by Luke Tracy, Isaiah Martinez and Robbie Sequeira
The digital clock read “9:00” as the FPU field hockey team ran endline to endline on a 50 year strip of turf.
While many students were rising up for classes, 20 field hockey shifted from smiles and hellos to focused gazes as they knew they had to put in the work.
Though field hockey is played with a stick and a hard plastic ball, none were seen in the hands of the team as they crowded around waiting for their coaches’ instruction.
With a dismal 3-14 season still fresh in their minds, head coach Zoe Adkins and assistant coach Brittany Lepore changed up their offseason approach to create better results for next year.
“Everyone’s putting in the work in using last season as a motivation and putting it behind us,” said junior goalkeeper Meghan Williams.
In past seasons, players were instructed to run around the Bubble track and told to make certain times for each lap. Sophomore Alicia Lasnik feels the change to running on the turf has many benefits for the team.
“This year’s conditioning is more focused on pivoting, cutting corner’s, and getting down the field faster,” said Lasnik.
The team started their condition with baseline to baseline suicide drills. The drill was so strenuous, the gasping of the players soon overtook the cheers and encouragement from teammates.
As soon as one drill was finished they moved onto the next, coaches setting up cones to work on footwork and explosiveness. The team continued to gasp for breath between reps, while besides them elderly locals were having a leisurely game of tennis.
Adkins looked over at the team in the final minutes of practice, she yelled out, “Come on girls, under 30, last one!”
In the last drill of practice, the team was given nine seconds to make it down the field or else they would have to repeat the drill. The team pushed through to make the time.
Soon, the only sounds that could be heard were coughing and heavy breathing. However, that was overtaken by the sound of applause from the entire team, happy that they met their goal. Though the new setup for conditioning in the offseason is tough, players agreed after the practice that is it certainly helping prime them for the future.
Williams, before walking away from practice, said, “We wanna show that we’re really good this year, we’re motivated.”