Due to weather and insufficient facilities, Oswego State athletics have had to cope with training indoors, a less effective tool for growth and development.
Although athletes and coaches agreed that they would like to get their team outside sooner than they are able to now, they also said that working out inside is a good time to focus on strength training. Dan Witmer, head coach of the Oswego State men’s lacrosse team, said he would like his team to do more work in the weight room year round.
Witmer said before their season starts, he tests his players in four quarter mile runs in less than 90 seconds, bench press, counting the amount of pushups and sit-ups they can do in a minute and a 5K (3.1 mile) run.
At the same time, coaches agree that if they were able to have their teams outside practicing earlier, they would, because training inside does not challenge their teams enough.
Although teams can work out in the weight room for strength training, coaches said their teams are not where they would like them to be endurance-wise and have not been prepared for game-like situations.
Spring teams can start officially training on Feb. 1 with their coach. They are often battling for gym times, space and a proper environment to get them prepared for their season.
"Training inside isn’t dangerous, but practicing on Romney’s existing turf and the concrete slab is," Witmer said."The gym is safe, but for field sports, it’s like a basketball team practicing inside someone’s garage; it’s just not the same."
"We don’t typically begin outside training until we go to Florida and then we usually have to come back inside when we return," said Chyrisse Conte, head coach of Oswego State women’s softball. "So, really there is no outside training. We work in Romney Field House and at Laker Hall."
Brian Wallace, manager of the fitness centers at Oswego State said it is commonly believed that running or biking outdoors is a bit harder, generating a "better" workout. In addition, there are hills to deal with. Sports teams would benefit running over a surface since it mimics what they do in competition, Wallace said.
Frank Paino, Oswego State baseball coach and head of the Laker Hall weight room said some of the effects of training inside would be lack of oxygen and lack of the correct surface to play on so your game speed is not true.
Paino and Conte both explain they are inside longer than other teams such as SUNY Oneonta, SUNY New Paltz and the University of Rochester. Paino said the best solution would be to place turf in Romney and add two outdoor practice and game turffields. Players on the baseball team would also like to get outside earlier to train.
"It is different throwing a baseball, seeing a ball, and actually playing the game inside than it outside," baseball team captain Bryan Stark said.
Paino also said he is able to do more with his team outside and said it would benefit his team to be able to train longer outside.
Witmer said the team is inside because they don’t have turf.
"If we had turf and plowed it, we’d be outside in February," Witmer said.
His solution to this is to renovate Romney with a field turf surface and build a turf field or two.
Witmer also believes in occasional distance runs outside. He said he believes it develops toughness and immunity to the weather.
Romney Field House consists of extremely old, thin turf and cement floors.
"Oswego State University needs turf fields and a turfed Romney field house," Paino said.
"Having a proper indoor training facility is crucial for better training and success," Wallace said.
He agreed that not having one is detrimental to Oswego State Athletics.