Brian Goulart posed the question to his East Union coaching staff on Monday, just minutes before his softball team took the field for practice.
“When someone blesses you with an extra hour,” he said, “what do you do with it?”
Daylight Savings Time goes into effect on Sunday at 2 a.m. for most of the United States.
For some, the extra hour of sunlight in the evening is just as Goulart put it – a blessing.
Coaches can schedule baseball, softball, track and soccer practices and functions later. For the football enthusiast, longer afternoons and sunnier evenings mean spring drills can be moved out of the weight room and onto the practice field.
The parks are teeming with activity. Homeowners can spend more time in their yards, sprucing up the garden and flower beds for the spring bloom.
The extra hour of sun lends itself naturally to other outdoor activities, too – tasty activities, such as kebobs and briskets, steaks and fire-grilled whatevers.
“Time to get the BBQ grill ready,” wrote Loren Ray Jr. on The Bulletin’s Facebook wall.
Sean Cuevas shared those sentiments: “I love (Daylight Savings Time). I’m solar-powered, so my mood is much better with the extra sun after work. And I can BBQ again without being the dark.”
For others, though, Daylight Savings Time feels like an attack on their day-to-day.
Let’s start with the grumpy: The early-morning commuter who will lose an hour of sleep on Monday morning.
Studies have shown that there are an increased number of traffic accidents on the Monday following Daylight Savings Time, with drowsiness and fatigue being the main culprits.
To combat this, Manteca’s Brian McDonald, an ironworker in the Bay Area, has changed his sleep patterns. He recovers that lost hour of sleep the night before.
“I think that hour you lose in sleep only affects the people that tend to stay up late,” he said.
Then there are the grouchy: The parents whose voices have gone gravelly from too many “Get over heres,” whose bodies feel like they’ve been chasing chickens around the yard.
And they will, because on Monday, bedtime will become a battleground.
Parents of young children may have a hard time transitioning to the new clock. Not only are they “losing” an hour in the morning – which may result in a few extra cups of coffee – but parents will have to contend with the “longer” day.
Like Cuevas, kids are often solar-powered.
“Definitely going to be harder to get the little ones to bed early,” wrote Lily Lily, a mother of four.
“My younger ones I convinced that when the sun goes down so do they. It also makes it harder for my teens because as of now they can hang out but have to be inside before the sun goes down,” she later added. “Now they think they will have more time, but they won’t because any later with friends will cut into dinner, homework and chores.”
Worry not, parents.
There are three tricks to making the transition.
According to babyzone.com, parents should adhere to three important guidelines when traveling, adjusting to a new clock or illness:
• If you have a set bedtime, stand by it.
• Have a routine. Studies show children sleep more soundly when they have a set routine. It also reinforces that it is bedtime.
• Incorporate bath time, reading and music. Just shy away those catchy, let’s-jump-on-the-mattress tunes like “Gangnam Style.”
On Monday, Goulart and his staff established the expectation for the Lancer softball program.
Simply, there’s opportunity to grow, improve and train in that extra hour.
“For us, ‘extra’ equals extra. We wouldn’t lock it into our practice, but that hour needs to be taken and worked into your (game) or into the books,” Goulart said. “If I’m struggling with my grades, I’m with one of my top students.”
East Union softball has 12 student-athletes on its Highest Honor list, a perch reserved for those with 4.0 GPAs and higher.
Daylight Savings Time deserves a footnote in their academic victories.
“They tutor the others girls, so that no one ever fails. We always have a plan for that extra hour,” Goulart added. “We always think ‘Advantage, East Union,’ because we’re going to use it. We treat is as the 25th hour of the day.”