Munoz: Summer Camp Coaching Brings Back Memories
This past week I've been at home in Maryland has been busy as can be! I came home Thursday night, and began my coaching job with CC LAX immediately. I am coaching alongside one of my best friends: Hayley Ross, a rising junior at the University of Richmond. I was so excited to learn I would be coaching with her because we actually played on our first "sticklettes" team together when we were 5 years old. This is our third year with CC LAX, and the first time we've been given the opportunity to coach a team by ourselves.
Saturday was the first tournament we coached together, and it was very different. I forgot how you feel during the first awkward encounter with the team. Not just a team really, but a bunch of rising eighth-grade girls. It's hard to come in after they've been with Hayley for a couple weeks, and already are used to each other. I was a little nervous, but once I was with the team I felt welcome.
The girls have so much energy and excitement for the game its amazing to see! It's also really funny that besides colleges inside of Maryland, and Northwestern, they don't know many teams. They didn't even know Stanford and Richmond were Division I programs. It's just funny because I'm so involved in it that I forgot when you're that young you mostly follow the local teams.
In the Charm City tournament we played that day we ended up doing well, and it was a lot of fun for a first tournament. Tuesday I left for Between the Pipes camp, which is an all-goalie camp at McDonogh school. I know people hear the words all-goalie camp and slightly cringe, but it was great being with people that you can immediately connect with. It was THE goalie world of all goalie worlds! I attended the camp the summer before my sophomore year of high school, but it was really enjoyable going as a counselor. We played some awesome games like goalie dodgeball, and we were able to teach a lot as well.
There were a lot of demos by one of the directors of the camp, Team USA goalie Meg Huether, and it was interesting to see different techniques to try and incorporate into my game. It was funny that I was coaching the camp with Meg Dentler, the new assistant coach at Georgetown. She went to our local high school in Crofton, Md., Arundel High, and I remember going to their summer camp there when I first started playing goalie. It's so funny how things turn out sometimes like that. I really enjoyed catching up, the last time I saw her was briefly after the JMU game at Stanford. There were a lot of awesome goalies there as well like Natalie Wills, Dana Cahill, Liz Colgan, Christina Sheridan, Mary Teeters, and Schylar Healy. It was great to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones as well.
This past weekend, CC LAX participated in the National Draw tournament in Marlton, N.J. I drove up with Hayley, and Kelly McNelis, who also coaches CC LAX. We were reminiscing about all the fun times we had up there, and when we won the tournament back-to-back years. It felt like it was just yesterday we were all playing together; it's crazy how fast time flies. An interesting thought we discussed was what if there was an alumni club tournament for different age groups. It would be interesting to see how everyone pans out now. But our team played well, improving on every game. I introduced a simple pressure defense to them, and I was so happy to see how well it worked for them. There's a lot more to work on with it, but it was great to see something you teach working for them out there.
After the tournament we rushed home to make it to the celebration of my sister's graduation from Arundel High School. Now that my busy week is over I can finally get into a more regular routine of practices, workouts, and playing time. I am currently signed up for the Metro league in Baltimore, and it's been a good experience so far. I'm on a team with Stanford teammate Megan Lerner, and it's been fun and serious at the same time. It was hilarious to see Megan on the offensive side and shooting, because she is really a low defender. The games, however, are pretty competitive. Even if you don't have a local league to play in, it's pretty easy to get the same things out of a pick-up game with a couple people. Keeping the stick in your hand as much as possible will help entering the fall.
To add to the busy week, I found out my final grades as well. I earned a 3.0 this quarter, which is my best GPA so far at Stanford. It's crazy to imagine that I would have been this happy with a 3.0 at college when I was in high school. But to me it's not so much about the GPA as it is the improvement in it. It really gives me a sense that I'm finally getting the hang of things at school, and excitement for my coming quarter in the fall. Everyone worries how hard college will be academically, but everyone figures it out eventually. It might take some people longer than others, but it will happen. It usually happens around the time you decide on your major, because the more you're interested in a class the better you will do in it. It did take a while, but I settled on a communication major and I'm thrilled. I'm not exactly sure what I will be doing in the future, but communication has many interdisciplinary topics that appealed to me as a major. Everyone goes down their own path for choosing a major, but it's not the end of the world. Just because you choose to major in some area doesn't mean you're limited in the choosing of your future job, so just pick what best interests you because you can ultimately do whatever you choose!