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Gianna Blog: Pre-Season Update
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/10/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Aug. 10, 2010

Wow, where did the summer go! First day of preseason began August 4, and in true Lobo fashion we opened with a bang. The team met in our South Campus locker room, then headed over to the Student Success Center for a light lunch and yearly compliance meeting. Dawn Martinez led the team through the student-athlete compliance paperwork, and NCAA drug education video. These meetings are definitely not the highlight of preseason but something that's just got to be done. After a quick visit from Academic Advisor Lisa Kiscaden we walked back to the locker room to meet the coaches Kit and Jorge Vela, Shannon Cross and Student assistant Krista Peterson.

The coaches got right down to business with each player getting a copy of our team "Lobo Laws" and academic expectations. As a team we strive to maximize our potential on and off the field, so these guidelines help everyone stay on track. The last item on the agenda for the day was fitness testing. It's always nerve wrecking waiting for testing to begin. No matter how fit and prepared I am, the anxiety is always the same.

For the second year, we have completed the track challenge as our base fitness test. The track challenge consists of a mile run, followed by an 800m, 400m, 200m and two 100m timed runs. Few people `enjoy' the track, but the determination to run a personal-best time led the team to producing the best opening day times in program history.

After a tiring first day we gathered in the athlete lounge (a new addition to south campus which includes a ping pong room with couches, a full board room and classroom for team talks) and ate dinner, then headed home to get some rest before day two (the start of double days).

Days two through five all seem to blur together. With two field sessions a day we didn't waste any time getting down to the nitty gritty of functional training. Functional training consists of each position breaking off into a group and working on specifics. Since I'm a defender I have the pleasure of working with Coach Jorge (he is one of the smartest defensive coaches I've ever worked with, but his humor is something else haha). We worked a lot on 1vs.1 and 2vs.2 defending, as well as defending with the back four. It looks pretty simple from the stands but there is a lot to understand as a center back because you're the one organizing the other girls in the defensive line.

Once the coaches were confident in our progress, we went to full field drills with lots of girls getting rotated on. The aim is to see which group has the best chemistry. Soccer is very unique because team chemistry always comes before individual talent. One trait that is obvious in this 2010 Lobo team is the selflessness. The team comes first, which I think will make the selection process even harder come August 14 (our first game-day).

Only five days until our home exhibition match against Texas Tech. Between now and then, I can guarantee we will be working our tails off to be ready for them!

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