Mark Mitchell, Staff Writer
Whether it’s rain, sleet or snow, the Pioneers will be out on the field practicing and playing each week so that they are ready for their games to come.
During the fall season, athletes can begin to run into harsh weather conditions during practice and games. But Central New York’s weather patterns are unpredictable, so UC’s athletes have to be prepared for anything when it is time for practice or kickoff.
Kaitlynn Palmer, a junior midfielder on the field hockey team, explained that practice and games are totally different when it comes to staying warm and not freezing.
“Cold weather games are a totally different story because in practice we can bundle up in hoodies or jackets, but in games, we are expected to wear our blue long sleeve Under Armours and that’s it,” Palmer said.
“I sometimes will wear some gloves to keep my hands warm.”
In the past, the fall season has produced some wintry days, which can cause issues with practice times and effect teams’ production levels. Luckily, fall sports have regained the use of the dome, giving them the ability to practice indoors when the weather is too bad.
“We try to utilize the dome as much as possible because we don’t have to worry about tightening up from cold weather,” Palmer said.
“Usually, we will use the dome the day before a game if it is cold outside just so that we don’t risk our bodies to injury and are healthy for the game.”
Hali Vandermeulen, a junior goaltender for the women’s lacrosse team, said the dome has saved their team from missing practice time in the spring.
“We are super fortunate to have the dome so we don’t worry about playing in the freezing cold,” Vandermeulen said.
“It’s a huge advantage, especially in January when there is snow on the ground still. We do our lift and conditioning, but also, we do our stick work and regular practice in the dome.”
All athletes have unique ways of dealing with the harsh conditions during games or practice.
Kevin Chisari, a senior linebacker, said that he loves the feeling he gets after making a big play in the cold because it reminds him of when he was young and played football outside in the snow.
“I don’t think about it when I am playing; I am just focused on what I have to do during the game,” Chisari said.
“We have to focus on staying hydrated, even though it’s not hot, because you can still cramp up and not play at your full potential, even though we’re not sweating as much.”
Fall athletes, just like all other athletes throughout the academic year, face challenges with weather conditions that can cause them to risk injuring themselves or others.
“Stretching is the most important thing to me when the weather is a little cold because I don’t want my muscles to tighten up during the game and not be able to play at 100 percent,” Palmer said.
“Our coach does a good job to make sure we are fully warmed up before a game and keeping us moving so that we don’t tighten up.”