Generals Women’s Soccer: Thoughts From the Other Sideline

August 31, 2018 by

As another season begins we prepare for the memories to come. The memories of the past race through our mind, the thrilling goals that launched you to victory, the agonizing losses that tore at our heart almost as much as yours. We remember the minute details from seasons long ago forgotten by most, we remember the first time your smile proved to us you loved this game. Road trips across multiple area codes, plane rides across multiple time zones, club tournaments, middle school tryouts, high school playoffs, ID clinics and recruiting visits are etched forever in our scrapbook.

The journey began as a three year old chasing the ball somewhere in the center of a group of kids seemingly unaware there was a tiny goal on either end of the small field. It continued through multiple teams of varying skill and success, always striving to make yourself and your teammates better. Your effort, passion , unyielding desire to achieve has brought you to this moment. Another opportunity for greatness awaits as you warm up, music blaring  (maybe it just seems loud because it’s on our side of the field…and we are old). Another chance to add a page to the scrapbook

We take our place across the pitch and wait for it. We wish we could speed up the clock as the seconds tick away leading up to game time. We share stories of the great moments witnessed together. We recall back to back trips to Centre College (UGH). We are haunted by the failures of seasons past.  We discuss ad nauseam what it will take for this team to reach their goals, our goals perhaps. We can feel the nervous energy exuded by the squad preparing for this first match. First match of the new season, first match as a Gennie, first match as a senior. We catch up with old friends, make new ones, ask how the summer went, all the while with one eye on that dreaded clock.

The silence seems endless. Waiting for the lineups to be read. Waiting for the public address announcement about being courteous fans. Yada yada yada.  Not really sure why WE are sweating, not really sure why WE have goosebumps. Hats are removed and one last moment of respect before the chaos! Sometimes we silently reflect on the fact that we are simply spectators, the Gennies are the ones playing! Why are we so emotionally invested??  That silly thought doesn’t last long, of course, as we prepare for the next 45 minutes as if the outcome of the game depends as much on the devotion of parents as it does the game plan, effort, and execution of the team…

The whistle provides momentary relief.  Cheers for the highlights, complaints the refs never hear, encouraging words for the team we have come to consider family quickly take over. We rarely sit, we spin rally caps around, we blow those vuvuthings, we high five everyone within arms length, we hug other men(well some of us do..) We witness years of hard work from players and coaches come to fruition. Living vicariously through your children is epitomized in the Watt Field bleachers. Encouraged perhaps.

Halftime allows for breathing, expert in depth analysis of course and if things are going well, perhaps thoughts of after match plans. Like cattle we herd to the restrooms, grab another drink, check our fantasy football scores(some of us…). Cell phones are now allowed, emails may be checked, updates to family members not streaming the game(grandmom has gotten much better at this) are sent. All the while one eye on the countdown…..

Hopefully we have paced ourselves, the clock has been reset.By now we have allowed our heartrate to reach below 100, rehydrated and mentally prepared for the second stanza. Goals, saves, corners, fouls fill the next half hour or so, then suddenly it happens again. That dreaded clock is always on our mind. We watch every second of play, every moment that could add to the book. But somehow we manage a peek at the clock, then another, then another. Agonizingly slow when leading, infuriatingly fast when needing a tying goal. We nearly tweak a neck when the play is on the other end of the pitch trying to get another glance at it. We see the Gennies quickly look, trying to pretend they’re not. We feel the agony of each tick….

Somehow, some way…..  We have survived.  Another GWD! Another entry for the book! We will relive this match for hours during the ride home. We will text about it. We will FB post about it (some of us still use it). We check the ODAC scoreboard on our way home, thinking ahead so we can game plan for the next rival. We will struggle to sleep after we arrive home,  regretful that today is now becoming just a memory and yearning for the next game day.

We have so many moments in your scrapbook, so many memories that will not require a glance at the pages for us to remember. We will always be there on the other sideline cheering, cherishing every moment as if it is our own. Thanks for the journey!!

GO GENNIES!!!!

Advertisements

Its here, its here: Opening Weekend.

