For student-athletes at Tallahassee Community College, getting back to the court is the common goal. However, so is staying safe. Coaches and staff have been working during the last few months to come up with a safety plan effective for all sports.
The Eagles will officially kick off their basketball season in January.
Rob Chaney, TCC’s athletic director, said coming up with a realistic plan involved all staff members.
“It’s been a team effort since March. There wasn’t a playbook or rulebook ready for how to adapt during a pandemic. For us, the one thing we talked about from the beginning was, we were going to come up with a realistic plan for TCC,” Chaney said.
Each week the women’s basketball team holds morning practices. Once a week the players participate in three-on-three games, allowing them to work in smaller groups.
Matt Huddleston, head coach for the women’s basketball team, thinks this time is tough for many college athletes.
“Usually during a season you’re talking to your players about basketball concepts and the team concepts you’re trying to teach. This year has been incredibly unique and a challenge for all coaches I know but I think mental health becomes number one,” Huddleston said.
Throughout this time, Huddleston has been encouraging his players by checking in on their mental health and making sure they are checking on their families.
“I think for college athletes right now there is an additional level of pressure because they want to be out here competing but we’re asking them to go above and beyond,” Huddleston added.
The men’s basketball team holds its practices in the evening. For head coach Zach Settembre, focusing on being the best is the goal for this year.
“Our guys are focused on trying to be the best for themselves every single day. I’m proud of our guys and their approach in terms of coming in and working very hard consistently, so we’re just taking things day by day,” Settembre said.
Although the Eagles won’t officially start their season until January, coaches and staff look forward to improving their skills both on and off the court.
Ladarius Knight, shooting guard for the Eagles, says his team is making the proper adjustments to win.
“Defense is the most important thing. If we want to win when the season gets here, we have to work on defense,” Knight said.
To stay updated on the women’s and men’s basketball schedule visit their website at www.tcceagles.com