Preseason Journal - Sarah Beth Lee

Senior providing insight into her last preseason camp

August 18, 2009 · Sarah Beth Lee

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This morning we had our usual compliance meeting. I must say, I won't miss the paperwork when soccer is over! We got our new equipment and it is all very nice. For the last three I've worn either white and blue or gray and blue, so to have gray and black is a nice change. The team meeting this evening went well. All of the freshmen seem to be fitting in great and seem to be focused. Dinner at the JUB (James Union Building) was good - there are some head chefs over there who seem to really want us to enjoy what we're eating.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We've officially kicked off fitness testing. This morning we ran the agility test, had our body fat tested, did a push-up test, a pull-up test and a sit-up test. I was pleased with my sit-up and push-ups tests. When we did the pull-ups I honestly felt like a dead weight! Many of the girls did very well on the tests, which is good to see. Oh, we also did vertical and broad jump tests. After a good lunch at the JUB, Ms. (Debbie) Carroll gave us the annual, "Make good grades and go to study hall" talk. It seems like they are really toughening academic standards for athletes, which is great. This afternoon we did a speed and endurance test (thankfully, it wasn't too hot!) and then went to dinner at the JUB.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We did one of the two hardest fitness assessments this morning, the Beep Test. I was very pleased with my results and that many of the others girls passed as well. After lunch I was exhausted from the test earlier that morning, and I slept from 12:15 to 4:30! We had dinner at five and practice after at seven. Practice was great. We played two 25 minute halves and one 15 minute extra period. I thought the team worked well together for a first practice. Afterwards I went home and stretched tediously (my right knee is giving me some slight problems) and iced. The Cooper Test is tomorrow!

Friday, August 7, 2009

This morning I ran my last fitness test ever! We did the modified Cooper Test and I was proud of my results. I'm pretty excited that I'll never have to train for or run the Cooper and Beep tests again. After lunch we got our pictures taken. This year we weren't allowed to wear our earrings (I love my earrings). We had practice at five o'clock today and it was quite warm. Practice went well; however, my right knee gave me some pain. Dinner at the JUB wasn't too bad, but afterward I treated myself to chocolate milk and a Butterfinger. Our food journals allow us only one splurge each day so I guess that's mine...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This morning we did accuracy testing with our passes and services. I didn't do as well as I'd like too, but hopefully we will get to retry these tests later on. I had my player meeting with Aston (Rhoden) today and it went well. We both agree that the team seems to be doing well thus far. After sometime in the training room and a quick nap, resumed practice at seven at the stadium. Tennessee sunsets are always beautiful to see when we practice in the evenings.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

This morning at seven we took an easy run around campus. At lunch Aston surprised us with some good news, "NO TRAINING THIS EVENING!" I know everyone's legs appreciated that...With our free time tonight we went to Jen's (Threlkeld) and all just hung out together. It's always nice to get to know one another outside of a soccer setting.

Monday, August 10, 2009

This morning we had practice at 8:30. We split into four teams of five and rotated playing each other and maintained a focus on pressing the ball. I was proud of my orange team because we won every game. After practice we resumed our ice baths (standing in trash cans filled with ice water) which after 3 years is still not an easy thing for me to do. I know it is good for my legs but for the first couple of minutes I feel sick to my stomach! We had lunch, an effective team meeting and another practice this evening. Off to bed for another day of soccer.....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Practice went well this morning; however, today and yesterday I stayed after to do specialty drills with the forwards and midfielders and now my right quad muscle is feeling the shooting we did. My knee is feeling much better from a few days ago though! After lunch we had another team meeting but it was in a non-traditional format. The team split into two halves and each worked to gain a certain number of points by answering Aston's questions pertaining to team systems of play and what to do in certain game circumstances. I thought this new style of a team meeting was highly effective and engaging. At practice this evening I wasn't happy with how I played, so I'm eager for tomorrow to begin so I can improve some things.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This morning we had practice with a continued focus on pressing. Afterwards midfielders and forwards stayed to practice some shooting - something you can never practice enough. At lunch the JUB chefs served my favorite food...BBQ! I definitely ate more than I should have. The coaches were kind enough to give us the afternoon off from meetings so I took a trip to Wal-Mart and bought some extra tough band-aids for a blister that I'm battling with on my heel. This evening we had dinner and then practice. Practice for everyone didn't go so well tonight so Aston felt we needed a mental and physical break and he gave us tomorrow morning off. Hopefully tomorrow night we will come back refreshed and play more to our level.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This morning I slept in! It was much needed. After lunch I and the other seniors met with the coaches to discuss splitting the team into three groups (nutrition, fashion and entertainment). At 1:00 my team and the volleyball team went to a student-athlete meeting at the BAS (Business and Aerospace Building). I thought the meeting was much more personal and better than it had been in years past. The ladies from the enhancement center did a good presentation on not being a bystander when something wrong is going on. Diane Turnham and Chris Massaro spoke as well, and reminded us that we have a tradition and reputation to uphold as athletes. On a non-athletic but productive note, I got my parking pass and straightened up the apartment. Practice tonight wasn't bad, but I hope that tomorrow's practice goes really well for everyone so we can get in a good one before the first game.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This morning we had a short but valuable practice. We did some finishing and short and quick little games that required us to focus intently. Aston had told us practice wouldn't be much more than an hour and we must have done decent because he kept his word. The team has been split into three groups to work our annual middle school tournament. My group began at 2:30 and I must say that by the time I got home, I was soaked with sweat! Before dinner I ordered six books offline for a history of Japan class I have this semester. Looks like I'll be reading quite a bit! Kenny, my boyfriend from home, is on his way here right now from North Carolina and I'm very excited. After all, I have seen nothing but girls for two weeks straight!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I got up bright and early this morning to work our middle school tournament. During mid-morning I got to take a break, get some lunch and I went back to work the tournament at 12:30. Around three Kenny and I drove to Nashville to pick up one of the cross country girls from the airport. It was great to chat and catch up with her on the ride back. Practice went well tonight. The coaches did a good job of planning a practice that required us to move a bit and work up a sweat but at the same time it didn't over-exert us. I can't wait for the game tomorrow! Woo-hoo!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I ate breakfast at Big Apple Bagels this morning. Got to load up on those carbs! We had a team lunch at the JUB and then some time to kill before the game. I went to Wal-Mart and printed some pictures off of my digital camera and then washed my car. At 3:30 we met at the stadium and at 5:00 began our game. We won! The score was 2-1 and I am so thankful that we kicked our season off with a win. We've definitely got some things to work on but overall it went well.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Today we started up pre-season two-a-days again. Our morning practice was thankfully low intensity. After lunch we had a team meeting in which we discussed the quality of our mental game yesterday and we went over some video clips. This afternoon I took a much needed nap. We had practice tonight at the stadium. I love night practices! It went well and everyone's head seemed to be in it. Off to bed to get my 8 hours...

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.