Spring sports season off to slow start

The winter sports season is over ... but unfortunately the weather is still here ... and that's wreaking havoc on the spring sports schedule and teams ... we talked with a couple of local coaches about how they deal with the uncertainty of it all.

The crunch of ice and snow has kept the spring sports season from gaining too much momentum thus far ... as tennis players, golfers, baseball players and track athletes try to stay focused and fit as they often wonder when they will finally get a chance to get outside ...

Jason Olson says, "In a sport like tennis, you can't play when the courts are wet ... when the courts are covered with snow ... but we've been so much luckier than the rest of the state. Some of the rest of the state hasn't even seen their courts yet. Aberdeen hasn't even had a practice yet ... so we've been pretty lucky."

While track, baseball and even tennis athletes get a chance to go inside to at least nominally work on their skills ... golfers around the area understand that there is simply no replacing getting onto the course ... and that simply isn't possible right now ... Mother Nature decides when the golf course can go ...

Brandon Kandolin says, "You know its been tough, certainly not having any warm days and then the courses aren't really open to do anything. For us I've got a couple of very experienced girls coming back and then a couple who are pretty new ... actually quite new. So for them I can try to do a little bit of rules and basics ... and hopefully soon we can actually get out on the course and make some swings."

For coaches ... the health of their athletes takes precedence over preparation ...

Olson said, "As a coach it changes because no w you're really built on maintaining conditioning and staying in shape ... because if you don't get to go out there and hit and you go out there and hit in the cold weather you could get injured. So you have to be a lot smarter with your practices and here the weather could be 40 degrees at 4 o'clock, which is great, but then at 5:30 when you're done it could be 18 degrees ... so you just have to be smart and you don't want to get anybody injured."

Another problem that coaches run into is that camaraderie and teamwork can take a hit when athletes are working more on their own to stay sharp ..

Olson said, "As a team, you lose all that team stuff during that situation ..."

And when it boils down to it ... there's simply nothing that can replace getting into the arena you'll be competing in ... no matter how much technology is out there to help you ...

Kandolin said, "We;ve had a couple of days to hit into a simulator actually, to go and to hit into a simulator, actually, so that's kind of beneficial so far to at least get a swing in and kind of see what's going on there and give us a little information ... but its still a little different than actually seeing what the ball does."

For Black Hills FOX Sports, I'm Padraic Duffy.