Amy Olsen, sophomore member of the Iona College women's water polo team, will chronicle this season on ICGaels.com as the Gaels look to repeat as MAAC Champions and return to the NCAA Championships. A season ago, Olsen was named MAAC Rookie of the Year and a Second Team All-MAAC Selection after scoring 95 points on 75 goals and 20 assists. Outside the pool, Olsen is a double major in English and Mass Communication with concentration in Television and Video and writer for the school newspaper, The Ionian.
During our practices, we have a love/hate relationship with a particular drill. Our head coach, Brian Kelly, calls them "Directionals". This tiring exercise can be a bit difficult to understand if you are not familiar with water polo, but basically "Directionals" entails sprint swimming, leg work, and wrestling with a partner. Coach Kelly will blow the whistle and point in the direction that we have to swim in, and we must practice reacting quickly since this is an essential aspect of the game. The reason why my teammates and I have a love/hate relationship with "Directionals" is because during them we become extremely tired, but afterwards we feel strong and more motivated to play.
"Directionals" are the perfect drill for us right now. It’s not only a great way to maintain our conditioning, but it brings up the intensity level in practice. Our next tournament is the weekend of February 25th at Princeton University where we will compete against Princeton, Bucknell, Harvard, and George Washington. Until then, it is imperative that we continue working with drills like "Directionals", so that we are prepared for our games and come out strong.