Monday, November 5, 2012

Preseason Wrap-Up

We went 1-2 on the weekend. We lost to Div I University of Maine on Thursday night and Div II Southern New Hampshire University on Friday. This afternoon we beat Div II Saint Anslem. Right now were on the long drive back to Freddy from Manchester, NH.

The team is split up into three vans. I'm in one with Tilly, Caroline, Dutchie, and Nisja, accompanied by Skip and Jennifer Speedy (Coach's parents). I'm not entirely sure where we are... somewhere in Maine. We just finished watching Slumdog Millionaire - a slight challenge with the subtitles on the van's teeny TVs.

The long drive is sort of symbolic; we're transitioning between two distinct parts of the year. We just played our last game of the preseason. When we get back to work this week it's for real. The last twelve games have been important steps for us to grow and gel as a team, but wins and losses didn't matter. We were out there focusing on getting better everyday, but we weren't looking at the scoreboard. Do we still need to get better everyday? Of course, but we have another job now, a job that is a whole lot less subjective.

It's sort of like midterms (which we are all a little focused on right now). Sometimes you have to write essays. Essays are subjective: you can get two different grades from two different profs with the same essay. Multiple choice tests are different, each question has a right answer and if you choose that one you get the question right. If you choose a different option you get the question wrong. No opinion, no analysis, no trying to talk your way towards a few marks when you don't know the right answer.

I'd be lying if I said we didn't care about wins and losses in the preseason. None of us would have gotten very far in competitive sports if we didn't like winning. But winning isn't the focus during preseason.

There are a few objectives in the preseason.

Early on we do fitness testing and get our butts kicked in workouts (I'll take this opportunity to brag about my PB beep test score). We shake off any summer rust and get some casual runs in.

Once practices get started we go pretty hard, and usually have some extra cardio and sprints thrown in at the end. The worst thing is when you think practice is over and then, surprise! Get on the sideline and get ready to run. Sometimes we try to sneak a peek at Speedy's practice plan so we know if it's coming (sorry Coach...).

When preseason tournaments get added the schedule gets a little busy but it helps get us settled into a routine. Tourneys give us a chance to play against defences that we don't use and, in some cases, girls who are faster, bigger, and stronger than we are.

Once this car ride is over the preseason is officially finished.

We got a lot from our preseason. We're smarter, tougher, and, okay right now we're a little tired, but we're energized. We're excited to get going with the next big step in our journey. The real challenge starts now. And we're ready.

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