Courtesy of Lizzie McManus
For the first time since November, field hockey athletes gathered on the football field to practice their skills. On Oct. 8, 40 McLean athletes participated in the first off-season field hockey green day.
McLean field hockey previously had yellow days, which solely focus on fitness. Green days allow for the use of equipment, so players are able to practice individual skills and team drills.
“For the yellow days, we just did conditioning, but on the green day, we were able to work on skills with a stick and ball,” senior Kylie Keysor said. “The practice consisted of warm up laps around the track, social distanced stretching and individual stick skills.”
The field hockey program enforced strict regulations in order to hold a safe practice. All athletes were assigned an arrival location where they had their temperature checked by the athletic trainers. Players were required to wear masks and bring their own water.
“The introduction of Phase III allows student athletes to participate with equipment, but a disinfecting process must happen every 45 minutes during the session. We are finally able to engage in individual skills, as well as partner skillwork,” varsity field hockey coach Lizzie McManus said. “McLean has been following county safety procedures to allow for a smooth and safe reentry into athletics.”
While guidelines currently prevent field hockey players from attending practices of the same intensity as previous years, the use of equipment now provides players with the opportunity to build upon their skills during the off-season. For now, green days will continue to occur at McLean on Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
“There are still limitations at the moment, but I will certainly continue to change up the format to allow for more player development of the various skill levels in attendance,” McManus said. “[There are] so many positive aspects to these gatherings now that we have a stick, ball and each other.”
Although the team can not practice at full intensity, the players and coaches remain optimistic and look forward to attending more green days.
“My favorite part of the green day was being back on the field with my teammates,” Keysor said. “It was a lot more realistic to [what] the season [would entail], and it was fun to do field hockey with our actual equipment.”
Click the link to access the October out of season practice schedule: