With a week of practice under its belt, the ASU women’s tennis team is noticing changes in its conditioning program.
Because of the NCAA’s eight-hour rule, teams are currently only allowed to physically be on the tennis court for two hours a week. The remaining six hours can only be used for conditioning. The rule will be in effect until Sept. 14 — six days before the team’s first tournament, the Michigan Invitational.
Sophomore Stephanie Vlad knows the routine until then.
“Most of what we’re doing is conditioning and weights,” Vlad said. “We only have two hours of tennis per week, so we’re emphasizing a lot on conditioning.”
There’s been one major change in the conditioning program since last season. Instead of swimming laps, the team is spending the majority of its time on the track and doing sprints.
“We have broadened our conditioning routine,” Vlad said. “Last year we did a lot of swimming. This year, we’re doing a lot of track work. … It’s a lot different.”
Vlad said she thinks that the change in the program has helped raise self-esteem, in addition to helping play on the court.
“I think (it’s made a difference),” Vlad said. “Because our conditioning program is really tough, everyone feels really good about themselves when they finish.”
In their limited time on the court, Vlad has been impressed with what she has seen in freshmen Kassidy Jump and Gussie O’Sullivan.
“I think the freshmen have done a really good job,” Vlad said. “They didn’t know what to expect, and I feel like each of them are pulling their weight.”
ASU hasn’t used its two hours this week yet, because head coach Sheila McInerney has been out of town. She spent Thursday through Tuesday at the US Open Junior Championships recruiting.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @EWeebs