August 30, 2018 by

The Generals finished their preparation for opening weekend. Is it me or did the temperature go up about 25 degrees this week? Chloe being from AZ remarked that this was more like it, and others got close to whining before they were reminded ” we are winners, not whiners” and as Tom Hanks clearly said in “league of their own” there is no crying in soccer (baseball” The fall athletes all went to see the movie at the drive-in so they were familiar with the reference.

So much to do and so little time, but as has been our culture this pre-season the team definitely rose to the challenge and got their work done efficiently and effectively. Goalkeepers took the time to get some extra work; FY players met our faculty athletic mentor, Dr Megan Fulcher to look at class scheduling; I think Annie was explaining about mindfulness or apologizing for “borrowing” her dad’s book (still unsure of the actual focus) and Mer reminded us all that being an underdog can have many advantages. (Eagles fans jumped on this reference of course like rabid dogs)

It would be very remiss of me however if I did not mention Dunc’s (with Allie Smith’s help) rendition of Big Time Rush which entertained all of us before our last practice.

As the opening weekend of games draws close, I wanted to take a moment to thank some people who have made pre-season such a massive success and a pleasant and fun experience for everyone. Today (Thursday) marks a two-week timeframe since meeting for the first time, and now we are headed to Pittsburgh for our 2018 opener. It seems like just yesterday, but at the same time, it feels like months, and not in a bad way at all.

Coach Tattie: You are a breath of fresh air in our program, have a great attitude and passion for the game and you can work a mean laminating machine. You quickly figured out food is the most important thing to the team, matching shoes are important, and we have some great kids.

Mairin “the trainer” has worked extremely hard and gone above and beyond every day to make sure players are healthy, hydrated and have the best care and attention possible. She also possesses a decent right foot when she decides to go and collect balls in her spare time. Happy you are part of our program.

Seniors: Tireless work, energy and positivity can lead to greatness and you are living that every day with your work. You are the example that players would be foolish not to follow, and I am appreciative of your quiet, consistent leadership so that we can all be successful and be ourselves doing it. Keep up the good work, Syd, Megan, Peters and D.

Captains: Putting senior and junior captains together is not easy but Megan, D, Coppy and Roche have been fantastic and work together really well. They have set the right example, been inclusive of everyone and have managed the perfect balance of pushing players to excel, whilst being mindful that the game we play and love should be fun.

Lastly I was about to thank the rest of the players but then they put the movie “She’s the Man” on the bus ride and so I take it back. OMG!

See you all in Pittsburgh, stay tuned.

IMG_1587IMG_1618IMG_1642IMG_1644

 

 

 

