Monday, February 20, 2012

The Individual

By Sarah Fisher

DCFH with some all-star swimmers and divers, who are by far the best ball boys any field hockey program could have. Thanks again guys!
Before diving into my blog entry, I’d first like to congratulate both the women’s and men’s basketball teams for their enormously successful seasons thus far and I can’t wait to see they do next. For those that can attend, the women have their senior night tonight (2/20) and the men play at home on Thursday (2/23), I’ll be there if you want a watching companion. Congratulations to our men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams as well for their success at CCSA’s last week.

Now about individuals…

One of my favorite things about spring is the opportunity to have one-on-one time with our coaches. Ginny and Catherine, for those of you who don’t know, are not only knowledgeable, caring, and intense coaches; they are also incredibly talented field hockey players. Catherine was voted both a captain and team MVP her senior season at Villanova and Ginny was a captain her senior season at William and Mary and selected to the NFHCA Division I North/South Senior All-Star Team. To no one’s surprise, they haven’t lost their athletic abilities. Ginny is currently training for a marathon, so she heads up our long distance runs and Catherine loves to coordinate sprint drills (ever heard of a football 200s? We hadn’t until Catherine came along). In addition to their excellent physical strength, agility, and speed, they haven’t lost their touch on the ball. There is some satisfaction that coincides with the understanding that when Ginny or Catherine sets up a stick work drill or shooting pattern, they can first demonstrate it or when they tell me or Carolyn (my fellow goalie partner in crime) that they are going to aim for the upper 90s of the cage, they can in fact hit the top corners with power and accuracy.

This photo is from our Halloween practice this past fall. We have a tradition of dressing up for practice every Halloween and we really take it seriously. From left to right, we have Catherine, Pam (our fabulous athletic trainer), and Ginny. They were cast members of the Jersey Shore.

Individuals have been running for three weeks now and I think each DCFH member has been benefiting from them. Carolyn and I have been conquering footwork drills, mastering the angles of the cage, and saving lots and lots of shots (which is why I personally love individuals). The field players have been perfecting passing and receiving, improving their hitting form, and tweaking their defensive stances. Individuals might be most beneficial for the DCFH freshmen. Since we are a fall sport, our freshmen are taken for a wild ride and thrown into the mix of the team. In the spring, they have the time to improve as individual players and truly get used to the stylistic differences between Division I field hockey and their previous high school experience. Every player gets better as an individual player in the spring which contributes to the team as a whole getting better.

This past Wednesday was our first team practice out on the turf together. While it wasn’t the prettiest hockey we’ve ever played, we can only go up from here. With every mistake made we have the time to stop, reflect on it, and correct it. With every excellent pull, shot, or save, we have the time to stop, praise it, and explain why it was so good. We each get the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the team what we’ve been working on individually with Ginny and Catherine and then see how it fits in with the rest of the team.

I’m not too sure what’s up next, but I’ll make it a good one.

Until then, I hope to see you at a basketball game.

-Fish

The current DCFH juniors dressed up as the starting 5 basketball players for Halloween two years ago. My dad was a stand in Coach McKillop (though no one could ever stand in for him) and this photo was a part of our skit where coach was giving us a motivational pep talk. A big thank you to the basketball team for lending us their shoes, shorts and jerseys for the day!

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