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Inside Hurricane Soccer with Julie Brooks and Meghan McKinsey

Monday, August 15

We have just completed our fourth day of two-a-day practices. Preseason began with the team reporting for meetings and dinner on August 11th.

At 6:30 a.m. on August 12th, the team ran the first of two fitness tests. The first test consisted of running a one and a half miles in nine minutes and 45 seconds. To the satisfaction of the coaches, the team did very well on this fitness test. Two freshmen led the pack with the top times and many of the returning players did very well.

We were given a few hours break and had to report back to the field at 9 a.m. for the second fitness test. The Beep Test consists of running 20 yards in timed intervals which get progressively faster. The standard for our team is to get to level 15.5. Two returning players, Jessica Gillman and Lauren McAdam passed both tests which exempts them from Breakfast Club!!!

If you don’t pass both fitness tests, you get the privilege of being at the field at 6:30 a.m. every morning for Breakfast Club. Breakfast Club is run by the coaches and you run extra fitness to get you in shape.

A rule that we have had for the last two years is that if you don’t pass a fitness test, you don’t get your practice gear or uniform. So upon completing the two tests, the equipment was distributed to the players who passed at least one of the tests. Everyone was very excited to see the new practice gear and new shoes.

Once we got all of the running out of the way, the fun part began. We had a scrimmage Friday during the second session of the day. It was very exciting to see the new players and to see how they fit in on the team. So far, the team is doing well. We had great play from several of the freshman and the returning players were able to show off some of there skills they had been working on over the summer.

Each day we have had a morning session which consists of skilled work, technical skills or teaching, and then end with a scrimmage at the end of the afternoon session. All of the playing time has really helped to get game fit and to get more experience playing with the new teammates.

Practicing in the above 100 degree heat has been brutal but will provide to be a big advantage when teams come to South Florida for games. We will continue this week with two-a-days and will have our first preseason scrimmage on Monday at 7 p.m. against the Jamaican U-20 National team.

More updates to come in a few days!

Julie BrooksGo Canes!!

Wednesday, August 17

As of tomorrow we are going into our sixth day of preseason and each day has been a lot of hard work. We’ve been given the fortunate opportunity to gain our fitness through play rather than “putting our toes on the line”, a phrase we learned all too well in breakfast club.

Although waking up at 5:30 a.m. to run sprints was near miserable, due to lack of sleep and strenuous activity, it was a great way to build up a base of fitness that I can now build upon.

Since we’re not running in practices we get to play in the great Miami heat which is far different from the weather at home in California. When I first arrived it felt like I hit a wall of humidity which, even after spending 13 days here, I’m still not acclimated to. But with the support of all the girls on the team it has been extremely easy to adjust to life here except for the cafeteria food.

The girls were one of the main reasons I decided to come to Miami because while on my official visit they made me feel right at home and since joining the team the experience has been the same. Support not only comes from the girls, I find it in the coaches and training staff as well.

Everyone wants us to succeed and they are willing to do anything to help us reach that point. It’s a great feeling because, while being about 3,000 miles away from home, I feel as though I have second family.

Meghan McKinsey