DEEP THOUGHTS

Monday, February 7, 2011

THEY PAVED PARADISE – PUT UP A PARKING LOT (Joannie Mitchell)

When we started practicing Friday at 8:00 p.m. it was cold and gusts were doing their wind chill thing, and by the end at 10:00 steam billowed with every breath, One player remarked how the field had gotten harder during the course of the two hours, and it was true, artificial turf felt more like parking lot under foot than it did a field of dreams.

BRRRRRRING IT ON

We are already done with our indoor time at the Edge. We are into the practicular phase of being outside and it being winter, and on top of that we are scheduled mostly for times that tend to be later in the evening.

50-50 = HALF FULL

For many logistical reasons we didn’t have our first taste of a (more or less) full field scrimmage until just Friday night. It happened at the CSU football practice facility. It was our first practice there this year. There are no creases painted on the field around the goals and the lights we play under there are such that make for seeing conditions just this side of horrible, but it was great to be out on the ‘open prairie’ to practice.

I think that kind of stuff (bad lights e.g.) is good for contributing to mental toughness, focus, and concentration for players. The more they can find the glass half full in conditions that aren’t that great, the better they can handle things like freezing rain blizzards in National quarterfinal games played in May when it is not supposed to be that cold.

Anyway, for the first scrimmage it was really pretty good quality, as in very encouraging.

Something I learned when I was just getting going as a real coach way back in Santa Barbara was that the 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups imposed that they did not really want to do at the very end of practice and in the driving rain were great references for me to use in times to come, individual moments that warranted a little extra inspiration or motivation.

One thing I do like a lot about the football built facility that is our only on campus practice venue until February becomes March is using all the yard lines and ‘hash’ marks painted permanently on the field to talk to people about specific spacing and positioning.

EVERYBODY IN THE POOL

An area where we are not logistically challenged is depth. We have lots of players, particular at certain positions. We have our ‘usual’ seven goalies or whatever, and that is something that really needs to come into clearer focus sooner rather than later. The top 3 or four all have potential starting merit.

The Long stick midfielder position is another place in the player pool where we go deep, and that is great because we want so much to come to us from that single position, but at the same time, the more we have the ball in our possession the less that single position player spends time on the field. If you try to split that into five parts, no matter how you specialize or role play each piece, the subject of playing time gets into a little bit of a dicey range. You never want good players to not be playing.

NOW WE’RE COOKING WITH GAS (Phil Naumburg)

I think we are deeper on attack than perhaps the last few years. We lost the most useful and solid Paul Larson to graduation, but I am eager to see what we look like with two new freshmen on the attack patrol, Colorado Kacy Carter and natural lefty Sean Smith. Sean shuffled out here from Buffalo and brings some New York flavor to the team to mix with that California Cooper thing we already have cooking. These two youngun’s will add some new elements along with our other Colorado incumbents, Jake and the Fish, and to our overall pursuit of a tasty offense.

Along with what we have returning in the midfield I expect us to serve up a bunch of goals on any opponent’s plate, especially if we don’t burn opportunities with that unforced error thing that can mess up the flavor of things. If we take care of the ball well I don’t see how we won’t be into double-digit scoring numbers against pretty much anyone we play.

CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY

The 2011 CSU Lacrosse season is about to unfold a competitive, challenging campaign that is sealed with all the red tape that is coming along with our trip to the Northwest. There is seemingly a constant stream of loopholes and new holes that float through Coach Smith’s task of taking the team to another country. You’d think it might be not so hard considering the fact that we are all going on one bus and will only be in Canada for three hours, eh? It should prove to be an interesting trip. On that Spring Break voyage we are also scheduled to play the University of Washington at the UDUB football stadium. That should be fun. I always thought that Husky Stadium on the lake thing would be cool to actually see in person.

ROLL UP FOR THE MYSTERY TOUR (Beatles)

Next Saturday we get on the bus.