The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Volleyball team wants change, increases intensity

    Since returning to campus this summer, members of the Mississippi State volleyball team have been put to the test by their new coaches. Head coach Tina Seals and her staff have intensified the team’s conditioning and practice habits to a level they have never endured.
    “We are only allowed 20 hours a week to (be with the team,) so we do a lot of our conditioning in practice,” Seals said. “We like to run mostly high intensity drills, and we don’t like a lot of standing around. We’re trying to keep the intensity at game level.”
    The team’s schedule begins each morning with an hour-and-a-half session focusing primarily on weightlifting and conditioning.
    This prefaces the afternoon session which is typically two-and-a-half hours. The afternoon focuses more on team drills and serve-receive exercises.
    “We should probably devote more time to skill and technique-type drills,” Seals said, “But considering the huge amount of freshmen we have, I think it’s more important right now to focus on learning each other and how to play together.”
    This practice schedule is a new thing to Seals, too. She did not run as intense of a schedule at Northwest Shoals Community College in Alabama. She attributes the system to the combination of the coaching staff’s backgrounds.
    “Not only is this new to the coaching staff, but we are new to each other, too,” Seals said. “We’re still trying to learn each other’s coaching styles, so (the practice schedule) is actually a combination of three different systems.”
    Under last year’s staff, the team practiced once daily during the season and twice daily in the off-season. That effort yielded a 3-22 record, second only to Auburn in SEC losses.
    However, under this year’s staff, off-season practices were held three times a day and were trimmed to the two-a-day schedule after fall classes started. Senior Ashley Sledge says the practices are tough, but that they are much easier when you have coaches who are as intent on winning as this staff is.
    “It’s definitely more intense,” Sledge huffed as she squeezed a puddle of sweat from her practice jersey. “But they’re just trying to push us to be ready for SEC play.”
    Junior Andrea Mead says that the extra work has improved the team discipline level.
    “We’re not so lackadaisical all the time. These coaches are more serious and picky, which really makes you want to give 110 percent every time you step on the floor.”
    Mead also sees the team growing closer through the practices.
    “The intensity makes you depend on each other more. When you’re frustrated, your teammates are there to keep you going,” Mead said. “Last year there was not as much intensity, and so there was no need to depend on each other. This team definitely has more heart than last year’s squad.”

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    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Volleyball team wants change, increases intensity