Lady Broncos hit the sand

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MIDDLEBURG - Middleburg High volleyball coach Carrie Prewitt has been a strong advocate for maintaining her own fitness during the Coronavirus Pandemic and all indications are that her Lady Broncos volleyball team had better bring the same intensity to their preseason preparations.

“This preseason is the biggest group we’ve ever had at this stage of the summer,” said Prewitt, who created her own pushup challenge through the shutdown and is now proudly up to 20 regular pushups in her daily regimen. “Teams are used to being closer together and it’s a battle to keep our distance. We are so grateful to just be out here on the court and train.”

For Prewitt, who has directed numerous summer camps and directed summer league play with her girls, has relied on her team’s self-motivation to come ready if their season starts in August or September.

“This is a little different from past years with the morning session here at the house on the sand volleyball court and a second on the gym at Middleburg,” said Prewitt. “Some of them are in great shape to go and I grateful that they are our leaders.”

In the sand pit at her Middleburg home, Prewitt ran the team through a 45 minute workout consisting of a strong warmup with stretching, some jogging with distance to get the blood flowing and a series of sand jumping maneuvers designed to push the girls to getting into the air.

“It’s a brutal session,” said Prewitt. “In the spring, we usually have a really intense conditioning program, but we lost that this year. The upperclassmen have been good at keeping the conditioning consistent.”

Prewitt cited a series of Thursday Zoom team meetings and a book club interaction to keep her girls in touch with each other.

“I didn’t want them to forget about being on a team and being responsible for doing whatever they could to be ready to be strong whenever we would be able to get together,” said Prewitt. For Prewitt, her three decades of coaching has come with numerous obstacles and challenges each year to keep the team sharp.

“My coaches and I had to really change our creative wheel,” said Prewitt. “That missing spring conditioning program was a real team binder so we had to come up with other ways to interact. We had a water challenge, a team book and a Mother’s Day message on YouTube with the parents also putting a YouTube message to the kids. One of the good ones was a bump, set mash video with each girls doing a hit, then meshing all of them for one continuous moving ball.”

One aspect that Prewitt thought may strengthen most of the sports teams in the fall is the reliance on each individual athlete to be responsible for their own readiness.

“It is hard not to have face-to-face chats with girls that may be struggling to try and reassure and encourage, but, on the flip side, they have to be able to fend for themselves and get through it,” said Prewitt. “I think it’s okay that they have to take ownership on their season.”

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