Munoz: Stanford's Preseason Presents (iPads Included)
It's been a while since I posted last so I will update you all with what has happened. One of the things we have at Stanford is "dead week," as we call it academically and on the field. We focus on studying and are not allowed to play lacrosse, and then finals week followed. Upon our return we were informed that 17 out of 30 players received a 3.5 or higher and one managed to get higher than a 4.0! I can happily say that I was one of those 17 players, which I wasn't sure I was capable of with taking 19 units (what we call credits) this quarter. After finals week, we all went home to prepare for our return for preseason. Even though it has yet to set in, I was preparing for my final preseason, which provided more incentive to get my workouts in and make them count. During break I can't say I did anything too out of the ordinary, in between workouts, seeing friends, laying on the couch as much as possible, and spending time with family (especially my 9-month old baby cousin!).
Despite a lot of teams getting started this week, we have already accomplished a week of preseason. It started Sunday with our usual team meeting, however, we were greeted with some awesome new gear, which is always a great way to start preseason. The goalies got bright, white shiny Cascade helmets that look awesome paired with our Nike white gloves. The field players received new STX sticks with Stanford decals on them for the first time. We all received new Nike cold gear, long sleeve shirts, and a new travel bag. The next day we had our usual Manchester United run test, which is 20 100-yard sprints (if you want specifics I have detailed them out in a previous blog). The test was great, several people went beyond the required 20 sprints and I recorded a personal best as I attempted the 21st sprint, which I never could before. We also had some teammates max out the test at level 30.
This week also featured a visit from Dr. Waddell, and the coaches were great in allowing our practices to be shortened and followed by meetings with Dr. Waddell so we could not only focus on our mental game but also ease everyone into preseason. Dr. Waddell is a sports psychologist who taught coach Amy Bokker at grad school at George Mason, He comes usually once or twice a year to work with our team. This week we worked on mental tricks, team and personal goals, and team building. It was extremely helpful to have Dr. Waddell here; I know it is going to pay off for the team not only in the practice setting, but once the season comes. I'm so appreciative that our coaches value this aspect of the game so much to let her come and help because the mental game, especially for a goalie, can be the biggest difference sometimes between having a great or bad game.
We ended the week by having a top chef competition at Amy's house. We were all split up into teams and each team had a dish to prepare. My team got stuck with having to prepare the meat and fruit. None of us had grilled before, so I just figured I would volunteer and try it out. It ended up going well, despite some pieces of chicken not being fully done (whoops!). Although my team didn't win, it was a lot of fun and at least now I know how to work a grill for next year when I'm on my own.
The meal ended with the coaches saying they had a present for us and we all had to be really careful when passing them around. Amy said we were going to do something different this year instead of our usual notebooks. Excitedly we all opened our presents and jumped up and down to see that we had received the brand new iPad Air. We are going to utilize these for scouting reports, calendars, watching film, and of course providing entertainment for all of the plane rides this season :). It was a great surprise to end our first week of preseason and huge thanks to our donors for making that possible. I'm very excited to prepare for my last season and will be updating you all along the way.