The REAL Generals Pre-Season: As Told by the Players

August 28, 2018 by
12 days, 1 hour, and 5 minutes ago, the Generals began the thrilling journey that has been preseason 2018. You might be asking about the recent blog posts: Did Doddsy break the record in the fitness test? Did the team form a book club? Did Bailey really go to circus camp? Did multiple members of the team really break 100 in bowling? Does Coach still have to stretch before and after every goalie session? Did we actually drink 60 cups of coffee at breakfast? And is Daniel Cunningham really old enough to be a high school varsity football player? The answer to all of the above is yes. And while we won’t bore you with all the details (well, maybe) here’s a little players’ recap from our first week and a half on campus in Fabulous LexVegas.
Practices:
First up is everyone’s favorite part of the day (or two parts of the day) during this beloved time of preseason: practice.
Coach began a new tradition of starting off a session with an inspirational message a different player each day, which has really set the tone and intensity for the upcoming practice. We learned to play with energy from Leeann, to be confident from Laney, to never say sorry from Copp, and most importantly that Bailey went to circus camp. (We are now taking any and all donations to get her a unicycle or trapeze).
We’ve also learned a lot from our teammates during just the warm up part of practice. For example, first year Jasmine Furin cannot “zig zag” to save her life and her freshman classmate Emily Leding gallops on a fake horse as she runs. Before the first drill we’ve already had a few laughs and reminders from Coach to “take your time, do it right” as we stretch.
On the field, we’ve really emphasized the importance of high energy and positivity. While our play has had many highs and lows, roses and thorns, or “peaches and pits” (if you’re Laney), we’ve really started to play as a team. Even as Coach has added hidden fitness and endless amounts of pushups to our drills, we’ve kept up our intensity and positivity. We’ve mastered the art of doing 5 push-ups and then 5 sit-ups just to stand up as Coach tells us to get down to do another set. We’ve even added more sprints to our dribbling, passing, and possession drills! It’s safe to say most of us will have arm muscles of steel and will be marathon ready by the end of the season. We even won our scrimmage against a local u18 team. While we may have had 50 pounds and 3 years on most of our opponents, we did a good job of controlling the game and scored some nice goals too. We played in our new formation for the first time and did a great job of staying wide, moving off the ball, and covering for each other.
Even during lightning delays we’ve made the most of our practice time. Annie and Megan introduced the locker room to the songbirds of our generation, Big Time Rush, the freshman painfully watched upperclassmen attempt to cotton-eye joe, and we all hopelessly attempted to head the ball back and forth from locker to locker. Rain delays have been entertaining to say the least. Special shout out to DJ Tattie for her talents on the aux cord.
While we’re still waiting to figure out the the real name of DJ Coach Cunningham (his former DJ name from college remains unknown), if Bailey can in fact ride a unicycle, or if any of us can correctly do a military push up, our 11 days of practice have us ready and fired up for our first games this weekend!
Book Club: 
Our first full day on campus was filled to the brim with meetings on standards, style of play, culture, etc. At the end of the last session, Coach pulled out a surprise box from Amazon. The nerds on the team left the meeting with big smiles because we all departed with a gift in hand–a brand new book, “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon, in hardcover because coach “doesn’t do anything but.”
Over the course of the next week, we were given nightly reading assignments to prepare us for discussions the following day. I still think this might have been a ploy by Coach to help us get a jump start on our academics when classes start up. Some of us chose to do the readings in between sessions, others crammed by reading in the locker room before practice, but juniors Kit and Laney preferred the popcorn method of reading aloud to each other before bed. Each discussion was led by a different class, beginning with the seniors and ending with the first-years. This allowed Emily Leding, one of our new players to (literally) find her voice amongst the team. And let me tell you, she hasn’t stopped talking since. Another first-year highlight occurred when Chloe Rapier admitted that she already had a deep affection for the team and couldn’t be more grateful for her teammates and the opportunity to play with us. After Chloe’s heart warming speech, upperclassmen players gasped to see junior Caroline Coppinger crying in the back corner. As tears streamed down Coppy’s face, she pronounced “that was just so nice”, while others explained that they had never seen Coppy cry in the whole two years she has been at W&L.
