This month Sarah Bowman, the 2009 NCAA Indoor mile champion (4:29.72) for the University of Tennessee graced the cover of my Runner’s World.
More recently she placed ninth in the 1500 at the 2010 World Indoor Championships.
Rating: Definite real athlete, total beast.
Wow guys. I still don’t think I’ve fully processed what just happened. A disappointing 0-3 on saturday to 3-1 and third place on sunday?? Are you kidding me?! I knew going into last weekend that we were probably capable of making that third place spot, but it would be a long shot, and after saturday I figured it just wasn’t in the stars for us this year. But everyone came out on sunday like, we’re here to win some fucking games damnit. And suddenly we were a new team, the team I knew we could be. We took care of V handily because we know how to work a zone. Then we went up against T, came out strong, and they never had a chance to catch up. The J game was hardest. Their team makes ours look tiny still. I was nervous about the outcome, I didn’t want to believe that we could actually win against them. But I looked at my team and I could tell that we wouldn’t be satisfied with a fourth place finish. We wanted that win so bad, I thought, shit I better not be the one to let them down, we’re going to take this game if it kills me. And I could tell all of you were thinking the same thing.
I know I can come across as emotionally detached sometimes. I want to make sure you all know exactly what yesterday meant to me. Winning that game for third place was the proudest moment in sports I’ve ever experienced.
Every single member of this team made it happen. You guys are amazing and this was the best possible way we could have ended our season. Thank you for being great all year. Going to regionals is a huge honor. You’ve proved we deserve it!
This was me thinking about things I wanted to say to my team the night before sectionals. I ended up giving a speech along these lines before our first game but it went nothing like this at all.
I don’t know if this is the appropriate time or place to have this discussion, I probably should have done it at a practice last week or something but I think it’s important, so I’m going to go ahead and talk about it before we start play this weekend.
As cheesy as this sounds, I was thinking a lot about what it means to be a team last night. It scares me to see how our men’s team operates because so few of them seem to know what it means to be part of a team, and those of them who do know don’t practice it. I once had a coach who told me my primary responsibility, as a member of that team, was to make my teammates look good. That goes for everyone on the field. When you step on the field your personal performance concerns need to go out the window. When you step on the field you take responsibility for triumphs and shortcomings of not only yourself, but six of your teammates. That means we can’t afford to say I dropped a pass, so-and-so is fucking up the dump throw, it’s the we dropped a pass, we fucked up the dump throw.
You want to know what makes us a regionals contending team and the men not? Forget what they tell you about the quality of competition and womens ultimate. They’re not as good as us because they’re not a team. The lack of respect the men have for each other is ridiculous and it’s poisoning their program. I don’t see this being an issue for us as long as we keep doing what we’re doing. Summary: Check your personal issues at the door and work as part of the team unit. If you understand this, then you understand what it means to be on a team.
Having personal goals will only get us so far, so today I want to go around and say one thing that you plan on doing to support someone else in game.
Learning handler weave? (self-sufficient handler skills) Movement of the disc to 1/2 or 3/4 field before even beginning to utilize vertical stack offense? Horizontal offense?
More pancake drill- hesitation will not be tolerated!
My theory on offense- disc possession. Maintaining disc possession for as long as possible regardless of field position. Minimizing turnovers. This means that your first priority is to get to and protect the disc from your defender. Eventually we may move the disc to a scoring position, but our goal should always be to minimize turnovers. Stop worrying about gaining yards on your cuts and go to the disc as hard as you can every time.
How to practice a horizontal offense with minimal people?
What is the difference between us and the teams we lost to?
-powerful flick hucks, height/strength/speed advantages, break throws, beat in the air (how we got scored on)
How did we lose the disc?
