Saturday, April 14

First Practice!

Finally, Pike 07 has begun!

Unlike years past, during which I think we started as early as February, we delayed the beginning of the season until April. We decided not to travel to Terminus for the first time since I've been on the team, and I think we're going to better in the long run for it. The hunger and drive had a longer opportunity to build up, and the mind had a bit longer to contemplate the meaning of the upcoming season.

As for the practice itself, it started at 9:30am with individual warmups and then moved into some basic skill-drills. This might be the first year that we didn't have some fools who can't catch or throw a forehand show up and destroy every drill before either walking away or vomiting on the shoes of a captain. If that's not progress, I don't know what is.

We finished the drilling section and took a 20 minute break before we went into some scrimmaging. The first point, which in hindsight courtesy of my brother we both should have had the good sense to stay out of, was horrible. I would bet that there were 8 turns per team before someone finally punched it in. I don't remember who scored, but we were all relieved when it happened. I'm pretty sure I had a drop in this point, though it may have been the next one. Yuck. Did get a point block, however. The new marking rules are strange.

Quickly, the level of play, if not the organization on the field, improved. It was essentially like playing pickup, but without any chumps. That's not all bad. In the end, I'm 90% sure my team won 7-6. That's right.

We then did a little work (in the same teams) on Zone O and D. Just a little primer for those unfamiliar with the standard Pike versions of these for next weekend. Nuances weren't really covered, but that's wasn't the point. Of course, my team rolled in this department. I think we may have scored all of our chances on O, while the other team struggled a little.

We finished up with another game, this one to 5, in which I managed to get a D and then throw it away as we were trying to convert. There was a poached guy in the endzone, and instead of following my first instinct and blading it to him, I tried to set a good example and deliver a nice flat throw. Instead, I just threw it right back to the other team as Heckman stuck his hand up and grabbed the low-flying toss. Never second-guess yourself while throwing. If you do, just don't throw it. I've learned this lesson a thousand times and I still occasionally pay the price. We still managed to pull out the 5-4
win in this one. I like to start the practice season undefeated. It gives me hope that this will be there year that I never lose in practice.

Finished up with a little conditioning and then a cool down. Ah... the first day in the books. It was, all things considered, a good practice with nice weather. Most of my throws were on target and the ones that were off are correctable errors, which is fine for April. I'm definitely not yet in game shape.
Good thing we're bringing a ton of people to the Beth Coltman Memorial next weekend. I've got the work capacity, endurance and strength to be active for a full day, but my supporting muscle groups (specifically my lower back) were not ready for the pounding delivered by cleats + non-flat fields. I'll get over it though.
Workout Total:
5 hours ultimate practice


Ryan Todd said...

How is the roster looking at this point? Most of the team is returning right?

We're not going to Henlopen and I can't make the Pike Invite, so I won't see you guys until CUT.

dusty.rhodes said...

I'm not the king of all things roster, but I do know this: The majority of players from last year plan to return. We also have quality tryouts. Add the two together and we'll be a better team in 07. Of this much I'm sure.

CUT? I sincerely doubt we'll be there after last year's debacle. This seems like the appropriate time to mention that we'll also be in Austin, TX that weekend at LiveLogic.

Ryan Todd said...

Well I'd imagine that Austin, TX will be drier and warmer than Caz, NY.

See you in Boston then?

dusty.rhodes said...

Hell yes on both counts.

Mackey said...

Having trained similarly to you going into this season, I can relate to the "not game shape" concerns.

It definitely took me a while to get back to feeling strong playing--honestly, Yale Cup was probably the best yet, though I was feeling pretty good at the end of spring break as well. For me, it took a couple tournaments to get back into playing shape--I also think getting back to consistency with track/interval workouts helped, though a 1-hr workout will never do better than try to approximate the wear and tear of two days' play.

I think you'll have it easier than me, though, as I play a lot more D than you. Lately I've shifted to playing O more consistently, which is actually really nice--cutting with full energy reserves is a luxury I've rarely enjoyed. And it keeps me better rested to play mostly O so that I can come in on D points in the important games, too.

I'm off topic. Point is, all in due time. Though I'm sure you know that well enough already. I will say that I feel a lot stronger this season than I felt most of last year, with the possible exception of regionals last year--seeing as I'm on track to peak for it again this year, I'm planning to exceed that plateau this year.

dusty.rhodes said...

Yeah-- I'm not too worried about it. Every year, even before I reworked the training program, this was the case. I'm on the same page about track/interval workouts, as I've definitely let them slip a touch. Then again, I do that in part because I know that's a strong suit for me.

I should reiterate that my arms, legs and most of my torso feel fine. It's just the lower back and it was gone by Monday morning. If the past is any guide, it won't return all year.