Training Camp One

April 5, 2016 at 9:58 pm Leave a comment

This past weekend The Wombats had their first training camp. I approached the weekend with a mix of apprehension and excitement.

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been working on recovering from a hamstring issue. Progression has been steady, but slow. Prior to the training camp I had worked my way up to doing a bit of light straight-line running. No serious efforts, hard turns or jumping. Definitely no game time. Not ideal preparation for a weekend of ultimate.

Without knowing what was planned for the training camp my physio gave me the all-clear to participate as much as I thought I should based on how my hamstring felt along the way. Injury concerns aside I was excited to spend a weekend with the team, focusing on our improvement as a unit without the pressure of competition that comes along with playing tournaments.

After the usual flurry of flights, whatsapp messages, hire cars, google maps and Melbourne traffic we ended up at Carlos’ place on Friday night. We were treated to a very respectable BBQ consisting of delicious hamburgers, amazing chilly dogs and some tasty beverages. Thanks to Carlos for a great relaxing night to kick-off the weekend!

Saturday

We started off with a mental training session which I found very interesting as an extension of some mental exercises I’ve done in the past. From there we moved into some dump/reset plays with associated practise.

After this we split into two teams. One team continued to do more drills whilst my team took to the field for a short game against Heads of State. I had felt reasonably good through the warm-up so decided to play a few points to see how my hamstring held up.

I had a great game! Mostly it was just good fun to be playing ultimate again after a long break. However my injury didn’t bother me very much and I was able to be competitive throughout the game. I was pleased to pull down a couple of hucks from deep cuts. I also worked well cutting under, threw a couple of assists and managed to limit my throaways to only one.

The rest of the day was spent on further plays, primarily our horizontal offence. We split into our offence and defence lines (I am on the D line) and played a few scenarios against each other. I was pleased to be able to play throughout the day. I took more subs than I would normally but was able to continuously work hard and contribute on the field. After being unsure whether I would be able to participate at all this was a big relief.

The only low point was a “rush of blood” moment where I attempted a difficult throw to a bad option. It was a terrible on-field decision and right in line with the feedback I have been trying to address throughout the campaign. I received an appropriate reality check from the coach who made it quite clear that my chances to iron this issue out are nearly gone.

The formalities were followed up with some beers in the sun at the fields, a shower and then a trip to Will’s for another amazing BBQ – steak sandwiches for all.

Sunday

Thanks to the daylight savings shift we were able to get a nice long night’s sleep and also have time for a leisurely breakfast at Fifteen Pounds. I consumed some amazing porridge (candied walnuts!) and a couple of coffees. Great place for brekky!

Throughout the day we continued to work on various plays. Sunday saw us focusing on defence (pommy and clam) along with some end-zone play structures. We went through quite a lot of simulated points and finished up with a game between the O and the D line.

My thoughts

A training camp for a masters team is a challenging thing. There’s a lot of experience on the team and everyone has perspective on what has worked well (or not) on their various teams in the past. We also don’t have a lot of time to really drill our plays. As a result it was necessary to keep things simple and focus on principles rather than go into the finer details of every play. The flip-side is that, due to the experience across the team, the principles take hold quite quickly and start to form good plays. I commend the leadership team on their approach and efforts.

Personally I am very happy with the weekend. I was able to play through both days and came away with my injury feeling improved, rather than worse. I’m definitely not 100% but I know I am now ready to start ramping things up and can get back on track working towards worlds. I can’t wait to start working full gas on my fitness again.

In terms of my game, again I am happy after the weekend. I had three throaways across the weekend, one of which was pretty horrendous. That was a low-point and I’m not ignoring it, but it was somewhat outweighed by the consistency at which I was able to get into space, get the disc and continue the play. I’ve still got improvements to make but I feel like I am progressing, and with my injury concerns somewhat allayed I can keep working sooner than I expected.

 

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Entry filed under: Ultimate Frisbee.

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