All posts by Allie Patterson

GRIT

There were a few things I wasn’t expecting to say this month. One of these things is “my team might not control our own destiny in making the playoffs for the Landmark Conference this year. The second and more surprising thing is “The New York Yankees (my team) are one game away from heading to the World Series”.

I feel like the Yankees have stunned everyone this year. A wild card team has made it all the way to the ALCS game and possibly all the way to the World Series. I’m not saying it has not happened before, I’m sure it has. I care more about the sheer GRIT the Yankees have shown throughout the postseason. Think about it, they have been at the bottom, behind in all their series game and have come back to win. That’s saying something.

This time last season my team had the same grit. We were undefeated in the conference with a secured spot in playoffs. However, this season we are in the total opposition at 3-2 in the conference. If we do not win our next game, we for sure do not control our destiny. That’s a scary thought. We have to find our grit again.

I’m not ready for my season to be over in two weeks. I literally cried at the thought of that today. There are probably other players on my team that feel the same way. So with that being said, it’s time to ramp it up. Especially because our opponent, Susquehanna, is in the same position as we are going into the final stretch of this season. Saturday is going to be a battle and for sure a good game.

There are a few things we have to do as a team to make sure we bring home this win. The first goal we have to set for ourselves in to play a full game. If we go out flat we will lose, or it will at least make it harder for us to win. We also have to make sure that we are communicating and cutting off the ball. Getting a high volume of shots off will also be important. If we do this we will be able to get up the field and score. If we dig deep we will be unstoppable.

My suggestion, if anyone wants to watch some serious grit turn on the Yankees.

Taste Test: Part Two of the Apple Bake-Off Challenge

Five teams, five apple desserts and one winner. Smells of apples filled the air in our fellow teammates apartment, as the first-annual apple bake off challenge tasting was about to start. Each of the five teams brought something different to the challenge and surprisingly there were no apple pies.

If you remember last week post, I promised I would share the results of our team apple bake off. Here are the results along with my favorite.

Our team decided to have three categories for awards best taste, best presentation and most creative

1.Best Taste – The winner for best taste was the “apple fries” group. Much of our team liked this dessert because it was like a “bloomin’ onion” but in apple form. The apples were coated in what tasted like cinnamon/brown sugar mix and fried in a frying pan. This group also offered three different dipping sauces for the fries including, chocolate, white chocolate and caramel. Honestly, this really did taste like what I thought a fried apple should taste like, sweet and savory.

fries

2. Best Presentation – The peanut butter apple pizza took the award for best presentation. This dessert just looked visually appealing with its sugar cookie crust topped with peanut butter, apple chunks and chocolate chips. Everything on this nice and round pizza was evenly distributed. It also has the perfect balance of peanut butter and apple, there wasn’t too much of one thing.

pizza

3. Most creative – My group won for most creative apple dessert with our spooky monster apple bites. We were not originally thinking about making the bites into monsters but it turned out really cool. This recipe was fairly easy to make, all you really need are apple slices and some melted chocolate. We added some toppings for an extra kick of flavor. The monster bites are chocolate covered apple slices drizzled with either peanut butter or caramel, topped with pecans, pretzels or sea salt. Sometimes we mixed some of the toppings together. My group also added decorative candy eyes to make them more “fall themed”. Overall the bites were delicious, but very rich. Lots of chocolate for one slice of apple!

Monsterbites

Even though the above three were picked as the team favorites, my personal favorite was the apple cream cheese bundt cake. This was a recipe passed down to one of our teammates from her grandmother. It tasted like one of those recipes passed down from generation to generation. I loved when I would get little bites of apple or cream cheese while eating it.

bundt

There were no hard feelings when the winners were picked. All of the desserts were delicious. With the tasty treats in our belly we were ready to sit down and continue our team bonding with a Halloween movie.

