Share This Page

QV, Sewickley Academy coaches value preseason practice for winter sports

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Yoga is part of one team's workouts as squads at Quaker Valley and Sewickley Academy prepare for winter sports seasons that will begin over the next couple weeks.

Members of the cooperative swim team formed with boys and girls from the two schools will participate in exercises designed to promote control of the mind and body. In yoga, breath control, meditation and bodily postures are practiced for better health and relaxation.

“It's good for the mind and increases flexibility, which is good for swimmers,” coach Sue Morgan said. “We will include it as part of dry-land exercises.”

Nothing as exotic is planned in other sports, including boys and girls basketball, where fundamentals are stressed.

“We will be working on offense and skill development, with an even greater attention to defense,” Quaker Valley girls coach Jim Dudas said.

Sewickley Academy boys coach Win Palmer has taken a similar approach to his team's workouts.

“Preseason practices (are) when we put in our defensive system,” he said. “About 70 percent of our practice time will be focused on the fundamentals of individual and team defense.”

Quaker Valley boys coach Mike Mastroianni considers preseason practices the most important of all.

“Your foundation of your team is developed and the expectations of your program are established,” he said. “We have a lot of work in front of us.”

Since the beginning of the school year, Sewickley Academy girls coach Allen Vaccarelli has kept the gym open for players interested in sharpening their skills. But there have been few participants because many girls play fall sports.

“We have been doing offseason open gym sessions twice a week,” Vaccarelli said. “This allows a small number of girls the opportunity to get extra work and attention on their skills.”

The Sewickley Academy hockey team is awaiting the arrival of four players from the boys soccer team, which has been participating in the PIAA playoffs.

“Things are going well considering we don't have all our kids,” coach Ryan Patrick said.

Before beginning its season in October, the Quaker Valley hockey team had camp and preseason practices in August.

“Preseason is very important,” coach Kevin Quinn said. “We played in (a) tournament and (scheduled) scrimmages to see where we are and what we need to improve.”

Senior Clayton Bouchard said preseason workouts have made him better.

“It's a good way to get the intensity back and work on your stickhandling,” said Bouchard, 18. “You become rusty.”

The Quaker Valley bowling club will have a handful of practices before beginning its season this month.

“People don't think of bowlers practicing, but they do,” coach Greg Vecchi said. “Practice prepares you for the speed of the game.

“There are 10 bowlers on two lanes. Kids have to get used to that.”

Junior Michelle Starke enjoys practices.

“We encourage and help each other,” she said. “We'll give advice to go on this side, or go left or right.

“We have a really good time. We become friends.”

Senior Troy Gleason said he and some teammates also practice as members of junior leagues.

“Some of the bowlers we bowl against belong to (junior leagues), too,” said Gleason, 17. “It gives us chances to scope out the opposition.”

Sewickley Academy bowling coach Antonio Palangio agreed that practice is as important to bowlers as it is to athletes in other sports.

“If you miss a spare, you know that's something you have to work on,” he said. “It's like when you miss free throws in a basketball game--you keep practicing until you get it right.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.