Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Preseason is here...

Peter Sanger, a senior on the 2010 Milwaukee men's soccer team, will be blogging all season long on the UWM website. Today is his first blog entry.


As August approached, I knew what was looming just around the corner. August is the month of sweat, pain, fatigue and grit. Together, all of us players make the trek back to UWM after enjoying summers of beaches, free time and carefree living. Yet our social lives are now over, the next month will be spent either drenched in sweat and breathing heavy on the field or resting and recuperating between practices.

Going into my senior year, I have to admit that I might miss a very tiny portion of pre-season, but the majority of me will be glad to be done with it. For a week before we start with the coaches, two–a-days begin as player’s preseason commences. Morning sessions of pure playing soccer, followed by dreaded evenings of pounding pavement on runs.

The purpose of player’s preseason is to increase fitness, build team camaraderie and start playing together. Everyone wants to be sharp when we start with the coaches, so intensity is always high. This year we’re lucky enough to have a quality pitch to play on near campus at Shorewood High School, so the mornings are much easier than I remember freshmen, sophomore and junior year. I still remember showing up as a freshmen and having to run miles just to get to a horrendous field that we could get kicked off of at any moment by a team that had reserved it ahead of time. Playing on the turf of Shorewood, where we know the field’s schedule is a breath of fresh air.

No bad bounces to blame for a bad touch or rolled ankles are just a few of the perks of playing on a flat surface. Furthermore, our quality of play is immediately much higher due to the turf. The fitness sessions are still a leg killer though. Whether it’s running to St. Mary’s Hill to do sprints up the stairs and hill, running back to back to back to back to back 6-minute miles around the track, or doing sprint relays on Bradford Beach, you’re going to be spent.

This year is definitely different though, there’s a bigger sense of unity among the players, with the incoming freshmen already gelling with us returning players. We’re turning from a team into a family. There’s a sense of something special on the horizon and everybody knows that it will take every single player being on board in order to achieve it.

I’m looking forward to keeping you updated more as the season progresses, but it’s time for me to catch a nap before the next session!