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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

When the weather gets tough, the tough wear a pair of mittens

<ir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-4c0a21ad-e8e0-39fe-435c-8ce332543257">One of the hardest parts about playing travelling volleyball in high school was having to wake up at 4 a.m. for a 6 a.m. tournament. Since we played in the heart of winter, waking up to a black sky was rough. But walking into the volleyball warehouse, and realizing I couldn’t wear my mittens, hat, sweatpants, my other pair of sweatpants and boots, was brutal. It took almost an entire game for my hands to stop stinging every time I hit the ball because of the temperature outside. Sometimes the warehouse was colder than the temperature outside because the fans and air conditioner would be turned on for circulation. I love volleyball–don’t get me wrong–but I cannot say I miss those cold days.  

But while I like to think I had it bad, I can never imagine playing an outdoor sport when the cold weather hits. For the most part, most of the athletes that I interviewed at Carleton shook their head when I asked if they liked playing in cold weather. I have always had so much respect for athletes who play outdoor sports. There is so much that can affect a game or a race: wind, rain, snow, humidity, temperature. Every day is different which means that mentally, an athlete must be prepared to think about how outliers, such as weather, can affect their game. Bad weather makes everything a little awkward and uncomfortable. Eric McGregor ’19, a corner on the varsity football team, said that playing football can still be fun in the cold as long as you are moving and staying warm. He laughed when he told me that his football coach in high school had a rule about not wearing sleeves under jerseys during games. “We’d play in 20 degree weather and our coach still wouldn’t let us wear sleeves,” McGregor said. McGregor also compared playing football to baseball in cold temperatures. He commented that when he played baseball, it was hard to stay warm because sometimes you’d stand in the same position for long periods of time.  

Varsity men’s golfer Sam Reategui ’19 shared with me a similar experience when he stated that playing in cold weather makes it “extremely difficult to maintain touch around the greens. Playing in low temperatures makes your hands and arms extremely cold and since we aren’t constantly moving around, it is very easy to get tight while playing.”

Mia Orans ’17, a senior and also captain of the varsity women’s softball team, said that while it is fun to play outside when it is sunny and warm, playing in the cold weather, especially when the team has back to back games that last from early morning until late at night, can be tiring. She emphasized that weather affects an athlete’s mental game, as well. Thinking about how cold you are can sometimes be distracting, especially when you’re trying to get excited and ready for a game.  Caroline Duke, a senior softball player, explained that one of the hardest things to do in softball when it’s cold outside is swinging a bat. “It can sting your hands and make you a little slower on your swing,” Duke said. One of her tricks before softball and volleyball games is to wear mittens so that she can keep her hands warm.  

So I guess the real question here is: When will the NCAA allow you to wear mittens during a game?

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