The team engaged in many serious and reflective moments, but many giggles were shared as well. Leeann, a well-articulate English major, once proclaimed: “Its so cool, man. We’re like made of matter and that means we’re literally, like, made of energy”. To which senior Caroline Peters was completely mind blown and left the discussion still scratching her head. We also had the opportunity to tell the person next to us what we loved most about her. Some comments included: “Lauren, I love that you are just so brutally honest” or “Roché, you are never afraid to be your true self (the next coming of Beyoncé)”. It was a nice opportunity to share our love and gratitude. Coach even received the compliment of “I love that you always bring us food” from senior captain Megan Engeland.
I would personally like to thank Coach for giving us this book and the opportunity to share in the experience as a team. I think it helped us set the tone for our season and wrap our minds around who we want to be and what we want to accomplish. Since reading The Energy Bus, I’ve seen multiple players scanning Coach’s extensive book collection at his house. A few players have borrowed titles of interest, ranging from novels, to self-help books, to non-fiction stories. This preseason I learned that The Cunningham Family has great taste in literature. Stop by their library next time you’re in Lexington.
All in all, we learned so much about each other, our team values, and especially ourselves. It is safe to say that you won’t find an “Energy Vampire” in our locker room, and we welcome everyone to hop on our Gennies Energy Bus with us this year!
Off the pitch:
After “kicking off” (haha) our “off the pitch experiences” with book club, the team met again to hear about our fellow Gennies’ summer internships. It was so interesting to hear more about what people had spent the last couple of months doing, other than running 18s, timed miles and 150s. Dunc even taught us that you only have to be 18 years old to rent a U-Haul truck, and questioned why Doodl didn’t choose renting a U-Haul for her summer commute over England’s public transportation.
On day 3, we learned that (almost) everyone is ALSO skilled at the bowling alley. Our upper body strength and competitiveness were put to the test as we took the lanes with 8 pound pink bowling balls in hand. Someone’s ball bounced OUT of the gutter and Coach almost scored a turkey so we’d call the game a success. We ended the night with a trip to Chili’s!! What more could a girl want just 12 very short hours before two practices? We can confirm that at least half the team said their stomach felt “weird” all night, which Roche firmly believes was from the bottomless chips, which truly never found a bottom.
We started day 6 off with an incredible breakfast at coach’s house!!! Turns out the seniors actually CAN cook. Erin enjoyed her blueberry pancakes while the rest of us ate chocolate chip ones. Thank you to Coach for hosting us and to our fantastic four seniors and Tattie for the much needed food.
Day 7 already and Roche and Doodl certainly enjoyed racing off the blocks in the natatorium after our water aerobics “workout”, which was more of a light stretch. We ended the day as a team with ice cream at Pink Hut, a Lexington Classic! Afterwards, Leeann, Danielle, Megan, Chloe, Jasmine, Bailey, and Doodl enjoyed a Lexington Friday Night Lights with a big rivalry game at Rockbridge County High School. Daniel Cunningham made us proud with 5 point-afters, and he even acknowledged us when we screamed his name with two waves and a head nod. Apparently he’s popular in school now for having “college girls” attend his game. Thanks Daniel, we are your biggest fans!!!!!
After a Saturday morning practice, we all proved that we can clean up quite nicely. We whipped out the white dresses, our game faces, and empty stomachs and were welcomed to Coach’s house by Jack Jack the gnome following this summer’s hit movie, The Incredibles 2. The croquet games began, and the finals featured a player from each class year. Shoutout to first year Emily Leding who proved that sabotage is not always the answer with her come from behind win in the first flight of the night. Senior Megan Engeland finally achieved her dream of making the finals. Sophomore Annie was joined by classmate Choo who received the wildcard draw and shocked us all with an above par performance in the finals, and juniors Kit and Doodl both made their second appearances in the finals. There were alliances formed against the juniors, but nothing came to fruition as Kit hit the stake first and the class of 2020 brought home the gnome for the second year in a row.
On the evening of our day off, Doodl hosted the team for a movie night at her townhouse in the third year village. B.Y.O.D. (bring your own dinner) resulted in Castle ordering enough Dominoes to feed at least half the team, Danielle and Megan eating Napa Thai, and Copp, Peters, and Bailey making a Pure Eats run, and then also finishing the leftover Doms. We enjoyed a few laughs while watching “Meet the Parents” and all headed to our respective beds to prepare for the last few practices before GAME 1!
If you’ve read this far:
Thanks for being a loyal supporter of the Gennies blog. It’s been a blast telling you the real scoop on preseason. Don’t forget to tell Coach how great we are at blogging and tune in this weekend as we take on some of the top competition in the country. Forever proud to be a Gennie!
Much love,
Doodl, Lean, and Allie

