Munoz: Busy Two Weeks in Palo Alto
A lot has happened these past two weeks on the Farm. Last weekend we hosted a play day and this past week was competition week; there was Halloween, midterms, BAWSI, and a Tree Lax tournament.
In last weekend's play day we saw some familiar faces in playing SDSU, UC Davis, and Cal. The play day served as out last time competing against another opponent and my last fall ball games as a senior. It's crazy how fast fall ball is going by, I can't believe it's already November! At the play day, the team fared well. There were as always some ups and downs, but we ended improving on the day and that is always the most important.
Then, for the first time in my four years here, coach Amy Bokker decided to hold "competition week" where each drill, game or conditioning test, would be awarded a winner based on points earned and then at the end of each day, a winner would be announced. Our team was split in half and was under the command of one of our assistant coaches. It really inspired a great competitive environment and came down to the last day when we played an intrasquad scrimmage with real officials calling the game. In the end, Team Brooke ended up coming back (sadly not my team) and earning the Golden Tree. It was a great experience and learning opportunity for everyone on the field in different points during the week. However, I will be happy to have all my teammates come back together this coming week, instead of facing off as opponents.
This year our coaches decided to start a new club team called Tree Lax. I decided to help out and coach for the club, because I enjoy coaching and am also considering the possibility of pursuing it after I graduate. This weekend we had our first tournament. Fellow teammate Megan Lerner and I coached the middle school age group. This age group can sometimes be challenging, but it was a ton of fun even though we didn't always come up with a win. As a player, it's extremely rewarding take a different perspective as a coach. Especially with middle schoolers, it's so evident how important the little things are like ground balls and communication. It can really help when we step back on the field this week to make sure we're implementing the right things in practice.
For Halloween this year, the team went to Amy's house and took the neighborhood kids trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, if you look at the pictures on the team's Facebook page you won't see me because I had class and a group presentation. Although I missed the fun, I received an A+ on my presentation, so I'd say it was worth it. This year my class dressed as senior citizens, the juniors went as "six feet under", the sophomores went as decades, and the freshmen were the "spice" girls dressing as different cooking spices. The most entertaining, though, was our assistant coaches who dressed as teammate Meredith Kalinowski and her boyfriend, wide receiver Ty Montgomery. If you would like to see the costumes displayed, check out the Stanford Women's Lacrosse Facebook page.
These past two weeks have been very busy with lacrosse and school (we just finished midterms), but now we get a break as we move into our eight-hour weeks. During this time we can only be together for eight hours, two of which can be spent playing lacrosse.
Also, in each of the past two weeks I had the opportunity to volunteer at BAWSI (Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative). At BAWSI, we go to local schools to empower girls and teach them new skills to be successful in the future. It really makes my day going to BAWSI. Not only is it a fun environment, but also putting a smile on young girls' faces and getting to teach them new things is really amazing in itself. We also got to introduce them to our sport, which I love to do, as many people are still learning about the game throughout California.
One of the things BAWSI does is each week introduce a new word of the week to help build character. Last week's word of the week was integrity. While we brought up examples of using this in the classroom, it is really applicable to utilize it with our team in the coming weeks. Due to the limited time we're allowed together, it's increasingly important for our team to show integrity by still working hard to get better even though we aren't required and no one will be there watching us put the time in. Now that our competition days are over it's time to put in hard work until we have our Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.