North Texas Daily

Coach Kee brings big changes to the practice field

Coach Kee brings big changes to the practice field

Coach Kee brings big changes to the practice field
February 19
02:25 2014

Jordan Ottaway // Intern Writer

Styles vary drastically among head coaches, so there’s always a question of how players will react to a new leader. But first-year Mean Green softball coach Tracey Kee’s approach had players encouraged and well-prepared for the season.

Kee’s practices are different from former head coach T.J. Hubbard’s because she places a bigger emphasis on intensity and speed. She believes with that type of preparation, the team can make it through any situation during the game.

“I’m a firm believer in practicing quickly — high and fast repetitions, high intensity, and making runners faster than they were before,” she said.

Being able to practice at a rapid pace helps train her players to get accustomed to that pace of play, Kee said. So far, the players have felt the effect and seen a tangible result with a 7-3 record.

“The games seem so slow and under control,” freshman pitcher Kenzie Grimes said. “She puts us in every situation possible.”

By every situation possible, Grimes explained that Kee will run through different scenarios at practice to prepare the team for anything that may be thrown its way. There will always be a new scenario presented, so the players learn to think on their feet like they would in an actual game.

“She will say stuff like ‘runner at third and we’re down by two,’” Grimes said.

Enacting those situations in practice with the intensity of a real game situation has those moments feeling like second nature to players when they actually occur during a game.

“We keep going like it is an actual game, and it’s very productive,” sophomore utility player Taylor Schoblocher said.

Productivity and time management are a couple things Kee takes very seriously while preparing her team for not only a regular season game, but for the conference tournament in May.

“I’m a very detail-oriented person, so I like to have a long-term plan, but I also have a weekly plan as well,” Kee said.

That plan sometimes varies since the team is in a part of the season where it plays so often it doesn’t have a lot of time to scout every team. From now until mid-April, the team’s schedule consists of at least one double-header every week and another every weekend.

Because of that, Kee makes sure her players work on a little bit of every aspect during practice so they can make the most of the time they have.

“If they come out and just take batting practice, then that’s not going to benefit them,” Kee said.

Schoblocher said practice has done wonders for the mental aspect of everyone on the team

“It’s a 100-percent improvement from last year’s practices,” Schoblocher said.

Now on a six-game winning streak, the players are confident with their play.

“I tell them that if they can get through a practice, then the games will be easy,” Kee said.

Feature photo: Tracey Kee begins her first season as the North Texas head softball coach in 2013. “I believe North Texas’ softball program is on the cusp of doing great things,” Kee said. “With continued commitment and hard work, this program will be one of pride, success and tradition.” Photo by Zixian Chen / Senior Staff Photographer 

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