Generals Soccer Pre-Season Day 7

August 26, 2018 by

Old person water aerobics started the day. Ever seen those exercise classes in retirement villages in Florida. Well this was about as dynamic, but still well received by the players. Tattie did an excellent job taking them through some exercises before Doodle and Rocky decided that it was too tame and wanted to race off the blocks instead. They had a butterfly and freestyle race and my lips are sealed as to who won. Chocolate usually loosens my lips in case you are wondering. It was nice to be in the Washington and Lee Natatorium, it is a very impressive facility.

IMG_1542

Kit Hamill began the session with some words from Dr. Seuss. Clearly, her summer reading was not as deep as most, but obviously; she picked up some important messages. This was my favorite of her two quotes;

“Life’s too short to wake up with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones that don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it”

INDIVIDUAL PICTURE DAY AND LUNCH

Session One: Technical session and positional work.

We got in a little extra fitness work as we continued to work on our passing and first touch. It was a warm afternoon for sure and players did a great job of applying them self to the work at hand. The second half of the session allowed players to split up based on position and get some coaching on some aspects specific to the position they play. Goalkeepers got some much needed reps, as did the forwards and the end of the session was spent with a little shooting competition which the coaching staff won because the players failed to reach the goals count they set for themselves. The “punishment” was some core/plank work and when the players began singing in unison I had to cut it short because my ears could not take it anymore.

Leeann began practice with some Zen energy skills, which we all practiced, some more enthusiastically than others did. Our less spiritual players struggled to “buy in” to the teachings but even two days later I have seen players still practicing certain strategies brought to our attention from Aunt Lisa using Leeann as her vehicle for enlightenment.

The coaching staff concluded their individual player meetings and the first week was now technically in the books.

A great seven days of training from a quite remarkable bunch of kids. The players and staff have created a wonderful learning environment for each other. There is a great sense of purpose, confidence and renewed energy from everyone involved and it shows every day. Much improvement over the course of the week, tired legs and aching bodies but all signs look great for continued success and growth.

I want to finish the week with a thank you to some players that went above and beyond on Friday evening. My son is the kicker for the high school football team and was playing his first ever game on Friday evening. He had a good day, went 5/5 and was cheered on by Megan, Kelsey, Leeann, Chloe, Jasmine, Bailey, and Danielle. It was an amazing surprise for both Daniel and myself.

Generals Soccer Pre-Season Day 6

August 26, 2018 by

Day 6 started a new tradition for the Gennies; a team breakfast at Coach’s house cooked by the senior class. I know what you are thinking: Coffee from a Keurig and toast and cereal. Have some faith in the seniors because they made a feast for the team and it was devoured.

Syd was on sausage and bacon duty, Danielle and Megan scrambled eggs, Peters and Coach on Chocolate chip pancakes (made from scratch) and Tattie on Fruit. We had iced coffee and regular coffee, freshly “poured” orange juice and everyone had a good time.

What we learned: Doodle loves Bacon, Gennies love coffee and now know how to make coffee from a real coffee pot, (we drank 40 cups of iced coffee and 20 cups of hot coffee) we need more sausage next time, Coppy loves to clean up, and we all love chocolate chip pancakes, except Erin Hoeh who had a personal stash of blueberry ones.

INDIVIDUAL MEETING DAY:

The coaching staff spent 6 hours in between sessions and after dinner, meeting with every player individually to talk about pre-season and how it was going for them. They all received feedback on how they are doing, what they need to address, but most importantly had to self-reflect on how well they had performed thus far. Productive meetings, positive energy and something to work towards for everyone.

Session One: Formation and style of play: Attacking tendencies

Good afternoon session working on attacking patterns and movement off the ball. Speed of attack and play was the key as each team had a time limit to attack and execute their offense. We saw some nice goals from lots of different players. Today was the first day we had a kid miss practice due to injury, so that is a quite remarkable run and I am sure we will be at full strength soon.

Doddsy started us off at practice with a reminder to not sweat the small stuff, relax and enjoy the experience and don’t stress out. “Today is the tomorrow, you worried about yesterday” (I could see that some players are still trying to figure out this one, but no need to mention names)

Great advice from a player that has had a great first week of pre-season. Winner of the fitness test, and leading the back line very well indeed.

INTERESTING POINT:

At dinner around 6pm, we reminded players that 7 days ago, we had just all met together for the first time (even though it probably feels like 7 weeks to some) and in seven more days, we will be arriving in Pittsburgh for our first contest. So much to do.

Generals Soccer Pre-Season Day 5

August 24, 2018 by

Session 1: Goalkeeper Training/Speed of Play in the attack

I know it is not early for the real world but Goalkeepers “got after it” at 8am on a very wet field. Looked like they had a blast getting some shot stopping under their belts. I will not embarrass them by putting in print the large number of goals I put past them in the session. (However, it was a lot)image21

The rest of the sleepy heads showed up a little later and had the pleasure of a Caroline Coppinger talk on just being level headed and having good perspective. A smart girl always quotes her mom, “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” Thanks Mrs. Coppinger for passing that on through Coppy. So with those words ringing in our ears, it was off to work.

