Feb. 15, 2013
Throughout the spring semester, GoCards.com will provide weekly updates on the Louisville women's soccer program in the "Behind the Scenes" blog. For the month of February, Nicole Gerber gives a glimpse into the world of the Cardinals.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER... by Nicole Gerber
competition [kom-pi-tish-uhn] - noun
1. a rivalry between two or more persons or groups for an object desired in common, usually resulting in a victor and a loser but not necessarily involving the destruction of the latter.
The Soccer vs. Field Hockey spring challenge of 2013 was underway just a few short weeks ago. Our two teams have come to know and love each other, so competing against each other in fitness challenges made everything interesting. Strength and conditioning coach Heather Engel works with our two teams regularly, so it was her idea to have us compete against each other every Thursday morning at 6:30. We started the whole competition on Jan. 17 and it ended on Feb. 14.
Each week, Heather gave us "missions" we had to complete. Each Thursday victory, your team was awarded 25 points. But each week during our lifting sessions, one individual was randomly selected from each team to complete a mini challenge and the victor earned five points for her team. You could rack up points both ways and as each week passed, our scores got closer and closer together.
Week one involved running laps around the Kentucky Exposition Center. We ran one lap and the first team to finish the lap chose to either push a truck the second lap or carry two huge wooden logs. The first team to finish the second lap won. Week two consisted of a 45-minute bike ride with 10 bikes. You would rotate when you got tired and the team with the overall distance won the challenge. Week three was a compilation of a lifting sequence with a 1:30 bike sprint in between lifting sets. The team who got the furthest in the bike won points there. We then moved to the tug-of-war battle. There were three rounds of best two out of three, and the winner also won points there.
Week four was The Gauntlet. For those of you who don't know, you run a mile, then a half-mile, then a quarter-mile, then run eight 100m sprints on the track. Heather gave us times we had to finish each distance under, and if you, individually, didn't reach them, you were eliminated. The team with the most people standing at the end won the points.
Coming into this week's final challenge, the score was Field Hockey 70, Soccer 60.
Week five consisted of five mini challenges, and (for most of the challenges) the overall winners got 10 points and the team with the best average got five points. We ran a half-mile for the first challenge. We did lunges 100 yards, bear crawled 100 yards, then sprinted 100 yards for the second challenge. The third was a relay of two miles (with two groups of four people per each team) and then a farmer's carry for 12 minutes with two 50 lb. dumbbells (with one group of six people per team). The fourth was an alteration between carrying a 25-kilo plate 100 yards and jumping rope. In this one, you had a partner whom you would rotate with. We had to complete 3 sets of rotations. And the fifth challenge was called L1C4. Louisville first, Cards forever. One soccer player partnered up with one field hockey player and you "fireman's carried" the other person 100 yards, and she would do the same to you. This challenge had no points awarded. We may compete against each other, but at the end of the day, we work as one whole, united team.
The final score at the end of yesterday's challenge was Field Hockey 105, Soccer 85.
It's not a good feeling, being a soccer player and knowing that you lost, but at the end of the day, someone had to win. But the bigger picture wasn't about winning... it was about having fun, challenging yourself and your teammates with people you don't normally get to work with each day, and working either with or against each other to complete the mission Heather gave us. In the end, we're all Cardinals and so, as the old saying goes: birds of a feather flock together.