by MACKENZIE MATIKONIS Staff Writer
The girls spring track team added Mr. Christopher Baldassano as an assistant coach for the 2013 season.
Coach Baldassano is a special education teacher at the high school, and is the assistant football coach. He also coaches the middle school wrestling team.
Now as a part of the track team, Coach Baldassano’s job is to coach the throwing events for the boys and girls, which include shot-put, discus, and javelin.
His reason for joining the team was that he is interested in the sport, and they needed a coach.
“It was a sport I competed in when I was in high school and have enjoyed ever since,” said Coach Baldassano.
This is the first actual throwing coach the team has had in a few years. Previously, the other coaches were assigned to supervise, yet teaching the throwers was not their main priority.
However, Coach Baldassano seems to be taking his job seriously.
“He’s very dedicated to the sport and [is] really supportive of the athletes,” said sophomore thrower Bridget Slomian.
During practice, Coach Baldassano critiques the throwers and explains to them what they have to improve on and how to improve it. He incorporates drills and workouts into practice so the athletes have more power in their throws and can throw correctly.
In high school, Coach Baldassano threw the shot put, discus, and javelin, so he knows about each event and how to throw them properly.
The coach also demonstrates proper positions and techniques so that the team members can throw to the best of their ability.
“He makes sure to help everyone individually along with everyone as a group, and he has certain techniques to help us improve,” said Slomian.
Practice is important for success, and Coach Baldassano knows that. If someone does other events in addition to throwing, he will make sure that they get in enough time to practice their throws and techniques.
Even at meets, if Coach Baldassano notices someone’s form is off when they throw, as they retrieve their throwing implement, he will tell them what they did wrong and how they can correct it.
The athletes enjoy having Coach Baldassano as a coach on the track team.
“I like Baldy as a coach. He is actually trying to improve our throwing and sometimes I don’t understand why I’m doing something [he is telling us to do], but he is helping,” said junior Taylor Payne.
From intense workouts in the weight room to completing drills designed to perfect form and to actually going out to the field to throw, the team is starting to improve. More girls are throwing closer to varsity distance in all three of these field events.
“I believe [the season] will be successful. We have a good mix of upperclassmen to go with some talented freshmen and sophomores,” said Coach Baldassano.
The 2013 season is going to look hopeful for the throwers, thanks to Coach Baldassano and his devotion to the sport and to the team.