Monday, February 1, 2010

Palguta's Blog: Recapping First Week of Preseason Camp

Well, February is upon us and we’re already into our second week of preseason training!

Taking a look back at the first week of camp, it started as we all gathered at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last Tuesday for entrance physicals and a brief team meeting. It was great to have all the guys back in the same locker room together.

We were also able to welcome the four new players the club recently picked up in the 2010 SuperDraft. I’m personally thrilled with the selection of Andre Akpan, because along with the recent acquisition of Jeff Larentowicz, our roster now features three Ivy-Leaguers! That’s right, smart kids can excel at sports, too.

I’m excited to finally play alongside Jeff, since I routinely lost to him and his Brown Bears throughout my collegiate career. I’m not making any excuses for Cornell, but I suppose it’s easier to concentrate on soccer when you have the option to take all of your courses pass/fail.

Now, I have no argument for Harvard; they’re just better.....unless, of course, you want to discuss grade inflation. But this is a soccer blog, so I won’t get into that.

Wednesday was our first official day of training. Most of the session was spent trying to get the rust off, as it was clear that the majority of us spent the last month or so away from the training pitch.

Our training session was followed by an incredible “welcome back” team meal at the Denver ChopHouse. While the meal itself was outstanding, the most memorable moment of the evening was assistant coach Brett Jacobs' toast, which included a proficient and inspiring recitation of “The Man In The Glass.”

With full stomachs, we reported to Impact Sports Performance in Broomfield early Thursday morning for fitness testing.

Impact Sports is a strength and conditioning facility owned by our strength coach, Jamie Heiner. Over the course of a couple hours, Jamie put us through a series of tests which included: vertical jump, 20-yard dash, agility shuttle, body fat testing, and finally, the dreaded Yo-Yo endurance test.

The purpose of the fitness testing is to simply see what we’ve been doing during the off-season. It also gives the coaching staff a feel for our collective fitness level. Based on the results, the coaches can put together the proper training sessions for the coming weeks.

In the end, the staff was thrilled with the results, as nearly everyone surpassed expectations.It’s clear that we have a dedicated group that really wants to build on last year’s progress.

Perhaps our impressive test results will lead to more time with the ball at our feet and less time in our running shoes during the days ahead...

Thanks and until next time!


Rapids defender Scott Palguta blogs exclusively for The Rapids Undercurrent. Post questions or feedback for future columns below!