By Katrina Parrock (@KatrinaParrock)
The new season is quickly approaching; and my body is certainly feeling the effects of our pre-season schedule. I’m sure most soccer players will know where I’m coming from when the mere word ‘running’ is mentioned – the feeling of utter dread!
Pre-season is torture, but we know it’s designed so that our fitness, stamina and endurance will last the season. During this time there are nights that we laugh and practically cry from exhaustion – but it builds our character.
Our first night back and a beep test is thrown at us. This is used by the management to gauge where we are all at and how much we can improve on over the weeks ahead. The players know this short-term agony will result in long term benefits for the team. It’s also a great time to work on your own game. I’ve been looking after my diet more pre-season – eating and resting better.
Loads of research now highlights the importance of sleep in aiding recovery and performance. I’ve also been looking at my strengths and weaknesses – with a hope of sharpening my strengths and improving the latter. We’ve all agreed we are going to do the extra bit of work in training to take us a step further than last year, especially competing in competitions like the UEFA Champions League (which takes place in August 2019).
Last year was such an amazing year for the club, but we have a lot of work to do to keep up the same standard for the coming season. For me personally since joining the club in June 2017, I knew I had a lot of work to do to get to a standard to compete for a place on the starting 11. I’ve spent endless hours working hard on strength and fitness in Club Whitford gym. I’ve come a long way, but I’ve still a hell of a long way to go, as I’m always wanting to achieve more. It was that bit easier coming back for pre-season after our success, as everyone had a bit of a skip in their step. Mind you, that shine was soon knocked out of us with squats, deadlifts, spinning and the likes!
Take a look back at Katrina’s match-winning goal for Wexford Youths in last season’s FAI Cup final at the Aviva;
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) November 4, 2018
We’ve had a bonus of signing new players this season which will drive everyone on to work even harder. This makes competition greater for places, something which I thrive on personally.
We achieved all our goals last year, but that season has now gone. We need to concentrate on the upcoming campaign. Our 2019 goals include retaining all the cups from 2018, competing more successfully in the Champions League, supporting the new signings to gel into the set up and for us all to continue striving to reach our full potential.