Some good play this morning, neat passing patterns and support play and the speed of play certainly picked up, as did the competitive element to the training. Goals, saves, near misses, not so near misses, slide tackles, headers and combination play was all on display. We only missed diving headers and bicycle kicks (Roz and Maggie ’10) in the session.

LUNCH: We escaped the dining hall for lunch to get take-out at a great local eatery, the Blue Phoenix. Healthy and tasty food that we enjoyed eating at Chez Roche/Passaro in the third year village. Thanks to Coach Tattie for taking care of that for the team and of course our hosts for the hospitality. At Lunch, we concluded our Book Club meetings with an end of book wrap up and discussion. Much respect to the players for truly buying in to this aspect of their development, as an individual and as a team. So much insight, self-evaluation and raising an awareness of who we are and might aspire to be. We are never the finished article, but we should never stop trying to improve and commit to being a life-long learner. Asking questions is not a weakness, take some risks, be comfortable being uncomfortable, and above all else be confident in your own ability.

Session 2: Scrimmage against a U-18 Valley AFC team

We have played a few intra-squad scrimmages and after a while playing against each other gets a little old so thank you to the Coaches from Valley AFC, a local soccer club for coming to campus and giving us some great competition and allowing us to see what we need to still work on. Coach Carroll and Coach Brown you are doing a fantastic job with these young women and they are fortunate to have you as their coach.

We played 3 x 30 minute periods so we could give everyone a good amount of playing time. Players played at least 30 minutes, and it was good to see them play together. We put on the uniforms for the first time, treated it like a game and it was a great experience for everyone. First years fitted in seamlessly, veterans lead by example and all-in all it was a very good gauge as to where we are after just 5 days. Both teams enjoyed some Franks’ Pizza after the game and a good evening was had by all. We left the field around 9pm and for the first time we started to notice the temperature drop, which some players loved and others left wrapped in blankets. (Yes in August) I will not name names.

Sorry for the delay in getting this out. Had to go to Walmart to get food for the Gremlins. $200 worth of groceries and self-check-out only. You would think that all the money they make they could afford to pay one live person to help a brother out.

image2

Generals Soccer Pre-season 2018: Day 4

August 22, 2018 by

 

Session 1: Switching the point of attack/movement off the ball

Weather issues reared their ugly head today as we only managed one session due to lightning storms in the area. However, the morning session was one of our best as players worked extremely hard, threw in some slide tackles in the wet conditions and moved the ball very well.

The day started with an 8am GK training session with our three Goalkeepers to get some much-needed reps outside of regular practice time. A good first session getting back in the groove of things. Nice work Leeann, Grace and Jasmine.

We interrupted the end of the GK session to hear Caroline Bailey’s pre-practice speech and boy are we glad we tuned in. Unbeknownst to everyone in the team Bailey went to a circus camp. Yes, a circus camp! I could throw in a few jokes about clowns but that would be mean. Apparently, Barnum Bailey went on a trapeze, a trampoline and can ride a unicycle. I know she probably did a million other things but I will not bore you with the details. She left us with a great message though of how everyone has a role in a circus and performs their task to make the circus an overall success and it is fun!

LUNCH MEETING WITH ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, JAN HATHORN

As is customary at Washington and Lee the athletic director likes to meet each team to get to know them on a very informal basis during pre-season. Jan talked about why we play college soccer. What do we want to achieve? How will we go about accomplishing our goals? Jan explained the importance of sportsmanship, integrity, honesty and doing everything with maximum effort. The most important take away was to remember to have a fun experience no matter what the outcome.

image1.jpeg

Session 2: Stormed out.

We arrived at the field, received an inspirational talk from Kristen Castle/Alex Ovechkin on not sucking, sticking to your goals and the importance of perseverance and then that was about it. Lightning struck and we bolted out of there (no pun intended)

After waiting it out, we decided to continue with our book club led by the first years. Lots of love in the locker room and snacks, wise words from some young heads, and some interesting follow up projects in the pipeline that left me excited.