-fundamentals: throwing, catching, dumps, premature huck attempts, in-cut defense
Letter to my team about predicted strategy at our annual spring break 3-day tournament
Strategy for our success as a team at Spring Break tournament:
Line Calling- Obviously with the number of people we have in relation to the number of games we’ll be playing, everyone will get plenty of playing time. If at any point in the tournament you feel as if you are not being played enough and/or have excess untapped energy reserves please let M and I know. Conversely, if at any point in the tournament you feel like you’re being played too much, risking injury or mental health, then also please let M and I know.
Line Calling (continued)- It should be our goal to have two, preferably three, experienced handlers on the field at all times. In case you don’t know who you are, this means: K, Me, C, M, Mn and T. It is your responsibility to make sure Michelle and I don’t send out lines without handlers and to take the initiative and put yourself on the field if that ever happens.
Offense (zone)- Do we need to spend time reviewing/discussing this as a team? New players?
Offense (man)- Vertical stack for the most part, I don’t think we’ll ever attempt horizontal.
Defense (zone)- Might be a good option against teams we can identify as having limited handlers, we just need to be careful about running everyone to death.
Defense (man)- Probably our primary option- we need to be prepared to mark up against teams running horizontal and vertical stacks.
Rules- Defer to C at all times… lawl- If you have the time this weekend, it would be a good idea for everyone to read the rules and ask questions about anything you don’t understand. We always seemed to get screwed in the rules department and that’s something we can definitely solve with minimal effort so there really isn’t any excuse for it.
Score keeping- This is also something that we shouldn’t have such a hard time with. It should probably be the captains’ responsibility to always have some sore of score tracking system, so M and I will be sure to take care of that, but everyone on the sideline needs to be aware of this task so that we don’t ever lose track.
End of the day Meeting (good idea?)- I’m thinking that we should meet as a team every night just to check in and talk about what went well and what maybe didn’t go so well in the days games after we’ve had the chance to process them. We can also watch any footage that might have been taken and discuss strategy for the next day.
Dear teammates who are consistently skipping my scheduled conditioning sessions,
I’ve created this alternative workout to be the perfect substitute for conditioning practice in the event that you aren’t able to attend:
THE GREAT NORTH FACE WORKOUT (GNFW)* is designed to feature the two most important components of any great workout: 1. works up a good sweat, and 2. has the potential to make you look ridiculous in front of a bunch of people.
Here are the rules:
This is a timed (30min) workout designed for use on any major college campus. Run around the main campus drag for the allotted amount of time. Each time you see something on this list do the exercise associated with it:
A person wearing a black North Face jacket – do 10 jumping jacks
A person wearing a North Face jacket of any other color – do 10 squat jumps
A person with a North Face jacket AND backpack combo – do 10 butt-kicks and 10 high-knees
Two or more people wearing North Face jackets in a pack – skip for 10 seconds
Two people holding hands and wearing North Face jackets – do 5 pushups, do 5 more if the jackets are the same color
“North Face Swarm” where you see too many North Face jackets around you to keep track – do 15 standing mountain climbers
*Bonus: the GNFW also doubles as a drinking game should you have the means and desire to get drunk in a public place.
Just kidding! I’m pretty sure this workout would kill any person who attempted it. And the drinking game is definitely attempt at your own risk!
I didn’t do a very good job identifying specific fitness goals for this year. I pretty much operate on a non-stop “harder, better, faster, stronger” model of fitness and self-improvement.
Some things that I’ve started taking more seriously lately are:
Strength training. For this I’m using workout videos and 5lb hand weights. I know that “toning” is supposed to be a silly form of strength training, but I’m currently at the point where toning exercises really do slay me -sad, I know. I feel like I need to do this to build up a base level of strength before I can pursue more hardcore methods of training.
Speed training (middle distance). I’ve done the marathon thing, I have stamina to spare, so now I need to focus on getting faster. That means shortening my distances down to 4 or 5 miles tops and utilizing other types of workouts than the tempo run.
Coaching/Captaining. I’m always looking for ways to become a more effective captain and coach to my team. I hope to attend a coaching clinic in February that might give me a push in the right direction.
Making progress in these areas will, I hope, help me become a better athlete in 2010.