Cydney Froelich is an All-Fantasy Player in the LFL. She is an excellent TE and LB. Over the July 20th weekend Cyd wrote a journal throughout the entire Valkyrie Training Camp. We have that journal along with behind the scenes pictures of the Valkyrie during their training camp. Enjoy the inside look at the life of a LFL player straight from the keyboard of Valkyrie TE/LB Cydney Froelich.
Friday July 20th
4:00 - 5:25 pm
Driving to Mini Camp was a nice little adventure in itself because in Minnesota there are two seasons, "Winter" and "Road Construction". It was 90+ degrees out so you know we are in "Road Construction" season. This lead me on a two hour journey that was supposed to take about 45 minutes to an hour. Residential Policewoman on our team Sam, (she will come in handy later as well) was able to locate me on a map and get me across the border to camp in Osceola, Wisconsin. Gas gauge on E, rollin’ in on fumes!
[caption id="attachment_1647" align="aligncenter" width="292"] Miss STOB Jana Skrtic at the photo shoot.[/caption]
Six of us girls had a small photo shoot for the local paper. They were looking to do a dressy, yet tough girl football inspired look (See Jana's "tough girl" face above). The people were awesome, the shoot was fun and laid back, however, the no A/C and bright lights personally had me sporting the hot mess look. Hair control was nonexistent.
7:45 pm - Dinner Subway (Guess they really are the "official training restaurant of athletes everywhere")
The reason we were at camp, to LEARN! We broke off into small groups and rotated among coaches and Valkyrie Staff. The groups included Offense breakdown, Team Marketing expectations, Weightlifting session, Defensive Breakdown, Financial advice and finally Linemen work. Some of this was a review for Veterans, but a majority was new and eye-opening. If you weren’t taking notes and asking questions then you weren’t getting what you needed out of it and essentially weren’t working to make yourself or the team better.
[caption id="attachment_1660" align="aligncenter" width="486"] Coach Everett Lindsay breaking it down.[/caption]
A little bit about each classroom topic -
Offense Breakdown: Play calling, depending on how many defenders are in “the box” at a given time. What Coach Z expects us to focus on each play and why he makes the decisions he does.
Marketing expectations: Was led by our Marketing Manager, Jared. The marketing team has already gotten us free tanning every month and spray tan before games, free hair and free gym membership. I don’t know of any other teams in the league with that amount of support. He reminded us of what we are expected to do if we want this team to have the following we need to take a step up in the league. There are two giants in this league on the field you have to beat LA to be the best and off the field marketing wise you need to get to the level of Seattle and selling out every game. If you don’t try to get to their level in this league you don’t have a team in future years, it’s that simple.
Weightlifting: For many of us this was just a review on which muscle groups we need to focus on for football. I personally just did chin-ups the whole time! On a serious note, our team needs to get football strong. It’s one thing to have your body look nice but if you aren’t playing strong on the field then it’s all for naught.
Defensive Breakdown: It’s no secret we didn’t win last year because we couldn’t play defense as a unit. Either the level of play on this side of the ball goes up or we have another losing season. Frankly no one puts on a uniform to compete and lose, so everyone better take it up a notch when it comes to this. Coach Charlie is leading the defense this year and has put into place some different looks that should simplify the defense a lot and get us moving as a cohesive unit.
Financial Advice: Everyone should be thankful that Coach Tony took the time to bring in someone to help us get our finances straight for the coming year. For a couple of us we have already been paid through the all-star games, but for the greater majority getting paid this year and learning how to manage that money is huge. Joe Tadros team Finance Manger took us through the Ins and Outs of writing off things on our taxes and how much to save from each game check etc.
Linemen Work: Obviously this is a beneficial group for me as I play on the line (TE in the LFL are more important for the O-line than in the NFL due to less players on the line). You don’t control the line in this league you don’t win. If you can’t block especially, with the new rules, don’t expect to score, and if you can’t stop the run, well then every game will be a long one for your defense.
