Back to basics, conditioning for Bulldogs
Gyms around Baldwin City are busy after school again, and that can only mean one thing, winter sports teams at Baldwin High School have begun practicing.
BHS basketball and wrestling teams started practices Monday afternoon.
BHS girls' basketball coach Bob Martin has enjoyed the first few days of practice.
"Everybody was pretty excited, like a typical first day," Martin said. "We look like we hadn't played in a while, but the enthusiasm was really good."
BHS wrestling coach Kit Harris has also seen a lot of excitement out of his team.
"It's been an exciting start," Harris said. "We have great numbers. I think this has been one of the best mental starts to the season. Kids are fired up and already working hard. It's been a lot of fun."
The difference between the team in one year has been very noticeable for BHS boys' basketball coach Heath Cooper.
"Compared to last year, it's night and day almost," Cooper said. "We are significantly better and I am really impressed with the freshman class. The first days are always sluggish and it's always going to be that way."
One of the main goals for the coaches this week has been running the athletes and focusing on the basics of the sport.
"We are working on getting them in shape and working on the basics," Martin said. "We will gradually start putting in our offense and defense. But we'll mainly be working on fundamentals the first week and kind of getting their feet into it."
Cooper also has been focusing on the simple things, while implementing running.
"Fundamentals are a big part of the game," Cooper said. "A lot of it is getting in shape, but we don't like to do a lot of running without the ball. There is no question, the first week is a lot of fundamentals."
Harris said he knows conditioning is important, but he also knows that will progress throughout the season.
"Conditioning will come throughout the season," Harris said. "Ultimately, we are focusing on the February state tournament. That's not something I am worried about now, but these drills will help work on conditioning."
Instead of conditioning drills, Harris has his team working on positions.
"I have been trying to focus on fast-paced positioning drills," Harris said. "The kids want to get in and wrestle. They don't like slow-paced teaching. It's boring. We are focusing on positions, and then we will throw technique in once we master the basic positions."
One thing each team will rely on is leadership from its seniors. Cooper hopes the seniors will guide this year's team.
"Our seniors have stepped up in terms of leadership in practice," Cooper said. "I think last year, experience was kind of our Achilles heel. This year it's going to help us out, since a lot of the guys have varsity experience."
The basketball teams will get their season underway on Dec. 2 at home. The wrestlers will have their first meet Dec. 3, but they will also have their annual Purple-White dual at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30.