UWBadgers.com sat down with head coach Yvette Healy to discuss the first week of practice. The Badgers kicked off the season on Jan. 17 and play in their first game Feb. 17.
How did the first week of practice go?
"The first week back looked good. We spent a lot of the time making sure physically we are in great shape. Practice is a lot more creative than usual. A lot more running, jumping, diving, medi balls, jump ropes, ladders and juggling. Fun stuff like that. We are really working on some differential learning with the team, trying to get them active besides just softball skills.
Were there any surprises the first week?
"Molly Spence had been hurt and she was out last year. Even with being in some pain and being out, she hits the ball a ton. It is really fun as a staff to see her hit live and hit in scrimmages. She is a tremendous athlete and she is someone you can't help but notice when you are watching practice."
You worked on fitness the first week, what does the second week include?
"We are getting into a little more philosophy stuff. We are working a lot on our swings. I think we have a lot of potential to hit home runs and attack that record. Coach Schneider has been doing a lot of the science behind it and working with our team on torque and their bat positioning, creating velocity and increasing bat speed. (There has been) a lot of strength stuff, vision training and then just your basic, grounders, fly balls and breaking down the skill and re-teaching it. I think you spend the second week tearing apart your fundamentals, making sure you are all on the same page and re-teaching. It is a great week going into a weekend of camp to have our team reviewing all of those fundamentals."
What are your goals for the next two and a half weeks of practice?
"Every week we try to advance what we are doing and just make sure we are getting better from a pitching, fielding, defensive and hitting stand point, each aspect of the game. We are ramping it up to feel more like game situations, but we were careful not to jump right in and just go from 0 to 60 right away. Really the first weeks are about getting your fundamentals down and being in great shape and having the team work really hard and get in extra work.
"The next couple weeks will really start to feel like game
mode, where every drill feels more a little more rushed, a little more sense of
urgency, a little more game like.