I was recruited by Michelle Ng and Without Limits to write about my experiences in my final season of College Ultimate. 2011 has many possibilities...let's see how they pan out. E-mail me (robyn-fennig@uiowa.edu)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First Practice: Expectations

**Fun fact: I said some version of the word "expect" a whopping 35 times in this post.

The importance of understanding what expectations exist cannot be stressed enough. Understanding what is expected of me from my teammates, what I expect from myself, and what I expect from my team is important. I feel like expectations have to be assessed before any sort of goal setting can take place. I would like to think that many of you have assessed expectations. However, I waited until my first practice back to really try to analyze the expectations.

Why wait until now? Well, I had knee surgery the day after Thanksgiving.(While all of you were chowing down on some delish food in a gluttonous fashion, I was fasting for my 6 am surgery on Friday. Boo) I mean, I wanted to see where I was when I came back before I even set tangible goals. Last night, Saucy Nancy had it's first "Official" practice of the 2011 College Season. I have to say, as my first practice back to the realm of ultimate since Club Nationals 2010, I had fairly low expectations. It isn't because I have low expectations for me or my team. I tend to think I am fairly realistic.
What are Expectations
Expectations are different than goals. Google says that  expectations are belief about the future. Something you anticipate with confidence. Goals on the other hand are an objective that a person plans or intends to achieve. Expectations are something that you expect will happen. Goals are something that you hope will happen.

Personal Expectations
Personal expectations are always a bit more difficult for me to assess. I seem to do this thing called overanalyzing, and I tend to be on the pessimistic side of things. Prior to practice, here's what I thought about. I call these Robyn's Pre-Season Reality-World
1) I have not played ultimate since the end of October.
2) I have not sprinted since the end of October.
3) I threw a few times over winter break, nothing substantial.
4) I am lifting more than I thought I would be at this point post-op.
5) I felt as though I could have "worked harder," but I'm not sure that was the case. I made the decision to ease into things more slowly than I typically do after an injury.
Needless to say, I didn't suck as much as I thought I would have. I mean, I am a bit sore today, but I would expect nothing less. It serves as some motivation, that is for sure. But my personal goals for this season can be reassessed. I'll put that off until after this weekend's scrimmage/tournament.

I feel that my team expects me to be a handler who gets the disc a lot. Not saying I'm going to control the game, but I know from convos with Mikey, what my coach expects me to do in game situations. I know that my teammates expect me to be active on O. They expect me to get open for dumps, or make the strike cut up the line to make a big throw. They expect me to be smart with the disc and not throw it away. My teammates expect me to get big in the air in our zone D. My teammates expect me to pull the disc consistently.

Team Expectations
When it comes to the big picture of a team; however, I feel as though I am better at assessing where we are at the moment. After watching my teammates doing some intense plyos and lifting before practice, I know that I have never been on an ultimate team quite like this.
I'm seeing rookies making progress. People I wouldn't expect to get up a few inches, are jumping that box with one foot. I'm seeing people adding weight to the bar on their deadlifts, and squat form improving tremendously. The off-the-field drive, desire, and time is being put in.
Personally, I have the basic expectation that when I show up on Tuesdays/Thursdays/Fridays/Sundays, people are working hard. I expect that every single one of my teammates will continue to lift, condition, and train intensely throughout the season, tracking their improvements, taking Mikey's recommendations to heart. I expect that my teammates respect and encourage each other. I expect practices to be challenging, and that all players experience personal growth this season.

I also expect my team to not turn the disc over on O a ton of times; that we capitalize on every opportunity and make smart decisions. I expect that we will out-D our opponents, beating them with our legs and depth.

If all of my personal and team expectations are met, I expect to be playing in Boulder with my 28 teammates.

1 comment:

  1. You might be a little sore from your layout last night too! Glad to have you back :)