By Tucker Paquette
Springfield College field hockey head coach Mia Olsen recently found herself a long distance away from Alden Street. However, this wasn’t a vacation for Olsen, as she was in Delaware to catch a showcase event highlighting recruits. While her team isn’t currently competing, the spring is a far cry from an offseason for Olsen and many other fall coaches at Springfield College.
Once the season comes to a close, there is plenty left on the agenda for coaches of various Springfield fall sports teams.
A common item on the proverbial offseason to-do-list for Olsen and her peers is recruiting. As a matter of fact, for a couple of Springfield College coaches, getting new players lined up is the focus of their offseason.
“I do a lot of tying loose ends with the season [during the offseason], but the most time-consuming offseason commitment is recruiting,” Olsen said. “The offseason is a really good opportunity to go to events and see people compete.”
Pride head women’s volleyball coach Moira Long echoes a similar sentiment with regards to how she spends her time in the offseason.
“A majority of what I’m doing out of season with regards to my team is recruiting,” Long said.
Much like Olsen, Long has traveled as part of her recruiting work. She has been to various places to work on building up the Pride’s talent pipeline, including Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Pennsylvania. Long and her staff also host recruits on campus and talk with them on the phone as part of this process.
For head football coach Mike Cerasuolo, recruiting is a key part of his offseason itinerary as well. But he and his staff make sure to place an emphasis on the players who are already on the team.
“What we try to prioritize more than anything is the kids in the program currently,” Cerasuolo said. “Those are the most important kids we have, because they’re here, they’ve committed to The Brotherhood and they want to develop.”
Cerasuolo thinks that the spring portion of the football offseason allows for more of an immersive learning experience for the players.
“We’re able to meet with the players more, be with them more and provide a quality experience [to them during spring practices],” Cerasuolo said.
While the coaches work on recruiting and maximizing the players already in-house, those players have work to do in their own right. A key component of this work is to get in the proper physical shape for the upcoming season.
Long has her players work with the team’s strength coach three days a week, and they also take part in open gyms two days a week. They go to the Wellness Center on the days where there is not an open gym.
Men’s and women’s head cross country coach Anna Steinman, who is also an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s track and field teams, likewise places an emphasis on lifting for the athletes on her team.
“The team runs indoor and outdoor track, and lifts all year round with different phases of training depending on the time of the year,” Steinman said.
Culture and team-building is an integral part of the offseason for sports teams at Springfield College.
Long has her team take part in various activities in this realm, as she holds leadership meetings with her players over the course of the offseason in addition to regularly meeting with her assistant coaching staff to discuss the team’s spring season.
Furthermore, the women’s volleyball team did several clinics with the Boys and Girls Club, and is doing clinics for the Special Olympics, as well.
The football team also does work with the community during the offseason, in addition to strength and conditioning training and growing players’ leadership skills.
Cerasuolo believes this wide variety of activities will be beneficial for his team’s players as they continue to develop at Springfield College.
“We’re not necessarily looking to keep them busy, we’re looking to add value to their experience,” Cerasuolo said.
Photo: Springfield Athletics