Monday, August 22, 2011

And it beings…Preseason 2011

One of our nightly scrimmages was sadly cut short, but it was almost worth it for this awesome view of our field!

Meg Jarrell in the Dunk Tank at Fan Day
My name is Meg Jarrell and I am a senior on the Davidson Field Hockey Team. With the season underway, it’s time to bring the DCFH blog back to life. Hopefully DCFH alumni and the original blog-writer Courtney Tobe left if in good hands…

Check back here for updates on how our season is going, interviews with players, and pictures of our team throughout the season. We are going to be out on the road together a lot this season, literally going coast to coast (Albany, NY and Stanford, CA!), so I expect there to be plenty of DCFH memories to record.

The first challenge our team faces is preseason. Preseason is a time before class starts when the team is able to get together and really jump start our season. We have over 15 practices in a little over a week to prepare ourselves for the season.  That many practices might seem like a lot, but that is because it takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication to push our team to the level we want to reach. Coming off one of the most successful seasons in DCFH history, we all have a lot of expectations for the upcoming season. It’s hard, but we all know how much it can pay off, so we’re excited to be back out on the field.

Freshmen and seniors alike have some pretty bad nerves at breakfast the first day. We all wonder how we’ll do in the conditioning tests, how our team will look on the field, and how our bodies will survive the physical challenge we will put them through.  But, that’s one of the good things about having 3 practices a day I guess. By the end of the first day, you’re too tired to be nervous. You just eat, sleep, and play field hockey. Our coaches give us a summer running program to prepare us the best way possible, but there’s nothing quite like playing for over 5 hours a day. However, after a few days your muscles begin to adapt to all the running and playing and you get into what we call “field hockey shape.”  Once we all reach that point, our playing really takes off and we begin to fine-tune our individual skills and team play.

Sore muscles, bumps, and bruises are inevitable as well, but our athletic trainer, Pam Stephens, keeps us in pretty good shape. Every night we’re required to take ice baths that cool down our muscles and repair them for practice the next day. Sitting in a tank of ice water after a long day out on the field might sound nice, but the water is usually less than 55 degrees! Despite the shivers, everyone still jumps right in after we shower because we can’t imagine how sore our muscles would feel if we didn’t take them.

Wildcats signing autographs for their fans at Fan Day
The best part of preseason is that you finally get to train with all of your teammates. Conditioning, even if it’s a never-ending series of sprints, is much more enjoyable when you have your teammates running next to you.  We also get to do things together off the field. The second day of preseason we had a short break in the afternoon to meet with and sign autographs for our fans. There are games for all the kids to play, including a dunk tank. This year I was put in the dunk tank. Luckily for me the water was pretty nice because I was dunked by every kid there it seems like. 

On Wednesday we scrimmaged Appalachian State. It was nice to be able to all play together against another team instead of the inter-squad scrimmages we have every night. We tied 2-2, but it was really great to see how well our team is coming together. Everyone is contributing and I was amazed to see how poised and confident the freshmen played in their first college game. I think it means some very good things are in store for our team down the road!

Next up we scrimmage Limestone before heading to Washington, D.C. for our opening weekend against Georgetown and LaSalle. Wish us luck!

-Meg #10

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