Thank you...Is that you coach? ** -- HOOSNICE 04/20/2017 11:37AM
April Newsletter (stay calm gents)
Our two ACC opponents in the month of April defeated us soundly, demonstrating
a level of play that we struggled to match. Yes, this was surprising as we had
found ourselves throughout the season in one-goal game after one-goal game.
Being a part of such tight contests had become the norm, and we started to
become emotionally hardened to the late game pressures as witnessed by the 3
goals we scored in the final two minutes at Johns Hopkins, followed by the 2
goals in the last minute of play in the victory over Richmond. The North
Carolina and Duke games were different though, and they have impacted how we
think concerning what we need to do moving forward. True, the North Carolina
game was a closer affair marred by a large imbalance at the faceoff X. But
faceoffs are a part of the game and we needed to be better at making the
faceoff a team affair and not just a 1v1 or even 3v3 battle. And the Duke game
was simply an old-fashioned butt-whooping. I need to be better next year with
the preparation of our team.
In competition with a rival, there is a tendency to revert to instinctual or
intuition or gut responses as opposed to being step-by-step and planned out.
Did this occur the past two weekends? It may have. My staff and I need to
hammer home our schemes and systems with greater force in the future to ensure
greater comprehension. Sure, year one is supposed to have some growing pains
as both the staff and men learn one another’s style. But some weeks this
season we sacrificed extra repetitions to ensure the men were fresher on game
day, and not asked to understand every nuance of our opponent. There will
always be a balance to be found here as a coach: how much do we push our men
as we prepare them for the upcoming opponent? And is it better to
over-prepared or underprepared if you had to lean towards one or the other?
We have one game remaining on our schedule: a second chance at the University
of Pennsylvania on April 29 down in Durham, NC. We have almost two weeks to
prove we can be a better team, a smarter team. We are eager to take advantage
of this time to drill our schemes and to continue developing our fundamentals.
In addition, I have been speaking to the team this week about several areas
with which we will do things differently moving foreward. Most of these will
be subtle but important to our staff as we continue to mold this program into
our vision. I am excited about getting back to the practice field today and
for the next few weeks as we build the foundation for our future.
Our staff has a mandate of making connections between our current men and past
teams and men of Virginia. The history of our program is an exceptional,
complete with outstanding achievements. The word legacy means a great deal to
us, in the context both of prior generations and for what we are creating
today. Feeling emotionally connected to the people who came before us is
important. As we develop this larger perspective, we believe our men will grow
through knowing our past. It can serve as a motivation, as we more willingly
sacrifice for others. The more connected you are to our men, the stronger all
of us will be.
How can this be accomplished? It is happening now with our mentoring program:
each of our underclassmen has an alumnus mentor. The bonds created between the
student-athlete and the alumnus can grow in multiple directions and strength
over the next few years. It is happening with your event and game
attendance. I have been fortunate to meet so many of you at various socials
(Boston, New York, Baltimore, Richmond) and at both home and away contests.
And it is happening with your words, whether through email or by phone. All of
us appreciate the supportive words through this disappointing ACC season. We
take full responsibility for the pain felt due to finishing winless in the ACC.
But many of you have stayed positive with us, raising us with uplifting
comments. Kip, Sean, Rocco and I are grateful for everything you have given
us, with the most important being your trust. We have learned a great deal
this first year and we have established our schematic footprint. Now it is
time to build upon this foundation!!
Along these lines, let me share the date of our Fall Alumni Game and Golf
Outing Weekend: October 13 – 14. We will hold an Alumni vs. Varsity game on
Friday Night. On Saturday, we will hold a golf outing followed by a team
reception that will recognize the 2017 season. More details will come out
Posted: 04/19/2017 at 4:14PM
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