Game day tomorrow……

Generals Women’s Soccer 2018: Day 3

August 21, 2018 by

Session 1: How to defend as a unit.

We had just one practice scheduled today and I think that inspired the team to put an even greater amount of energy and effort into the morning session, although to be honest effort is not something this team has lacked so far. After a “hamsters on a wheel” warm up and Kelsey Anderson’s “let’s just be crazy” opening message I knew we were in for an interesting day.

As players stretched, it was noticeable that either the ground is getting further away or their arms are shrinking each evening. Sore muscles, aching joints, and I am just talking about the coaching staff. Players worked hard on closing down the opposition, communicating as a group and making decisions defensively all morning. Many great questions aimed at each other, the coaches, and no sign of Siri or Alexa to help them find an answer. Human interaction holds the key my friends! Loved the player-to-player coaching tips during the game and altogether a very pleasant working environment for all.

First year field players Emily Leding, Maddie Becker and Chloe Rapier are fitting in nicely and are starting to show some promise as they get used to their new surroundings, teammates and life away from home. They are still struggling to keep up with the task of collecting equipment after each session but I am sure they will learn to count soon. High school Math is clearly preparing them for the wrong things.

When of my favorite scenes from the morning was a duel between Allie Smith Miller and Meredith Culhane, which ended as a physical tie and will be continued later. No one gave an inch, nobody backed down and nobody suffered harm as both players picked themselves up from the turf with a smile.

LUNCH: Chicken Enchilada Bowl, Salad, Key Lime Bars for dessert. (No clue what the players had, but this was my lunch, so thanks for asking)

SESSION 2: Sophomores lead the Energy Bus

We moved our book discussion up to accommodate later fun and festivities and the conversation and discussion once again was very thoughtful. The sophomores lead the chat; we discussed “Energy Vampires” and how to deal with them because we all know one!

SESSION 3: Let’s get out of town, Coach.

We had some discussions with the seniors and Captains about what to do with an afternoon off to take a break from practice and how to break our three-day old routine. Here are some of the things they came up with and I will not name names as to who said what, but I am sure a Mom knows.

  1. Sleep all afternoon
  2. Go on a hike up a very steep mountain and be close to nature
  3. Eat snacks
  4. Go Bowling/laser tag
  5. Go to Coach’s house and help him with all his yardwork

Obviously because the pictures are attached, we chose to go Bowling and eat dinner afterwards. It was a great evening, lots of fun and laughter and a very nice break from the field for an afternoon. Emily Roche put everyone in teams/colors and even though the Grey team had the best form, most energy and style, the team in Black just edged it. (Yes, I was on the Grey team)

Congratulations to Team Black: Kristen Castle, Megan Engeland, Emily Leding, Grace Coombs, Leeann Passaro and Natalie Choo on your victory. Megan Engeland was the high score for the day, but it does not count because she attended 8 years of Bowling Camp. (This is not a misprint)

Half the team broke the magic 100 and Coach Tattie was not one of them!

 

Until the next time….

Generals Women’s Soccer 2018: Day 2

August 20, 2018 by

Session 1: Establishing our style of play and playing together

Senior forward Caroline Peters was short and to the point this morning before practice when she quoted that famous philosopher Geoff Peters (Dad) in her pre-practice words of inspiration “expect nothing, earn everything”

I could not agree more and definitely come from that generation of earning what you get, nobody owes you anything school of thought. It is a great lesson on and off the field and thanks Caroline for sharing.

Stiff limbs as we began the warm up today, sounding at times like old people in a retirement home. I thought we had only completed one day.

The morning session went well. They showed excellent consistency and effort in their work and are starting to develop a nice understanding and appreciation for each other. It is nice to see good leadership, active listeners and players enjoying communicating both on and off the field for the good of the team. Lauren Kaplinsky and Caroline Bailey had bright mornings on the wing; Erin Hoeh and Kristen Castle were dependable in building out from the back, and Mairin made a great batch of blue Gatorade in addition to her other 100 tasks we ask her to do as the trainer for the women’s soccer team.

