By Victoria Sananikone, Assistant Editor
The following article represents the author’s opinion about a specific topic. The information is backed up and was proof read by our editors. Freedom of speech is part of the First Amendment of the US Constitution and therefore has every writer the right to share his or her opinion. Feel free to email your editors about any issues with the article or leave your comment here.
The following intro is simply a visual description of my experience within the weight room in the morning. Cheerleaders, this is not an attack, just my observations, so please don’t come high kick me in the face. Thank you:)
So, I’m standing there, already dripping with sweat from our warmup, watching helplessly as a horde of cheerleaders claims more than half of the racks in the performance center. They saunter to the racks in their oversized T-shirts and scrunchy tied ponytails, giggling as if they already know that their workout intensity level won’t even come close to that of the Swimming and Diving Team’s workout. How are we supposed to complete our workout efficiently and in the time span of 45 minutes if we have four or five people to a rack? Where did all of the darn dumbbells go? How am I supposed to get maximum gains by rowing with 30-pound dumbbells because all of the 45’s are gone? The anarchy! Solution? Expand the performance center.
The reoccurring issue of McKendree athletes who struggle to efficiently execute their lifting workout due to lack of space in the performance center is a topic that never fails to grind my gears. After speaking to multiple athletes from different sports teams, I’ve realized that the Swimming and Diving Team are not the only ones who face this dilemma.
“This school is already getting bigger and bigger every year,” sophomore water polo player Ori Scanlon said. “This whole semester I have been unable to lift without having to wait for open space. Every time I’ve gone to weights, I have to wait for the bowlers to be done and I don’t have time to wait because I have class.”
As the student population grows each season, so does the amount of athletes on the sports teams. This growth puts a strain on the performance center because it does not provide enough room or equipment to sustain the athletes. The average sized turf makes it difficult for a team to warm up while someone else may be in the middle of a prowler set. There is little to no locker space, forcing people to place their personal belonging on the ground where they could easily be stolen. Many athletes must share racks because there are too many people. This can complicate things in number of ways: If there are too many people to a rack, then their workout will be prolonged, and if those who differ in weight and strength are forced to lift together, there will be added stress and time as well due to the hassle of constantly exchanging weight loads.
“One time, there were way too many people in the performance center and as soon as we walked in, we knew we were going to be screwed,” freshman golfer Rebecca Hawes said. “We had limited room to stretch, warm up, and barely two or three stations to get our workout in. It was really annoying and took much longer than it should’ve to get everything done.”
Athletics is a massive attribute to McKendree. This university is notorious for boasting athletic programs that exceed the stereotypes of a small Division II school. The talent of our athletes is a feat to be rewarded, which is why I believe McKendree ought to invest in revamping the performance center to make it larger with more equipment. This is an idea that the university should contemplate, instead of increasing their stingy nature by continuing to wipe our bank accounts clean of money and wasting it on things that aren’t as important.
An example of the university wasting their money on things that we don’t need would the brand new napkin dispensers in Ames. Did we truly need new napkin dispensers when our old ones worked perfectly fine and had a stark similarity in looks to the new ones? Not only that, but I was informed by a fellow teammate that she found the old napkin dispensers thrown away in the trash when she went to the dumpsters to rid of her recycling. Nice, McKendree.
Scheduling within the performance center should be improved, as well. There are some large teams that are scheduled to lift at the same time and pandemonium ensues. It’s loud, the air is thick, the room is crowded, and equipment is running short.
“I think the teams should be scheduled properly, and that individuals should be monitored more on what times they come in,” Hawes said. “For example, don’t let five individuals come in during the busiest time of the day. I also know there’s some block ups where every time teams go in it’s packed, but when my team goes in that’s not always the case. If everything was organized better, people would have a better chance of getting the most out of their workouts.”
Improving the weight room would improve the well-being of our athletes. I firmly believe that our athletes will be happier if we had the necessary room to satisfy our ranks. We will have more room and more equipment which would result in more time and efficiency when completing our workouts and working to the best of our ability.