Over the past couple of weeks activity on campus has slowly begun to increase as the Lightning basketball teams have returned to campus starting some off-season dryland training.
Since the middle of march the Lightning athletic teams have been shut down with no scheduled practices, workouts or scrimmages. During those three months the individual athletes were in contact with their coaches, trainer and athletics department in an effort to develop plans that could work with each of them to continue their training.
“Being given the opportunity to return to campus and start dryland training is a fantastic step in the right direction,” said Nathan Ruff, Athletic Director at St. Mary’s University and the Lightning Men’s basketball coach. “The current pandemic has left a list of unknowns and dramatically changed the day to day life of society. Having the opportunity to start training again can give our athletes a small semblance of life before the pandemic.”
The return to training protocols for the athletes follow strict AHS guidelines and procedures to ensure each athlete and the greater university community is safe during these times. Social distance protocols are in place to ensure everyone safety.
“With the season of play still in question the training is paramount to combat any detraining that would occur over extended periods of time. It is important to begin training and build the athletes back up over time to reduce risk of injury when practices begin,” said Ruff. “The purpose of our training to get the athletes back to a base level of training and then begin to work on strength, agility and speed for the upcoming season.”
Ruff believes the benefits are not only physical but have a great positive effect on the mental state of the athletes. He sees first hand that the being able to see each other and do the work outs together for each of these team athletes is a tremendous advantage giving them a sense of belonging to a team, some social interaction and a slight return to normal.
Up next for the Lightning will be developing return to train protocols for teams to get back to work on skills. Each protocol and procedure follows extensive checks and balances and is solely focused on the well being and health of each person involved. The team effort of all St. Mary’s University staff to have the Lightning return to dryland training and who constantly work with them each day is a testament to the amazing culture of St. Mary’s University.