Aug. 19, 2009
Paige's Page: Preseason and Team Bonding
-Paige Spangenberg, Junior, L/DS, Volleyball
The 2009 Bearcat volleyball preseason is off to a good start. We have three new freshmen and a redshirt freshman transfer. To help save costs on housing before classes start, those who live off campus have provided housing for those who will live on campus. This has given everyone a chance to get to know each other a little faster than usual.
My roommate, Alex Hanna, and I have hosted two players since Aug. 8 and it's been quite an adventure. Typically our nights consist of trying to get four girls in and out of our single-bathroom apartment, movies, interesting conversations and a lot of other funny things (did I mention ice baths?)
The main part of our physical testing so far has consisted of the beep test. For those who don't know what this is, we run sideline to sideline according to the pace of beeps which gradually gets faster and faster. Strengthening our core has been another point of emphasis.
Our practices have been running smoothly, although the soreness is definitely catching up with us at this point! A typical day includes two practices, lunch as a team at the Union, conditioning, dinner as a team and a team bonding activity. We also have weights three times a week so we manage to keep pretty busy.
Our team bonding activities have really helped strengthen our team unity. With 17 on the roster, there's a lot more players to bring together than in the past couple of years. Some of the activities we've done include tye-dying t-shirts and playing communication games. The owner of a local establishment even closed his facility for a few hours so we could come in and play games and eat dinner.
Last week we went to the ropes course at Mozingo and climbed across its new challenge, the Odyssey. The obstacle course was probably two stories high in some areas so many people had to go out of their comfort zones in order to get past their initial shock/fear of heights. It really showed the importance of placing trust in your teammates.
Last Friday was a personal favorite for team bonding activities. We met at Beal Park with the Northwest soccer team where we had a BBQ followed by a couple hours at the pool, which we had rented out for the evening. The highlights of our pool party were probably the slide races, synchronize swimming and cannon-ball contests!
Since we have been able to spend so much time together as a team the last couple of weeks, it was fun to interact with the soccer team and get to know some of them better.
Saturday and Sunday's dinners also revolved around team bonding. Our coaches divided our team into three dinner groups, and over the course of preseason, each group is allotted a certain amount of money to go grocery shopping with and prepare a meal for the entire team. Two of the three groups have already gone and they definitely set high standards for the last group!
Monday was our movie night. We went to Coach Tool's house and watched a movie that projected on the wall in her basement. It gave the movie theater affect with the big screen, popcorn and root beer floats, except we obviously didn't have to worry about getting too loud…which is sometimes a little difficult for a few!
Tuesday, we traveled to Kansas City and scrimmaged Rockhurst. It gave us a chance to play other competition and for the coaches to see where we're at in our strengths and weaknesses. The level of play was competitive and overall the scrimmage went well.
Only one more week until we're on the road to Tennessee for our first tournament. Needless to say, we can't wait!
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