LUNCH: Lots of food

Session 2: Improving our individual technique.

Herb Brooks the famous coach for the USA Olympic Gold Hockey team showed up to practice to deliver a team talk this afternoon. It was actually Danielle Spickard treating us to a monologue from the “Miracle” movie, but we enjoyed the effort. Another excellent practice, some very competitive 6v6 games that had some nice goals, saves and solid tackling.

DINNER: Beef pot roast, vegetable lasagna, BBQ Chicken and lots, lots more.

Session 3: Gennies Book Club

The junior class were in charge of the discussion this evening and once again, the conversation was excellent. I am enjoying the contributions from all the players and it is proving to be an entertaining end to a very busy day.

Remember never put all your chicks in one basket, and always rent a u-haul when travelling around England.image1

Generals Women’s Soccer 2018: Day 1

August 19, 2018 by

The end of a long, but enjoyable first day of pre-season is officially in the books. After a day of meetings Friday to discuss player and program expectations, soccer style of play and some sport psychology thrown in for good measure, I think everyone was ready for some physical component to pre-season. Coach Tattie tried to convince me to just take everyone 5 miles from campus and drop them in the woods and say figure out how to get home, (Philly girls are tough) but the voice of reason (me) decided on a more beneficial way, a 7am fitness test.

Clearly some of our players had been coddled over the summer months because they asked if the AM after 7 was a misprint. The Coaching staff got up early to mark out a field that simulated the way we all used to train (uphill both ways), and it was a perfect misty, rainy morning in Lexington, VA.

Session 1: 7am FITNESS TEST

Team showed up in their nice new practice uniforms designed by the senior class, clearly believing in the “look good feel good” creed. After we had discussed why Elle’s foam roller was consumed by her dog, and why Annie’s had turned blue over the summer it was down to business. Soccer Syd started us off with a speech about how numbers will not define you or us as a team (weird for an engineering kid to say numbers are not important), but the message was perfect for the occasion. Fitness test ensued, results and attitude showed great promise and Hannah Dodds (Doddsy) posted a new high score for the program. Congrats Doddsy!

WE HAD LUNCH

Session 2: Internships and Networking (grown up stuff)

This summer some of our players had opportunities to develop their passions and take a look at what the world post graduation may or may not look like. Many of them did some amazing internships so we took some time to discuss those as a group, allowing each person to present a recap of their various summer projects.

Nice work Caroline Peters, Kelsey Anderson, Laney Smith, Kit Hamill, Leeann Passaro, Syd Abrisz, Caroline Bailey, Hannah Dodds and Caroline Coppinger.image3

PLAYERS TOOK NAPS

Session 3: Introduction to Playing Style

After naps on our mats and with our blankets close at hand it was time to get after it on the actual soccer field and try to build up to playing 11v11 full field for some of practice. We had covered the theory the day before and now it was time to put that into practice. Megan Engeland talked to the group at the field about how the Philadelphia Eagles won the Superbowl in a classic underdog story and so the seeds were sown. (whispers of who are the eagles faded off as we got down to work)image2

A really thought-provoking session by the team, players worked extremely hard, set a great standard and Captains and seniors led magnificently. (notice i am not talking about the quality of soccer, ha ha) A good session and plenty to work on tomorrow. We even scored a couple of goals in practice which is a bonus. (Syd von Rosenberg, Megan Engeland and Kristen Castle) Highlight of the session for me was seeing Natalie Choo back in action. Welcome back officially to real action, Nat.

YES WE HAD DINNER

Session 4: Book Club: “Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon

This summer I read a book (yes coaches can read and it was not a picture book) and I thought it would be a perfect book to read as a team during pre-season. Great resource for teams, managers of people and to be honest anyone. We furnished everyone with their own copy and each evening the players read a few chapters and then some players lead a discussion on what they read and try to connect it back with the team. Seniors did a really god job of initiating the conversation and to be honest it was extremely insightful conversation and went better than I imagined. Lots of sharing, voices being heard and valued and a lot of food for thought.

Thanks for reading. This was completed at 2:09am after a very long day so cut me some slack!