Spring soccer and some other tidbits

Wisconsin women's soccer head coach Paula Wilkins will keep a consistent blog throughout the  spring season to track the team's progress and other tidbits. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates.

With much encouragement from the staff on the fourth floor, I have decided to write a blog about the daily occurrence of the women's soccer program at Wisconsin and tidbits about Wisconsin along the way.

When I was a player at UMass, I believed coaching would be the ideal job, as you would only have to come in for training around 1 pm and be done by 4 pm each day. I was completely surprised when I got into coaching at Penn State that it was much more time intensive and physically demanding. I hope to walk you through our spring training and beyond.

We are currently in our nontraditional season, and we've had very busy days.  In the offseason, we spend a significant amount of time developing the players and the team's mentality through individual sessions, meetings, fitness training and team training. This is where we feel we develop the program and the team for next year. This Friday was a bit atypical, but it started at 8 am with the extra fitness group doing a workout for 30 minutes. At 8:30 am, the individual sessions started and we finished the last individual session around 1 pm. Today a bunch of players came onto the turf to do some extra individual stuff, which is always great to see. I have one meeting left with a player to discuss her fitness and her mentality to training, so today is a generally light day. I will finish up with some recruiting emails before the weekend.

The individual training has been great for me as a coach, as I get to know the players on a different level and get to address their specific needs. Monday we'll start the week off great, with training at 7:45 am. We are focusing on attacking in the final third this week in preparation for our upcoming matches, and I am hoping to see a difference in our movement off the ball in the final third.

Personally, this has been a great journey for me in my coaching career at Wisconsin. It has been a great challenge to rebuild a program, and it has had its ups and downs.  However, I truly believe I have grown as a coach, and I will continue to be challenged in the next few seasons. I have completely enjoyed my transition to Madison, and every Friday I find a new restaurant to eat at, so along with blogging about our spring training, I hope to let people know a little more about Madison and everything it has to offer. 

Well, I will focus on the food... I will have a food review for you next week. However, last night I went to Monty's Blue Plate on the east side for a piece of pie, and I have to suggest to everyone to try the pie from Monty's or at Hubbard if you are on the west side, so good. Last night was caramel apple walnut, and I will be back for another one. 

Also, to keep myself motivated to run, I have decided to try to run from my house in Madison, Wis. back to my hometown, Middletown, Pa.  It is a total of 810 miles, door to door (at least that is what Mapquest says), and I am attempting to run it by totaling my daily mileage running.  As of right now, I think I am somewhere near Milton, Wis, and I only have 765.5 miles to go to reach Middletown.  I will keep you updated.  Have a great weekend, and think about us coaches, as I will be meeting with a recruit on Saturday, no rest for the weary.

- Paula Wilkins


ON WISCONSIN