Team Bonding

25 Elizabethtown College field hockey team members walk into the tiny Masonic Village farmers market. This prompted looks of surprise from the workers within the market. How could this many people want to pick apples at the same time? The kind lady at the register asked my team what we needed help with. We had a simple answer to this question; we all wanted baskets for apple picking. Little did the Masonic Village worker know that the team had broken into groups and were preparing for the most competitive apple dessert bake off ever.

With fall break upon the Elizabethtown campus I thought it would be a great time to talk about team bonding. Personally, I think that my field hockey team is the best at this. If you can think of a team bonding activity we have probably done it. Together we have tie-dyed t-shirts, thrown game nights, watched movies, and cooked amazing pasta dinners. Our newest addition to this list is an apple bake off contest.

We have used this time together to get to know each other in a fun way. These activities might seem time consuming to an outsider looking in because we already spend so much time practicing together. But really these non-practice activities help us on the field as well. They’ve helped us to work and communicate better on the field. Bonding off the field also brings more fun to the field. We are more comfortable with each other and find ourselves laughing about anything and everything. We are all one big family. I never had sisters growing up and these girls are the closest I have to that.

With that being said let’s talk about some tips that can help you have a great team bonding experience.

  1. Planning/brainstorming – Any activity takes a little bit of planning. Usually our seniors/captains come up with the ideas for our whole team to do, but everyone’s input is always valued. Make sure that the activities are things that everyone can participate in. Think about stuff on and off campus that you can do. We always look to see what is going on around us that we could do as a group.
  2. Good Food- This is a must have at any game night, movie night, or pasta party (duh). As athletes we can eat a lot of food. It is always important to have a little extra something to snack on. Our team LOVES bakes ziti for pasta dinners, it is simple and easy to make. We also always have sweet treats like no bake cookies, cookie dough, cupcakes and chocolate. The list could go on and on. Just make sure your team gets enough supplies to feed the whole team!
  3. Fun games- Games are always an easy way to keep any athlete entertained because we naturally love competition. One of our favorite games is the name game. To sum it up, everyone in the group gets a piece of paper and writes down a name of a person real or fictional. After everyone writes down a name they turn it into one person who reads the names off to the entire group two times. Once the names are read off each member of the group gets a chance to guess one of the group members name. If they guess correctly, the person whose name is guessed can no longer guess themselves. It is a fun activity and everyone always laughs at the names people come up with.

Also, never forget to bring a positive attitude and smile its contagious. Part two of our apple bake off continues tomorrow. I’ll be sure to post an update next week. As many people of my team would say “friendship is the best-ship.” I couldn’t agree more.

Etown High’s Offense Surges Past Solanco

All athletes know that feeling of a no pressure game. Coaches still expect the best performance on the field, but there is no worry that there is a chance for a loss. Fans and supporters can show the same relaxed vibe in the stands as well. This relaxed vibe was felt this afternoon at Jane Hoover Field where the Elizabethtown High School Boy’s Soccer team took on the Solanco Golden Mules.

Kelly Wieand a concession stand volunteer and wife of the assistant coach for the Bears, echoed this feeling amongst the fans and players alike.

“It should be one of those games, an easy one. But hey you never know,” She said.

It was all offense for Elizabethtown High School’s Boys Soccer team. This last heat wave of the summer and extra water breaks did not stop the Bears from putting on a show, only letting in one goal. The Bears dominated the whole game rolling past the Solanco Golden Mules, 11-1.

It was no surprise that the 2016 PIAA 4A State Runner-Up Etown Bears were expected to win this matchup against the Golden Mules. Parents and spectators alike in the stands were excited for the game but relaxed at the same time.

With the tweet of the starting whistle, Etown High raced down the field looking to score. The Bears were led by one of the three captains, Adan Cabrera-Perez. Instead of a goal they found a deflection off of a Golden Mule defender. With the first corner of the game, Etown strategically placed the ball off the corner kick, but was punched out of the air quickly by the Solanco goalie.

With a strong start it was looking like the Bears’ defense would not receive any touches. The Golden Mules were able to work the ball the whole way down the field off of their own goalie’s corner deflection. This change of pace by the Golden Mules had Etown’s defense on their heels. The defensive breakdown put the opposing team in a great position to set up a quick offensive strike. A few quick give-and-go passes at the top of the box and a successful shot on goal gave the Golden Mules the first goal of the game quickly at 34:14.

