Field Trip Diary: 1/14/10 from the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia

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Field Trip Diary:  1/14/10 from the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia

THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2010

 

5:26am

Why on earth am I actually awake?

 

6am 

And I realized I did forget something.  A sweatshirt would have been amazing.

 

7:30am

Time to finally get up and get moving.  We have to pick up our credentials for the NSCAA convention and also see what’s up as far as our WPS draft credentials are concerned.

 

9:30am

And we are off.  Picking up our welcome packets (do we get one even though we’re not coaches?) and then heading to some of the lectures.

 

1:30pm 

Wow, today has been crazy so far.  The first lecture was a sports psychology lecture with Bill Beswick, who’s from England.  He used so many examples from helping players in the English Premier league and other teams in Europe.  I wound up actually taking notes, just in case I end up coaching anytime soon.  The points he made about mindset were really interesting. 

I had taken psychology in high school, but we never really got into anything involving sports, so it was really neat to be able to apply psych to sports.  I’m planning on double majoring journalism with exercise and sport science with an intent on going into physical therapy, so this was a nice opportunity to get some information towards that career path.

The second lecture was on ACL tears in female athletes and how coaches can create a warm-up program to help minimize this injury in their athletes given by Dr. Jason Vescovi.  There was a lot of information I already knew (where on earth was this guy when I had to do a public speaking presentation on ACL tears?), but it was still appreciated.

I got the opportunity to interview Dr. Vescovi about the impact of ACL tears on tomorrow’s WPS draft and got some comments there.  Look for that piece to be one of the first few that go up next week!

We went towards the MLS draft, which started at 2pm, not 1pm like we had thought.  We still got to see the Philadelphia Union supporters acting crazy and insane, which was awesome.  We opted for a run back to the hotel, though, instead of waiting the full hour for the draft to begin.

 

5:45pm 

Well, we missed the first four picks for the MLS draft because we stopped for food at a little sandwich place called Cosi.  Good food, though it was slightly confusing trying to order from two different people and not being able to understand one of them.

We ended up going to Tiffeny Milbrett’s field session, which was really interesting.  We just watched, no note-taking for this one.  I went up to her afterwards, introduced myself, and ended up also meeting Amanda Vandervort, who is the head of the NSCAA Women’s Committee.  I ended up waiting for a little bit to talk to Tiffeny, but eventually we moved out of the demo hall and to a quieter location.

This was the first time I was using a recorder for an interview, which was interesting on its own.  Then throw in the fact that I hadn’t prepared anything for this interview, as I didn’t expect to go to the session or talk to her afterwards.  It was challenging but it definitely was good practice coming up with questions on the fly. 

I managed to improvise fairly well, so it was all good in the end.  Look for a Q&A with Tiffeny’s pre-draft thoughts and expectations for the upcoming season in the next week or so.

After Tiffeny’s interview, we went over to a panel discussion involving (among others) Tony DiCicco, head coach of the Boston Breakers.  There were some good points that were made and some interesting stories, in particular from Tony about his experience with the 2008 US Women’s U-20 National team, that I really enjoyed. 

I called my family afterwards to check in and share the details of the awesome day up to that point before we headed back to the hotel to relax for a little bit.

 

11:50pm 

We grabbed dinner at an Irish pub on the way back to the Convention Center for the Fox Football Fone-in.  Tobin Heath was going to be on it and the new PUMA match ball was going to be unveiled.

We walked around for a little bit, just seeing where everything was.  I went up to the Sky Blue FC booth and introduced myself to the staff there as Sky Blue’s Bleacher Report writer.  It was a bit surprising when one of them said, “Oh I remember you, I read one of your articles a few days ago.” 

Special thanks to John Archibald and Gloria Averbuch at Sky Blue FC for putting my articles up on their site (www.womensprosoccer.com/ny) and for all their help throughout the past few months!

We went over to the Fone-in and watched the segments with WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci.  Tobin Heath came onto the show a little while later, but I couldn’t hear a word she said.  I did go up to her for a few minutes and just got a couple pre-draft remarks before she left.  She was really cool about it, though looked a little bit nervous after being on the Fone-in.

Rob Penner, the WPS Director of Communications, came up just after we talked to Tobin and introduced himself and answered my question about what was going on with WPS credentials for the draft in the morning.

We hung around the exhibit hall for awhile longer, just checking out the booths and getting a random autograph from the Philadelphia Independence players that were working their booth, Caroline Seger and Lori Lindsey.

After several debates of what to buy, we walked out empty handed, deciding to come back after the draft tomorrow to decide on something.

We headed over to the Marriott to go to the Women’s Soccer Social, which was fun.  We met up with fellow Bleacher Report beat writer Kat Galsim and her friend who was doing her photography, Charlotte.  It was neat to be able to meet up and have some fun hanging out.

Yael Averbuch was there for a little bit so I went up and thanked her for the interview I did with her a week or so ago.  We discussed the draft a little bit, which just got me more excited for what was to come still.

I also got the opportunity to connect with Elly Deutch with the Chicago Red Stars, whom I was helping out just a little bit with their draft coverage.  It was nice to put a face with one of the names I’d been e-mailing back and forth with leading up to the draft.  We discussed some draft stuff for the following day before Laine and I left to come back to the room.

We got back and I started typing like a madwoman in an attempt to get the Sky Blue FC draft preview up before I fell asleep.  I also realized that the interview with Tobin hadn’t recorded anywhere, which was a bit disappointing.  After successfully uploading the article to Bleacher Report and linking it on Facebook and Twitter just before 1am, I headed off to catch some much needed rest before the biggest (and probably craziest) day of the trip.

Photo Credit:  Laine Schmid (Bleacher Report)

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