Small but Mighty
by Kate McNeal | Class of 2024 | Jan. 9, 2021
With only 15 players in the basketball program, including one that was injured and unable to participate, the girls team faced a few obstacles at the beginning of the 2020-2021 season.
Practices were far more tiring with little sideline time.
But the strenuous practices helped build endurance faster in the girls so that there was a lesser need for substitutes during games.
Senior Kylee Sallee felt less standing around during practices and games made it easier to learn. “It’s more organized and structured and everybody’s constantly involved in drills,” said Sallee.” I think you definitely learn more by doing other than watching.”
Along with the already low numbers, COVID-19 added new struggles to the season. The team took extra precautions to prevent having to quarantine the whole team if a player were to get the virus. Some of these precautions included wearing masks all of practice, sanitizing the balls, and sanitizing their hands
after water breaks.
Another benefit of the small team is knowing and understanding each other better.
“It’s good because you’re playing with the same people all the time. You know what to expect from your teammates, whereas with a bigger team and more numbers, you’re often switching who you’re passing to and that type of stuff,” explains Sallee.
Bonding is a big part of being able to play with your team effectively. Both the head coach, Jeff Curley, and the players agree that the small numbers provide more opportunity to get to know each other.
Said Curley, “It’s easier from a coaching standpoint to get to know everybody and get to know their strengths, weaknesses, and needs.”