Katy Frierson's U-23 National Team Training Camp Diary

Katy Frierson

Hi! I'm Katy Frierson and am writing a daily journal of my experiences at the US U-23 Training Camp out at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. I've been incredibly blessed to be invited to camp and am getting the chance to play with so many great players, it's just been a tremendous experience.

Day 1- January 5, 2009
Weegle, weegle! Today was mostly a travel day. I flew out of Birmingham at 8 into Atlanta and then headed on to San Diego. Once we landed in San Diego I found out my bag was left in Atlanta, which was a devastating blow! From there I met up with some of the girls and coaches and we were shuttled about 30 minutes away to the training center. Once we got to the training center we checked in and then immediately had practice. Practice was good today. But the coach informed us there would be an emphasis on fitness this camp, because the team has a few international games coming up. So we started off the week striding out 120's and then playing full field sharks and minnows, which wasn't as much fun as it sounds, pinky promise. But from there we just played small sided. After practice we showered and ate dinner. The food here at camp is great though, which is definitely a pleasant surprise. After dinner we just went back to the dorms hung out. I'm rooming with Lorraine Quinn "Quinny", who just recently graduated from Duke. She's a lot of fun and really easy to get along with so it's been enjoyable. All in all, it was an exciting yet exhausting day. I'm heading to bed, but I'll check in tomorrow!

Day 2- January 6, 2009
Hey ya'll! Day two in California was a tiring day with a whole lot of soccer. The day started bright and early with breakfast at 7:30. Wakey wakey eggs and bakey! Then we headed off to practice not much long after. Practice this morning was very intense and competitive. We started off with fitness, which wasn't bad because we had full field relay races which makes running 10 times less painful and then ended with an ultimate frisbee tournament. After fitness we trained focusing on individual defending, my specialty. We just did some 1v1 drills, progressed to 2v2 and then finished with a competition to goal. It was a hard practice but everyone got a lot of reps at defending which is crucial all over the field. After the morning's session we headed off to lunch, then had an entire hour to rest. Absolutely luxurious! Afterwards we headed off to practice number two for the day. Fitness for the second session was actually quite enjoyable. We all brought our runners and went on a 20 min run through the campus. It was very scenic and the mountains and lakes and all were beautiful. Our trainer for the week, Zach, who some girls claim should be the MVP of America because of his demeanor and delicious blonde hair, started military chanting, and we all giggled and got a kick out of it. After running we trained. At practice we just did some technical work and possession drills, which led to small sided. The speed of play with these girls is so incredibly fast, and throughout the practice Coach Bill Irwin was constantly encouraging us to mentally be quick and develop "soccer brains". It was a challenging practice, but very informative and great to experience for sure. After practice we headed back to the room to shower and get ready for dinner. Dinner, once again, was a real treat and I absolutely felt satisfied with my performance in the cafeteria afterwards. Following dinner, Quinny and I along with our suite mates, Logs from Texas and Tobs from UNC, (easy way to make nicknames by just adding an "s") gathered for some invaluable family time in which we watched TV and shared stories. We had a lot of fun and decided come 8:30 it was past our bedtime, so we hit the hay for the night!

Day 3- January 7, 2009
Ahh! Another day of soccer! Neato! Today is the third day here out in California, and honestly going to be a tough day to get through. All of our bodies are starting to feel the soreness and tiredness, so today's training and fitness sessions are going to be a challenge to get through. But more importantly it is the day I am supposed to get my suitcase. We started off the morning yet again bright and early with fitness with Zach. However, the softy he is decided it would be best not to kill us since we do have a long week ahead of us, so we had a handball tournament. Each team went for 3 min shifts, and these short games were high intensity, thus managing to get a good deal of work out of us. After our morning "fitness" we headed on to practice. At practice we continued with possession drills and defensive pressuring. It was another solid session ending with a huge possession game from 18 to 18. This practice did run a little long though, which was kind of a bummer as it severely cut into our naptimes. It's ok though; we all got through this pickle like champs. Practice two this afternoon was an enjoyable one. Fitness was concentrated on improving our explosiveness so we ran football routes. It was great and we all thought we were the best receivers imaginable. At real practice we first did some technical work hitting balls with our laces, then moved on to some fun crossing drills. Afterwards, we finished with an open game from 18 to 18 with the one restriction you had to score from crosses. There was a lot of running involved, however, as we were encouraged to overlap every chance we got. By the end of the game we were all tired from the up and down running/track meet but we all understood the importance of quality crossing and creating these opportunities by our runs. Once practice was over, we all waddled back to the dorms to catch the Duke vs. Davidson basketball game before dinner. It was an exciting game with Duke lucky to pull it out in the end. After the game we enjoyed dinner, came back chilled, and decided the excitement of another day of soccer camp tomorrow was almost too much for us and went to sleep.

