Panthers Unleashed: Spring Captain's Corner #2

Picture of Schmid Gate with athletics logo and

As we enter February it is time to spring into the second edition of Captain's Corner, student-athletes are already well into preparation for the upcoming months on the track, on the court, and on the field. 

For the second Captains Corner of the spring; Shelby Thompson (lacrosse), Lauren Miller (track), Cedric Cole (track), Raven Hampton (tennis) and Igor Belinelli (tennis) answered a few more questions for us.

 How has practice been so far?

ST: Practice is going great, hot days out but we are all working very hard and we are all extremely determined to win our first game.

LM: Practice is going really well, we are all working super hard because we all want to show that we really aren't terrible. We gained a lot of new athletes and it is going to be a good season.

CC: Practice is going good, I think we have really improved since the start of interterm. I think our hard work will pay off at the meet. It is definitely different with a new coach and new system this year. I think it will turn out well, it took some getting used to but we are in better shape than we ever thought we could be in.

RH:  Practice is going well. Will has us conditioning in addition to practice and playing matches against each other. It's going to help us in the long run when it comes to the matches that seem to last forever. The only real issue right now is that quite a few girls have gotten sick, but it's better this week than next week when we have our first match!

IB: Practice is going really well, we have been doing a good amount of conditioning and also playing practice matches. I think we will be very well prepared when our matches start.

What was your message to the team before dispersing for winter break?

ST: Have fun, but not too much fun. Make sure you are working hard and getting ready for our upcoming season.

LM: Stay healthy and come back with a good attitude to start practice.

CC: Stay focused. I was ready to get back into it for interterm. Stay healthy over the break to make sure we were ready to go. We knew it was going to be a grind so just be mentally prepared for the long season.

RH: I told the girls to have a fun break and to enjoy the time off. One of the great things about break is that, for those who go home, it's a chance for a player to go back and hit with old teammates and coaches. It's always fun to reconnect and hit with those who know your game best.

IB: I tried to encourage everyone to relax during the break and enjoy their time at home, so that we could all come back fresh and ready to work hard from the first day of season.

How do things change once you get into game week?

ST: It is definitely a lot more fun when games start happening, we definitely get a little bit more serious. We get a lot closer to the team, we write letters to each other and pump each other up through that. I think we bond a lot more through games and practices during game weeks.

LM: We all get a lot more focused and everyone starts to concentrate a lot more on our workouts. It starts to get really real, as opposed to a week when we only have practice.

CC: Weeks that we have meets are different, obviously our whole week is scheduled around being at our peak performance. We have been going hard through these first couple meets, we are getting ready for finals and SCIAC meets. Definitely trying to peak and have a good start to the season.

RH: Our first match is on February 15th so we haven't necessarily experienced a match week yet. I have no doubt though that the girls are ready. We've all worked hard and it's sure to pay off.

IB: In a game week things change a lot. We reduce the volume of practice and physical conditioning, specifically on the day before the match. It is really important to be physically and mentally rested in the match day.

What has been the most challenging thing as a captain so far?

ST: I am a good cop, not a bad cop. If something happens I want to be your friend first. My biggest challenge is probably just keeping everyone accountable and making sure we are all performing the best we can as a team.

LM: My biggest challenge as a captain has been trying to get everyone to get their role on the team, we have all come together recently but it was hard at the beginning to get everyone to mesh together. We team bonded a lot and it worked out from there.

CC: There are a lot of young athletes this year for track, just making them feel welcome, getting them in the system, and making a positive environment so they want to come back to track.

RH: I've been captain for less than 24 hours at this point, but I'm going to guess that my biggest challenge will be when my teammates get sick or injured. I tend to worry when that happens.  I want my team to be as strong as possible, which can only happen when we're all at 100%.

IB: I believe the biggest challenge is to always be supportive to the team, even when things are not going well. Keeping a positive mindset and a great team spirit are fundamental aspects to have a great season.