Summer is the time for student athletes to prepare for their upcoming academic and athletic year and is the best time for athletes to rehab from an injury. The addition of Texas A&M University-Commerce’s first ever strength and conditioning coach, Lance Farmer, in spring of 2012 added an extra edge for athletes last summer who chose to stay in Commerce.
This summer is a different story. With both the soccer field and football field being redone at the same time, Farmer and his athletes struggle to find a place outside to workout.
Farmer monitors the weight room in Whitley Gym and offers weight and running times for athletes in football and Olympic sports. Last year the running workouts were conducted on the football field, where athletes from every sport used different areas to do their sport-specific workout. As a soccer player for the university, I find the mounds of dirt on the only two fields athletes have to work out on more than aggravating.
It’s safe to say I speak for my whole team when I say the new soccer field is a much needed and much appreciated improvement to our facilities, but I don’t see why the football field couldn’t have waited until next summer.
Last summer, the atmosphere on the turf was encouraging and made the hard workouts under the Commerce sun somewhat fun despite my burning toes inside my black cleats. Basketball girls ran on one side of the field, while the soccer girls worked across from them on the same half and the football guys ran their sprints on the other half; all observed by the volleyball girls and runners doing their work around the track.
The absence of a field this summer has restricted workouts in several ways. 100 yard repeats have been condensed to 50 yard repeats done in the patch of grass behind the bleachers, and only one running time is offered.
There are about half as many athletes here this summer, and we almost never see each other. In addition, rehab for soccer and football athletes is usually conducted outside on the field in order for them to properly work on agility and speed while getting used to running in the heat again. With no field, these athletes stay inside on the gym, which can slow down agility work as cutting is harder when your tennis shoes are slipping on gym surface.
Maybe it was inevitable, but I think the Lions and the school spirit they can control would prosper more had the football field endured one more year.
Allie Burks is a summer intern for the Commerce Journal. She is a student at Texas A&M University-Commerce and is a member of the soccer team.