Day 4- January 8, 2008
Woowee today finally we get to play a game! I love soccer! Today the P.O.A. (plan of action.. diary abbreviations are crucial) is to have a light session in the morning and then have an intra-squad scrimmage in the afternoon. This morning's session was great as we just had a long warm up, did some finishing, in which I booted it with my good foot high and wide as much as possible, and then divided into our teams for the game and walked through some defensive restarts. We were in and out this morning and got back and headed to lunch shortly later. (This sentence is probably getting old by now, sorry!) After lunch and a couple hours to rest we all headed out to get our gear. Once to the field we were all tired yet quite excited to play a real game. My team ended up losing 3-2 but it was a great game with a lot of quality soccer. We were really able to see some things we still need to work on, but there was also a great deal of pretty and creative soccer being played by both teams. After the game we rushed back, showered and headed to dinner. The Florida vs. Oklahoma game was just starting so we timed our walk to dinner in between commercials. Pure genius! We were all really pumped for this game and being as obnoxious as possible to each other rooting for "our team". After dinner we headed over to this hooked up building with a bunch of flat screens, coaches, computers, and ping-pong table. It's a very nice set-up and we all enjoyed watching Oklahoma struggle with the quality of football the SEC offers. After my heartthrob Superman led the Gators to the championship we went back to the dorms to allow our blood pressure to drop a bit and lounge around for the rest of the night. Tomorrow should be somewhat of a recovery day, so we're all looking forward to it!

Day 5- January 9, 2009
Hello again! Today was a recovery day for us and it was great! We got to sleep in a bit and then woke up for a light training session. When we got there first we took a way too fast 35 min run around the facilities and lake right outside. It's absolutely gorgeous here, but during this run I was too concerned with breathing so I was a little preoccupied. At practice we just did some juggling stuff, a fun passing game, and the u-12 camp favorite shooter becomes keeper. Afterwards we all showered, ate lunch and hung around until we left for the local mall and movies. During this down time, one of our goalies Val, aka the next American Gladiator, organized a ping-pong tournament. It was a lot of fun, and even though I had an unlucky early exit in the first round, our family member Tobin won it all. After ping-pong we went to the mall and saw a movie. I decided on Bride Wars because I figured Gran Torino would elicit too much emotion. But good choice, Bride Wars seemed cute, I was personally too busy enjoying the couple in front of me and annihilating the popcorn. After the movies we walked through the outdoor mall a bit, then headed back for dinner at the cafeteria, which was great as always. Then after some family time in our room, we went to sleep. Big game tomorrow!

Day 6- January 10, 2009
Dear Diary, Today was a big day. We played our first game against the WPSL San Diego Spirit team this afternoon at 2. But first we had breakfast and a training session this morning where we did some light finishing and then reviewed defensive assignments. After practice we once again ate and slept until game time. The game went well! Our group was split in two and each team played a half, so it wasn't too incredibly tiring. We ended up beating them 7-1, so it was a great win, but also one of those games that challenged us to keep the ball moving quickly despite the score. After the game we headed back and went to this lookout spot where we could watch the sun set. It was gorgeous. Then it was the usual. Dinner and just hanging out until bedtime, which these days' 9:30 is pushing it. Another game tomorrow against boys so we all need our beauty sleep. Night!

Day 7- January 11, 2009
Today was our last game day! We had a game against a local u-15/16 Nomad boy's team. We started off the morning sleeping in yet again (by sleeping in I mean like 9, ridiculous!) and it was definitely well appreciated. After we woke up, we ate breakfast, and then met for a team walk just to get us awake a bit. It was another beautiful day with clear skies and the temp in the mid 70's, so the walk was great. After the walk, we just chilled in the room until the game. This game was at a lot quicker pace and more competitive. We ended up losing 2-0, giving up both goals in the second half. But we learned a lot about the importance of keeping possession and ending tackles. Although the loss was disappointing, everyone seemed pleased after the game with our efforts and the challenges boys presented us with. Once we got back to the dorms we ate a late lunch/snack, showered and just hung out, with a lot of people watching the Steelers embarrass the Chargers. I almost feel bad for Phillip Rivers, but not really, he kind of annoys me. We then had a Bible study under the sunset, which was great, and headed on to dinner. After dinner we once again just killed time hanging out and had our end of camp meetings with the coaches. Ahhh! It was terrifying. I just don't do well in those type of situations, I tend to sound uneducated. Once torture was over we headed back to the room, packed a bit, and our family (Quinny, Logs, Tobin and myself) sat around serenading each other with our singing and had girl talk. It was absolutely adorable! Tomorrow morning we have one last practice before heading home to The Plains. Yay! So this is it for me and my journaling, thank you so much for checking in. God Bless! And go Auburn Soccer!