Despite the summer season coming to an end next week, it doesn’t seem like Mother Nature seems to care that in Poughkeepsie, NY, September 21 is the beginning oft he fall season. Changing leaf colors, cooler temperatures, pumpkin picking and all the other wonderful Hudson Valley perks occur during this time of the year. At Marist College, September is not usually as hot as the other summer month of the year, but students and staff and community members continue to prepare their days for nearly 90-degree weather and severe humidity.
For the tennis team at Marist College this means staying hydrated, keeping the rally of the tennis ball going and somewhat faking it until they make it to the end of practice. Or at least that’s what the coaches think they are doing to battle the unexpected heat during the third week of college. On such a hot day (nearly 15-degrees above average temperatures) for this time of year, the coaching staff had some tips to playing smart in such conditions. “Preparing before the day, hydrating in the morning before practice is necessary for a successful day,” said head coach Tim Smith. By the time players reach practice they need to have already been drinking water to battle the heat and sun. While the head coach worries about hydration the assistant coach Ron Lane discussed “making sure players take breaks ever 20-30 minutes after intense work outs.”Quick breaks throughout the practices can ensure that no one gets exhausted and keep seach session efficient enough to complete without any serious injuries.
Coaches also discussed the importance of being aware of the weather from the beginning to the end of the week. Head coach Tim Smith has expectations for his team stating, “players need to come into practice ready for the hottest weather, if not I cannot conduct practices properly.”
While some days fair hotter than others the health of the team during the season is everyone’s top concern and with the weather a serious threat at times it’s important for everyone to work together to ensure successful seasons year after year. As a result former Clemson tennis player and now assistant Coach Derek Difazio takes some of the tricks he learned during his time as a division 1 player and applies it to his coaching. “On the hottest days I always used to enjoy putting the towels in ice buckets, allowing for maximum cool downs during quick breaks,” Difazio expressed.
Players took short breaks in the shade; they drank lots of water throughout, team captain Rudi Corto brought up a good point of constantly communicating with his team member for any issues caused by the heat. “I want to know if any of the players are feeling sick, dizzy, exhausted, players who are maybe to embarrassed to say something toa coach,” said Corto . After sitting through one practice session, a hot and humid day, the tennis team did everything discussed by the coaches, which all proved vital to the success of the day.