UW Health Sports Medicine 

All work and no play

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.

It is the second week of my blog, and what a busy week I have had already.

Monday was all about training in the morning and recruiting in the afternoon. I took a quick trip to the Chicago area to watch a game and sit on a recruiting panel. Needless to say, I got home at 12:30 am and got just enough sleep for training at 8 am on Tuesday. Tuesday was a great day as we had team training and several individual sessions. I was really pleased with the improvement I have seen with the players technically over the past few weeks. I did some office work, sending e-mails and making phone calls, and then headed to train a local club team. It is fun to work with younger players sometimes, as it gives me a different perspective as a coach.

The rest of the week looks the same for me, but this weekend I will be heading to Las Vegas to recruit. Most of the time I get very excited to go to Las Vegas, but when it comes to recruiting it's a whole different story. Recruiting at tournaments is always a test of focus. It is always a challenge to sit at soccer fields from 8 am until 10 pm or longer trying to stay focused the entire time. Plus, if you add in cold and wet weather it is a very difficult task to stay warm and focused. However, I am excited this weekend to see several of the players we have identified and who will be coming to Wisconsin in the future. I am not excited about the red eye I am taking back to Madison on Sunday night.

Our first spring games are coming up next weekend (Central Michigan and Loyola Chicago in Madison on March 21), and I am excited to see where we are in terms of our spring development. I plan to play players in a bunch of different positions to see if they can be more effective in other spots of the field. It will be weird to play the games without our seniors, but this is truly the time for players to earn playing time and possibly a starting position next year. I want players to step up into those vacant roles and make an impact.

I didn't have the opportunity to go to a new restaurant this weekend, but I did have the opportunity to be involved in one of the activities Madison has available, hot yoga. Now I must say, I did not like hot yoga, but mostly because I am terrible at it. I have very poor flexibility and core strength, but I know it's something that helps me stay in shape. Last Saturday, I went to a beginner's class, and I was definitely sore the next day.  I highly encourage young soccer players to try hot yoga if they haven't, it will totally improve your flexibility, core strength, and mental focus. Please try it!

My running has been slowed by my hectic schedule, but I have had the opportunity to get a little closer to Middletown, Pa... only 753 miles to go. This is going to be more difficult than I thought, but at least I have a goal I am working towards. Unfortunately, I probably won't get any running in this weekend while I recruit, but I will be back at it on Monday. I hope everyone has a great weekend and safe travels to anyone heading to Las Vegas this weekend.