By, Tomomi Menjo '13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – For anyone who has been following the Santa Clara University softball team, it's clear that this is an exciting time for the program. SCU is in the process of constructing an on-campus softball facility and the team will transition to an all-West Coast Conference (WCC) softball league starting in 2014. In order to prepare themselves for the upcoming season, and to build on the program's recent success, the Broncos have been working hard this summer in preparation for their fall schedule.
Fall Game Schedule (updated 9/20/12)
Friday, Oct. 12 @ San Jose City College 3 p.m.
Friday Oct. 19 @ San Jose State 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20 @ College San Mateo 12 noon
Wednesday, Oct. 31 SCU Red v. White Intrasquad TBD
Friday, Nov. 9 vs. TBD
Sunday, Nov. 11 @ Stanford 9 a.m. (DH)
"I think we are going to have a great team this year. We have a lot of experience. I haven't had a chance to see the incoming freshmen in action yet, but we are very excited for them to join the team," said senior outfielder Jamie Wallis, who scored 31 runs last season, ranking No. 5 in all-time SCU single-season history. Wallis played in all but one game in 2012, hitting .403 through the first 25 contests, and ended the year with six homeruns.
In addition to enhancing their specific softball skills, each student-athlete has been working with SCU Softball Strength and Conditioning Coach Sherman Trigg to improve their overall fitness. Each player was given a summer packet over the offseason, which included a weight training and cardio program. Players have been expected to work out on their own, if not directly with Coach Trigg.
As Wallis explained, "The team has really been focusing on fitness this summer. We hope to build a good foundation as far as strength and conditioning is concerned so that when we come back in the fall, we can really focus on the game. The girls that were able to stay in the area have been working out with Coach Trigg. I am really proud of the effort and dedication my teammates have shown this summer."
Any athlete would need that little extra push to work hard towards something great. Coach Trigg, who also trains the Bronco women's golf team and has worked with SCU women's soccer, motivates the players, in part, by having them set their own individual goals.
"I am a big believer in goal setting, and for most athletes playing at this level, that's enough to motivate them," says Trigg. "I also think that providing a good atmosphere, with organized workouts, helps them to achieve their goals. We will test three to four times a year in various activities so they can see how much they are improving or not."
Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize – a 1996 Olympian now in her fifth year coaching the Broncos - praises Trigg on his ability to relate to her players, his genuine interest in softball, and his knowledge of the sport. Mize also believes Trigg's implementation of sport-specific exercises will have a direct impact on her team's performance inside the lines.
Not only does the detailed program outlined by Coach Trigg challenge the SCU student-athletes both physically and mentally, the Broncos' new state-of-the-art on-campus practice field, and the luxury of having such a nice place to call home may allow them to develop even further.
"I think the new field is going to have a great impact on the team and the Santa Clara softball program moving forward," said Wallis. "It really gives us a sense of even more school pride and provides a little extra motivation. My teammates and I are really looking forward to playing on our new (field) … I've been looking forward to this ever since my freshman year."
The team hopes to gain additional support from their fellow SCU students and the campus community once they have a true home stadium, which will become a reality in the coming years once all phases of construction are completed. In order to prove how strong the team can become, the Broncos have been trying very hard to stay on task and stay focused on achieving their goals, which includes a well-rounded diet – an essential component to Trigg's conditioning program.
"Diet is something we talk about a lot. Without a proper diet it is impossible to make the gains we want through training," said Trigg. "The challenge is to maintain an adequate diet in the midst of a very busy college lifestyle. One of the biggest problems is to get the student-athletes to eat more often, as opposed to a huge meal at the end of the day."
The fall of 2012 marks the first preseason that Santa Clara softball will have benefited from working with Coach Trigg on a full-time basis. In the coming weeks, the Broncos will lift weights three days per week in conjunction with two additional days of cross training and conditioning. Team and individual practices begin later in September, and will run through mid-November.