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Monday, April 2, 2012

4/2/12 Update - Things are about to get interesting Edition

Well, it's been a few weeks since the last post. True to form, body chemistry is slowly returning to normal. I anticipate another week or two before it's finally back to square one again. Luckily, that means my next cycle won't interfere with Easter, like it did last year.

I've been doing some good things in the time since my last post. As most of the readers know I've been playing indoor soccer since the beginning of the year, and finally the time has come for our team to go outside and play on the big field. Yes, I'm a goalkeeper, so I don't move around much comparatively, but believe me, it's a good workout. Especially the training drills. But back to my point. In preparation for the move to outdoor, since the end of the indoor season I've been doing a lot of walking, as well as going down to my old high school (just down the street) and doing some movement drills and some kicking practice. We'll be playing on a field the same size as a high school field, so I'm feeling good about my kicks. They'll get to mid-field or thereabouts from the 6-yard box, and my drop kicks aren't too shabby either.

One of the harder things about doing these practice sessions has been the fact I've been doing them by myself. It's hard to get proper training when you're a goalkeeper because you can't do a lot of footwork stuff (not your job), and once you kick a ball a good 45 yards or so you have to go retrieve the ball and come back to do it again. PLUS, since in indoor soccer it's a nice level field, walking around on the wet grass pitch, which is all choppy from the school teams, doesn't make for good walking. Calves and knees feel sore just walking around. And the keepers for the school teams make a giant mudhole in the center of the goal that really makes it hard to move around because your cleats get sucked into the mud when you try and move quickly. But I digress.

Our team, Northern Alliance FC (a Timbers Army FC member), had our first official practice this afternoon. Myself and a few others struck out to get to the practice field early, with most of the rest showing up at the scheduled time or a bit later. It was cold, windy, and it rained a little during the extra pre-practice session, and the thin fabric of my kit was pretty much not helping keep any warmth, but after things got moving the cold wasn't much of a factor. I put in (extra hour included) a total of two and a half hours of practice. I didn't dive or go 100% for my time in goal (due to condition of the field hampering some of my movement, concerns about injuring myself in practice, and in general knowing that this was practice and a lot of the stuff coming at me was unlikely to be a regular matchday occurence.), but still got in some good work.

We ended with a 6 on 6 scrimmage, and played it on a half-field in length but for some reason kept a full width. I wasn't the one calling the shots, so I can't explain it. My team did well. We "won" by a goal, possibly two, although we weren't really keeping score officially. Made a couple of reaction saves, but my best "half" was when I was keeping along the midfield line, where it wasn't as muddy.

One of the downsides of my sports background is that I approach a lot of shots coming at me in goal by trying to swat at them, like blocking a shot in basketball. In indoor, this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, due to pace of play and small pitch size. In outdoor, I'm going to have to work on catching the ball more (and not like trying to catch a football, like I caught myself doing at one point as the ball came out of my gloves and bounced into the goal) and directing my defense on where they need to be as the ball works its way into my third.

On a final note, I have to admit, when we ordered our jerseys, the 3XL that I got (to be safe) seemed like it would be loose-fitting. Boy were we wrong. It's the same size as my XL Timbers jersey (replica, not authentic). These are both made by the same company, adidas. So what the heck? And I have two pairs of shorts. The actual soccer shorts fit fine, but I'll need some compression shorts to keep them from riding up. I also had a couple of issues with the band rolling it's way down during some of my movements. Not a great picture for the people who may be behind me lol! The 3/4 pants (read: longer shorts) would be great but they don't fit quite right, so I'm going to have to take them in and have them adjusted so that they fit right. They'll help pad my knees some, which combined with a good brace should help a lot.

Sorry if you think this post is too long. I'll get some photos up from the practice as soon as our team photographer (and reserve striker) gets them online.

Thanks for reading!