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Winter conditioning and drills begin

Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 10:28 AM EST
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Fort Fairfield Maine (WAGM) - The winter sports season would normally be underway by now. The first basketball and hockey games would have been played last Friday with ski meets, and wrestling matches also on the schedule.Of course this year because of COVID-19 it is very different. Teams could begin conditioning and drills today with social distancing.

Vaughn Mclaughlin:” You got to change your drill patterns and keep kids safe, but the first week or two I spend a lot of time doing individual drills anyway and try to build skills. We do fundamentals and will do them in the gym and keep kids working on the game and getting better at the game. That is what we are trying to do to start with. We are going to have to do it longer with four weeks of that.”

The veteran Tiger coach says the players are excited to be in the gym and working on the fundamentals while still staying 6 feet apart.

McLaughlin:” We are fortunate to have a gym that has six baskets at it. We are going to make this work. We are going to make it work because it is an opportunity. If we don’t take this opportunity we don’t get to play at all. I think we are going to make it work.”

The Maine Principals Association and the State announced that the start of full practices has been pushed back to January. That means that teams who are starting conditioning now will have a month of no scrimmages and close contact and that could be a challenge to keep the players interested.

McLaughlin:” We are going to do individual work when we get to a point where we can do team work, my hope is we can have these players in such good shape that nobody gets hurt. It will be a lot like Belichick trying to run the Patriots right now. It is going to take us longer to get team building things. Running offenses and running off screens and those kinds of things in play. As long as we have the individual skills and no one gets hurt and the kids get a chance to play.”

McLaughlin also feels this will be a good insight into the makeup of the team. Even though they can’t bond the way they normally do this will be a growing experience for everyone.

McLaughlin:” We are going to do everything we can to make this a competitive opportunity. You really find out how mature players are if you can be an individual who is ready to work on your game as an individual and stick with it for four weeks. That is going to be a challenge, but I think we have some kids who are ready to step up to that.”

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