Saturday July 21
6:30 am Wake-up Call
We are supposed to have our first practice outside this morning…BUT it’s raining (above)… I also managed to lock my keys out of my car for probably the 300th time in my life…but no worries again, resident Po Po on the team Sam, got them out within in 2 mins (problem diverted)
[caption id="attachment_1649" align="aligncenter" width="365"] Police Magic! Abracadabra UNLOCKED![/caption]
7:00 - 11:30 am
Our morning now consists of speed/agility work, lifting and more classroom sessions
We finally were able to get our sweat on with some speed/agility work and lifting session. These are two things that everyone should be doing on their own to improve their individual weaknesses. Can’t make the individual commitment, then don’t bother showing up to the team practices. We have learned as an expansion team you are behind everyone and there is no time for hand-holding (except for when crossing the street).
Offensive play calling
Defensive positioning and responsibilities depending on coverage
Intelligence Test (The Wonderlic) I’d say 80% of the people were panicking at this point. I love tests so I was excited for this station. If you were able to beat Coach Tony’s or Coach EZ’s score you got out of conditioning later in the day. (If you must know, I did well but not enough to beat them and I am still pissed over a week later, ha)
[caption id="attachment_1658" align="aligncenter" width="426"] Showing what we learned.[/caption]
Film: This station was to teach us how to watch and chart film so we can pick up on other teams tendencies and so people stop watching film to see their highlights. I have learned over my college career and in my first year in the league, if you take film seriously you can step on to that playing field with a huge advantage even before the first snap of the ball.
11:45 am - Lunch SUBWAY, again—The only restaurant in town..
Finally stopped Raining
2:00 - 6:00 pm
Rest of the Afternoon and Evening were spent in two practice sessions totaling about 6 hours.
FINALLY, I get to practice! I dislocated my shoulder in Australia during the All-Fantasy tour in our last game in Sydney. I had been rehabbing ever since I got back and this was the first time I got to experience some contact. I was feeling pretty weak after not being able to lift for over a month and I was nervous it was going to pop out again. In the second session, I ended up tweaking it a bit which meant I was out for anymore contact and the scrimmage on Sunday, pretty bummed to say the least.
During practice here are some things we all looked for:
- Which Veterans had been working hard in the off-season and which ones needed to step it up
- Which rookies were able to catch on quick and make an impact
- Who just wasn’t ready to make a commitment and needed to be sent home
Although no one was cut; this camp set the tone on where people needed to be.
Then again everything changes once we get the pads on and start HITTING!!!
8:30 - 11:00 pm
We did a team event at the Tippy Canoes Bar in town. The restaurant was nice enough to feed us that night (What? No Subway?) so we signed autographs and took pictures with the locals that showed up to support us. The bachelor party that attended wasn’t disappointed.
Sunday July 22nd
7:00 am Wake-up Call
8:00 - 11:30 am
[caption id="attachment_1657" align="aligncenter" width="365"] Coaches working on the depth chart.[/caption]
We practiced in the morning and then a depth chart was established for the scrimmage. I know some people were disappointed in where they stood. There were people who pouted around and then there were people who took it as motivation. We need more of the latter on our team.
11:45 am - Lunch...You guessed it SUBWAY!
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Scrimmage Time: As I said before my shoulder just wasn’t ready for the contact on the line so I sat out. Overall, I would give the edge to the defense in the scrimmage. People were buying into Coach Charlie’s philosophies and it showed. Granted no pads on so things will change, but it was a nice sight to see the defense improving.
4:30 pm - End of Camp
I was exhausted from the weekend as I think everyone should have been. The drive back to Minneapolis only took an hour this time!
It was a great start to the 2013 Valkyrie season, BUT much work still needs to be done if we plan to improve our record in the completely stacked Western Conference. The coaching staff went above and beyond anything we could have expected (except meal diversity), getting us the full facilities for an entire weekend. They brought in the right staff to help us in every area for this upcoming season in this league. If the girls on the team show as much commitment as our staff, then I see no reason why the Valkyrie won’t take the 2013 season by storm.
Big thanks to Cydney for letting us have a peak inside all the goings on within the Valkyrie training camp. Remember that STOB is the official Valkyrie blog and we will continue to bring you more of the off-season Valkyrie news, building up to the new spring season in 2013. Look for more Player Journals from the Valkyrie players soon!