Workouts intensify for Lady Panthers

Published 5:09 pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

There are few individuals as busy as Georgiana coach Ezell Powell these days.
On every weekday with the exception of Friday, he’s spending time with one of the school’s athletic programs.
But no matter what day of the week it is, Powell’s aim is the same—it’s time for success to become something that is expected of Georgiana.
“I do football on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we do softball on Mondays and Wednesdays,” Powell said.
“It’s demanding, but to take the programs back to where I want them to go, I have to take a little time out to work them and make them better.”
The Herculean juggling act has already borne fruit with the Lady Panthers softball team, whose efforts by the end of the season eclipsed their early struggles.
For Powell, that desire to win was even more important than the wins themselves.
“There was a lot about the game of softball that the girls had to learn—that they’re still learning,” Powell added.
“But they improved throughout the year, and I was extremely pleased with their effort and the way they worked consistently all year long to get to where by the end they were doing things fundamentally the way they should and understanding reads and situations in ball games that helped them to compete.”
The Lady Panthers’ workout sessions themselves run the gamut from traditional exercises like bench presses, squats, curls, lunges and dips to agility work with ladders and jump ropes and plyometrics.
The exercises are varied for a reason—they’re meant to fix weaknesses, build on existing strengths and perhaps find a few strengths that the team wasn’t previously aware of.
One of the biggest priorities for the team involves establishing an all-new pitching staff, as struggles on the mound kept a number of games out of Georgiana’s reach in the previous season.
At least four girls are working on pitching year-round to give the Lady Panthers a chance to compete in 2015.
But Powell’s most important lesson overshadows any exercise:  talent without work ethic is like a car without gas.
“We’re at that point where we’re tired of being unsuccessful,” Powell said.
“We’re tired of going to work and then losing every time we go out.  We want to feel a little bit of joy from all the work that we’ve put in, having success when we go out and play.”

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