By Brooke Morse
Asbury athletes now face new restrictions enforced by their coaches, which may affect their everyday life. This recent development may leave some to wonder about the necessity of these restrictions.
Both the baseball and the men’s soccer teams have had to adjust to new enforcements from their coaches this year.
The baseball team’s newest restriction no longer allows them to play basketball. “We’re told that if we pick up a basketball, we get suspended for five games,” said Jeremy West, a sophomore on the baseball team. Although the baseball team is already very limited on what they can and cannot do, this is a new restriction that was put into effect this year.
Members of the baseball team find themselves very limited to what they are allowed to do and what they are not. Year round, aside from the summer months, the team is not allowed to participate in most sports, intramurals or activities that have a high risk of injury.
“The only thing I can do is baseball. That’s it. Oh, and ping pong,” said David Salyers, a freshman on the baseball team. “It does give me a lot of free time to train and focus on what I’m trying to get done…. It’s beneficial, but it’s not fun.”
The men’s soccer team has also recently lost the privilege of longboarding while they are in season. This new restriction was due to an injury to one of the players, which resulted from a boarding wipeout.
There are various reasons for these changes. “We want to make sure our athletes have the chance to enjoy campus life and the other aspects of college life outside of athletics,” said Benjamin Andrews, head coach of the men’s varsity soccer team. “[But] I ask that they refrain from different things during the season. It is easy to pick up an injury that could keep that person out of competition.”
While these new restrictions may affect some of the athletes, many are indifferent to the enforcements. John Burns and Austin Byrum, members of the men’s soccer team, commented that it does not really matter to them because they do not even longboard.
Other Asbury athletes, however, face very little restrictions and have more freedom to participate in activities outside of their sport.
The women’s soccer coach is open to allowing her players to participate in intramurals but only during the off-season and in those which have a low risk of injury. “There are only very few girls who are receiving soccer scholarship money, so I don’t feel that it’s very fair to tell them what they can and can’t do outside of our season,” said Brooke Lincoln, head coach.
Similarly, the men and women’s tennis teams have very few restrictions. Coach Jarred Miller spoke about the dedication and restrictions that his athletes already put on themselves. He says that the restrictions that they put on themselves tend to be stricter than what he would actually enforce.
“For example, one of them sustained an injury while playing basketball that kept him from practicing for a while,” said Miller. “Most of the other guys have avoided any really competitive games of pick-up basketball since that point out of fear of getting hurt.”
All of the coaches have a goal of excellence for their teams. The main reasons come from their experience with past injuries, their fears of losing valuable players and the amount of scholarship money invested. Different coaches have different levels of severity when it comes to restricting their players outside the fields and courts.
“We want to win and be as successful as we can, not only because God calls us to be excellent in all things but because it gives us credibility in our witness/ministry,” said Andrews. “For us to be successful and have the most effective ministry possible, we need everyone competing at their very best physically, and sometimes that requires personal sacrifice.”