Purvis strengthens team, quells injuries


Parker Purvis speaks to softball players about their strength and conditioning workout in the weight room. Photo taken by Sam Bastien.

Texas Wesleyan University’s softball team has added new strength and conditioning for their 2018 spring season.

Coach Parker Purvis, who is new to the university this year, has taken on the role for the Lady Rams.

Even though Purvis is new to the university, he grew up with a deep background in sports.

“I played all sports growing up. I leaned towards football coming out of high school, but I didn’t have a big-time college career,” Purvis said.

He said this is his first time working with a collegiate team.

“I’ve never coached an actual one-sport team, so this will be my first time doing a one-sport team,” Purvis said.

He said that he has really enjoyed getting to work with softball for the first time.

“It’s great so far; I didn’t really have any expectations,” he said. “I knew that they’re in college and on a mission and hopefully if they show up ready to workout, they’re going to be ready to go, which they are.”

Kayla Prachyl, a senior and mass communications major, said she has enjoyed having Purvis as her new strength and conditioning coach.

“We love him! He’s so funny, and he vibes with us very well,” Prachyl said.

Prachyl said that the amount of injuries this year has really been cut down because of Purvis.

“He focuses a lot on correct form, and shoulder stability, so we haven’t had any arm injuries this year, which is unheard of for our team,” Prachyl said.

Purvis said the softball players come into workout with a good mindset and are very focused.

“They’re very attentive, they work hard, they listen, and I have no complaints. It has been awesome so far,” Purvis said.

Purvis said that he has a hard-working group of players who know when to be serious and when it is okay to loosen up a bit.

“They like to have fun and there’s times when we can have a little bit of fun, but there’s also time to work,” he said. “When they’re in there they are ready to work and are already lined up and ready to go.”

Purvis believes that the workout plan that he has laid out will be beneficial to them this season.

“My goal is to apply the basic fundamentals, strength training, and of course conditioning that will get them in better shape that is easily transferable to the softball field,” he said. “I want to limit injury as much as possible.

Purvis said that he has a couple of goals for the season.

“They know how to use their weight and distribute it and the main goal is for them to be more efficient and better at their sport,” he said. “The second goal is for them to pass their conditioning test because they can’t play without doing that.”

As the season goes on, Purvis said, the training will get more intense.

“I don’t want to mow them over a day or two before their game because that would be terrible,” he said. “It will get tougher, but right now I’m just trying to work on the basics and make sure that they’re doing everything correctly.”

Purvis said the workouts he has designed are oriented around softball.

“Softball is a big time rotational sport so you have to have a lot of core,” he said. “If you don’t take care of your shoulders, especially going overhead is very important. We also do a lot of single leg stuff as well, such as one-leg squats and lunges.”

Lauren Wernet, a senior and athletic training major, said that Purvis really listens to the players and helps them get better.

“He listens to how our bodies are feeling and understands what it’s like during the season,” Wernet said. “He is positive in the morning and wants to see us succeed.”

Purvis said his main focus is to prepare the players to be ready on the field.

“I’m trying to do my best to put the pieces in the weight room that I can so that it translates to their sport,” he said.

Parker Purvis poses throughout his high school football career; he grew up playing several sports. Photo contributed by Parker Purvis.