Indoor practice facility for the Redskins?
Today is a messy day outside. It's rainy and cold. So the Redskins will be finding a place to practice indoors. I was asked whether having an indoor practice facility helps and whether a team can gain an advantage by having one. I think this is a yes and no answer, for a couple different reasons.
A team may gain an advantage by practicing indoors. For one thing, the climate can be controlled. For example, if it's 40 degrees where you are practicing and 100 degrees where you are playing, you can raise the temperature of your indoor practice facility. Practice conditions are also safer. If it's raining or icy outside, any type of dampness on the field can cause injuries. There's also noise simulation. When a team is preparing for a game in which it knows the stadium will be loud, it's easier to simulate noise indoors.
An indoor practice facility is not an advantage for these reasons. Players have to play games in poor weather conditions, so practicing in the elements is part of the game. Poor weather conditions on practice days force you to focus more on the task at hand. "Focus, or freeze or burn," I used to say. Practicing in poor weather hardens players. It teaches them survival skills. It can be so hot on the field that you could fry food on it, but hey, the show must go on.
When I was in high school in Pittsburgh, we had no indoor facility and we practiced rain or shine. When I was in college at Penn State, we had an indoor facility but the funny thing about that was, we rarely used it. And believe me it gets cold up in them mountains of Central Pennsylvania. When I got to Washington, they didn't have an indoor facility, and it was a shock. Now it's a 16-game season and when that November and December hawk started swooping down through Ashburn, Virginia, on the practice field with no playoffs in the picture, that's when a player wishes they had an indoor practice field.
So do indoor facilities matter? Yes they matter I would say if you can have one you should but it's not something that a team has to have to be successful.
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