Off the Field with Brooks and McKinsey #2

Aug. 24, 2005

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Sunday August 21, 2005<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>


This preseason has been a little different for me. I am rehabbing back from a knee surgery I had just a month before preseason started. Spectators don’t realize how much time and energy is put in behind the sense to come back from injury.


Because I was not cleared to play yet, I have not had the same type of preseason all of my teammates have had. My days consists of getting to the training room around 8:15 a.m. every morning for treatment, riding the bike to get my muscles warm and stretching for a good 20 minutes. Then I go out to training with the rest of the team to do rehab exercises while they are practicing. My rehab exercises consists of what feels like hundreds of squats, lunges, step-ups, monster walks (huge steps with a thera-band around your legs), single leg squats, balance exercises and when my legs are sore and shaky, we start the core exercises. Some of the core exercises are sit-ups, crunches, planks, super-mans, jack-knives, planks on a physioball and so on.


After the first morning session is over, I have weight training with our strength coach, Mark Dziadek. Mark helps me work on my leg strength to get my muscles strong enough for running, cutting and eventually playing. Again we go through a circuit of front squats, back squats, single leg squats, lunges, calf raises, leg extensions, hamstring curls and on and on and on…


If you can survive weights with Mark, you can survive anything! He pushes us very hard, but I don’t think I would be where I am today with out his help. My leg muscle has increased so much in the last week! 


During the second session of the day, I do more running and agility-type exercises. Some of the favorites are quick feet on a box, step-ups, cutting exercises and ball work. If I can walk by the end of the day, I’m doing well! What people don’t realize is that when you are injured, you have to put in twice as much work to get back to normal and then even more to catch up to your teammates who have been playing the whole time.


This week, I was allowed to participate in some of the drills in non-contact situations. It is amazing to see how much our team has improved from last year. The pace of the drills is much faster and much more organized. The team plays possession very well and overall, the team is extremely fit!  This makes me realize how much work I need to get back to playing 100% with the team.


We were given the evening session off on Tuesday and then the whole day off Saturday. The day off was awesome, but I slept most of it! I was so tired from the week that I didn’t even want to do anything when we were finally able to. We had a team dinner at Kristen Chapman, Lindsey Yach and Ashley Durkee’s new house which was a lot of fun. It was the first time our team has hung out together outside of soccer. Our team is a lot of fun and we had a lot of good laughs.


A week from today is our first game against Monmouth at 12 p.m. We trained at 2 p.m. today and it was HOT, I’m just glad that we are able to train in the heat so we will be somewhat used to it when it comes game time. We start classes on Wednesday so this week we will practice only once a day at 2 p.m.. Now is when things get tough with trying to balance school work and soccer.


Hope to see you at our game on Sunday against Monmouth at 12!


Julie Brooks

Go Canes!!!




Tuesday, August 24, 2005


Today was our last day of preseason which means no more double days!


Today we met with the team nutritionist which is definitely a new experience for me because I’ve never watched my weight or what I ate. Now I’ve had a body fat percentage test and I’m paying closer attention to what I consume.


During our team meeting all the rookies got adopted by families on the team and I am one of the newest members of the Garmoores family, which I’m super excited to be part of it.


Tomorrow is the start of the new school year and I have three of my six classes tomorrow which start at 9 a.m. However, I get to go to the training room at 8 a.m. for treatment for tendonitis in both my knees, so I get to see Angie bright and early!


Tomorrow is also our first scrimmage – we play the U-20 Jamaican Women’s National Team. It’ll be good for us to play against some new competition and get a feel for the speed of play and urgency.


I’m excited to do all of our pre-game stuff, such as the meal at the Beverly Hills Cafe, the scout report and dressing in our new uniforms. It’s a night game so we have the rush of playing under the lights. I’m super pumped for tomorrow’s game and I know we will pull through with a win to get our season started out in the right direction!


Meghan McKinsey