Teams gear up for the fall

Emma Colacino, Staff Writer

Fall preseason plays a valuable role in preparing players physically and allowing the teammates to bond before the season.

Preseason is a time for athletes to physically prepare by running and working on flexibility, Cross Country Coach Meridith Cullen said. “For many runners, preseason means getting back into shape,” Cross Country runner Sareena Parikh (10) said. The training builds endurance levels of athletes because of the many repetitions of exercises, Varsity Field Hockey Coach Caroline Surhoff said.

“Preseason consists of a lot of conditioning,” soccer player Christopher Ha (12) said. Soccer conditioning specifically consists of extensive running and short workouts for strengthening muscles, said soccer player Daniel Lee.

“In order to be ready, we need to familiarize ourselves with stickwork and get in condition for running throughout a game,” Field Hockey player Abigail Morse (11) said.

Practices are also necessary for teams to be eligible to compete against other schools. “Preseason is important for cross country because all the runners need to have run in a certain number of practices before they are able to compete in meets,” Parikh said.Preseason is also important because of the early dates of the Fall sports meets, Morse said. For example, the field hockey games start during the second week of school and boys soccer games during the first week of school, Ha said.

Cross Country practices during preseason are the same as regular-season practices, Parikh said. “We talk, run, and even talk as we run to keep practices enjoyable,” she said. On the other hand, field hockey preseason practices differ from regular-season practice. They provide more time for skill stations than in a typical practice, Surhoff said.

Preseason practices for Boys Soccer also differ from their regular-season practices. “During regular practice, we do a lot more tactical and technical work,” Ha (12) said. “We have more time during the preseason. We can practice many more aspects of the sport every day with the additional time,” Girls Soccer Coach Tim Sullivan said.

Preseason is also important to the team because it provides a time for the athletes to bond and become familiar with each other before students feel academic stress, Coach Sullivan said. “Preseason gives us two weeks to get to know each other without having to worry about school,” volleyball player Rosy Arora (11) said.

The Field Hockey team bonds through small group discussions, creating spirit wear, and making music playlists, Surhoff said. The volleyball team bonds by hosting lunches in Manhattan and at school with the entire team, Arora said.

Bonding also occurs in Boys Soccer. “There is a lot of team bonding during preseason as for some of us, it is the first time meeting some of our teammates,” Ha said.

“Preseason is also the time when the ninth graders get to know the team and the fast pace of varsity practice,” Morse said. “It is important for the ninth graders to get used to the elevated level of play before the stress and demands of schoolwork sets in,” Surhoff said.

While teams such as boys and girls soccer, volleyball, and boys and girls cross country do not have an organized trip, football does. “We go away to camp for 4 days to practice harder and longer to get better for the season,” football player Benjamin Goodman (12) said. This trip provides the necessary repetition and practice for the players to be their best at the start of the season, he said.

Preseason is important to the success of the team. “Preseason gives us the building blocks to success,” Sullivan said.