching to more fitness-based workouts. They practice indoors until they arrive at outdoor weekend tournaments, but Doepking said she tries to simulate game scenarios in practice.“Working out puts you in a better mood due to endorphins,” Hearn said. “I feel like I’m in a better mood throughout the day.”The practices sometimes create chaos for some SU players to make it to class, Acevedo said. While practice typically ends around 10:40 a.m., some players have class 20 minutes after. Often, Acevedo doesn’t have the chance to shower. Multiple players pack into older teammates’ cars and scramble to main campus just minutes before class.“I am not a morning person by any means, I actually hate the mornings,” Doepking said. “… A lot of times they have a chance to take naps and catch up on schoolwork because you’re not sitting around waiting for practice to start.”Instead of having an upcoming practice on her mind, Acevedo’s softball portion of her day is over before some students are even awake. On week nights, Acevedo is in bed, sometimes as early as 9 p.m., ready to rise when her alarm rings again at 5:45 the next morning. Published on February 25, 2019 at 10:47 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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