Here’s the latest; we never ended up finishing our puppy Olympics, so let’s just say we all won gold. The pups have been extremely busy team bonding, and getting ready for our season. The month of September looks a like this:
Our alarms sounded at 6:30 on a Saturday morning to be ready to leave Mathews Arena by 7:15. Two of our senior pups got permission to drive two team vans to an unknown location. We knew we were going to participate in team bonding activities and that it consisted of a possible rope course. After about a half an hour of driving we arrive to our destination. It was raining when we parked, so we gathered under a tent with two instructors, Pam and Katie. They were our leaders for the rest of the day. Once we congregated under the tent we began our activities. For the first couple of hours we participated in small games and events that mostly consisted of choosing a partner whom you were not necessarily close with. For example, it could be freshman to Junior or even sophomore to senior. It didn’t matter who you chose, just as long as it was not your best friend on the team. All of these activates allowed us to get to know each other even better. Once the weather cleared up we proceeded to a wire-walking obstacle. The team was split into two even groups, also referred to as apples and bananas. The apples started at one end of the course and the bananas at the other end. The goals of this activity were that all group members must be connected and touching via wire/tree/teammate/rope, each team must pass each other while staying on the wire that is a couple feet in the air, and lastly to get every teammates to the other side of the course. Once we completed all three goals we were able to eat lunch and create a poster for our locker room. On the poster was one traced handprint per pup and words or phrases that represented teamwork, success, and unity. The last two activities of the day involved climbing a giant ladder that was hanging in between giant trees and then jumping from “lily pads” that were attached to ropes. They sound easier than they actually were. For the ladder activity, there were about six or seven steps, each spaced with about six feet from one another. Once you reached the top it felt like we were at least fifty feet in the air. The way it worked was you were in a harness and connected to a rope and to your teammates. They could either give or take away tension and eventually bring you back down from the top. The lily pad jumping was different. Again you were attached by a harness and to your teammates. First you climbed up a normal ladder, then climbed as if you were rock climbing up to a starting platform. I’d say this was close to 25-30 feet above ground. Your teammates below were pulling the ropes that were attached to the circular platforms (lily pads) to flatten the boards, which allowed you to jump from one to the next. There were a total of 6 or 7 lily pads until you reached the other side. So, overall it was an amazing and fun day of team bonding and in order to be successful we had to trust, encourage, support, and respect the pup to your left and right. After some great activities we drove to our next destination. We made it to our goalie coach, Todd Lampert’s house, where he had some great BBQ food ready to be eaten. After we were finished eating we strolled down to the beach to take some pictures and enjoy the ocean air. That was a great ending to a perfect day.
Throughout the month of September we were having captains practices and on ice conditioning in preparation for our season to begin. This gave us the chance to get to know each other better on the ice, but also start our journey to “hanging banners”. Our first official practice was Monday, September 24th. Not only was the tempo great but we also started the year off on a great note. Classes are getting tougher as the weeks go by, but it gives us more of a reason to stay focused in an out of the classroom. Since the fall sports, such as soccer, field hockey and volleyball are in season we have been making appearances and showing our husky pride and supporting them at their games. It’s definitely going to be a great year all around for the Husky athletics. As we approached the end of September we played our first game against the Boston Blades on Sunday, September 30th. As a spectator in the stands, due to my injury, I felt that we played very well against the team with the caliber that they had. We ended up losing 6-4, but I know the pups felt proud that we could hold our own against a team stacked with national team players. It was an awesome start and now we know what we need to work on. This weekend we will travel to New York, on our first road trip of the year, where we will play our first official games against Colgate and Syracuse. We are looking forward to a fantastic weekend! Further updates will be available in a few weeks! Thanks for staying tuned!