The easiness and laughter in the crowd disappeared and was replaced by looks of worry and shock. The “you never know what could happen” just happened on the field.

“The expectation for this game was to keep a clean sheet” according to assistant coach Jason Wieand.

The Bears no longer had a clean sheet, they were stunned. It seemed as if the they were not taking this game as seriously as they should have.

As shocking as the goal was, this did not stop the Bears from overpowering Solanco from that point on. Three minuets after the first goal of the game was scored Etown answered back with two back-to-back goals led by the senior offensive players. The back-to-back goals restored the easygoing attitude in the stands. By the end of first half and after multiple offside calls, the Bears were winning 6-1.

Offensive surges kept coming in the second half with many players on the team given the opportunity to earn a point. Spectators were happy to see the depth of the team, cheering on every player who scored. The final whistle of the game brought looks of relief and defeat for the Golden Mules but looks of happiness for the Bears.

“We didn’t start the game how we wanted to…we got to play a lot of players out on the field that don’t usually play,” said Jason Wieand. “This gave our starters valuable rest for Saturday’s game.”

Is This How I’m Supposed to Feel?

Wake up, class, homework, practice, more homework and finally five hours of sleep (maybe less). Repeat. Perfection, something that is basically unattainable; But every collegiate athlete strives for it whether it is on the field or in the classroom. This is even more prevalent for the one-in-four student-athletes who report feelings or symptoms of depression1.

It finally hit me this week, at the most inconvenient time. The pressure and anxiety of preforming on and off the field sometimes just gets to you more on some days. It hit me full force Tuesday morning. I was up the night before worrying about how slow my mile Monday time was even though I just made the required cut-off. It was probably because I was expecting to do a lot better. Once you combine this worry with multiple hours of studying, I only slept for about four hours total. This ultimately led to me in tears Tuesday morning. Mid anxiety attack I found myself asking the usual question I ask myself when I get to this point. Is this how I’m supposed to feel?

I ask this question a lot. When I’m feeling emotionally and physically drained after a practice or when I wake up feeling just as exhausted as when I went to bed. It gets tiring and I often find myself thinking that something just has to give. It is insanely difficult and demanding to strive for good grades when you just don’t have the time. Sometimes I wish my non-athlete classmates and professors would understand this feeling of needing and worrying about being perfect and not having the time to do just that. It’s easier for them. I envy it sometimes.

Finding the time to do homework is hard, but I do. As I type this blog on the way to York College for a game, I look up and see all of my teammates around me doing homework as well. It makes me feel better. There is a tribe of amazing people surrounding me that truly understand trying to find the balance of school and athletics. At the end of the day we a support each other on the field and in the classroom.

Awareness of student-athlete mental health is spreading. Students are starting a dialogue about mental health. Additionally, the NCAA has written guidelines for how colleges and universities can better support those struggling with mental health issues. You can find the written guidelines below2.

  1. Clinical Licensure of Practitioners Providing Mental Health Care
  2. Procedures for Identification and Referral of Student-Athletes to Qualified Practitioners
  3. Pre-Participation Mental Health Screening
  4. Health-Promoting Environments that Support Mental Well-Being and Resilience

Setting up the guidelines listed above gives colleges and universities a clear way to help their student-athletes. If you or someone you know is struggling please reach out to someone, a teammate, a coach, an athletic trainer, or a friend. YOU matter and you do not have to go through this alone.

Remember Blue Jays, there are confidential counseling resources on campus for you to use. Below you will find contact information:

  • Counseling Services: 717.361.1405
  • College Chaplin and Asst. Chaplin: 717.361.1260

 

Sources:

1: Inside Higher Ed.

  • https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2016/01/28/study-1-4-college-athletes-show-signs-depression

2: NCAA

  • http://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/HS_Mental-Health-Best-Practices_20160317.pdf