Coach Mike Mello strategizes on ways to defend the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title
The varsity softball team has high expectations to meet considering the team won the 2019 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title. Even though five seniors graduated last year. Coach Mike Mello is preparing to defend the title. He can’t officially start working with the team until next year. One key element that he is planning is the conditioning training that starts Jan. 1. Softball is considered to be in the top 10 list of power sports requiring muscle strength and agility.
Strong muscles and flexibility is required since softball has a high risk of injury because players are required to quickly dive or sprint for fast balls at a moment’s notice. Mello requires all students who wish to try out for the team to be enrolled in softball weights. This helps strengthen the muscles in the off-season.
“Staring in January we’ll do a lot of different plyometrics stuff, level ladder drills, a lot of short runs, quick distance runs, and we’ll do a lot of running the bleachers,” Mello said. “All students who want to try out for either varsity or JV teams will need to participate.”
“It’s very important to do conditioning for softball, just to get the girls strong and conditioned to last throughout that time period. It’s a short season, but it’s a long season where we practice five days a week and we have two games each week, so the conditioning is very important to get them and their bodies ready to get through that grueling three months that we play ball,” Mello said.
by Lexi Lopez