September 17

Yelin gives players opportunity to participate in fun activities before match

first_imgBefore the Syracuse volleyball team took the court against Virginia last Friday, head coach Leonid Yelin gave his players the opportunity to do something they had not had much of all season before and during games: have some fun.Before the match started, Yelin instructed the players to compete in fun activities such as sprinting races and other things to ease their minds before the match.“We would compete between each other, like run races, like the weirdest things ever,” sophomore outside hitter Gosia Wlaszczuk said. “It makes us not focus so much about the game.”This differs from the mentality the team usually has right before a game. According to Wlaszczuk, before a match, the team normally focuses on techniques and tactics to use in the match instead of the fun competitions they did last week. Although it might make more sense to focus on tactics rather than playing games before a match, changing the pre-match routine seems to have helped the team last weekend.While Yelin declined to be interviewed for this story, sophomore middle blocker Monika Salkute said she expects a similar pregame approach when the Orange (6-12, 1-5 Atlantic Coast) travels to Maryland (10-8, 2-4) on Friday and to Pittsburgh (11-8, 3-3) on Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think we will do the same thing,” Salkute said. “Last time it worked. Why not now?”Before last weekend, the Orange had yet to record its first-ever ACC win. After the weekend, the Orange had accomplished that goal, defeating Virginia on Friday.Sophomore outside hitter Silvi Uattara said the “stupid kids games” came as a relief, and made it easier to start the match. Those games strike a sharp contrast to Yelin’s aggressive practice routines.Typically in a practice, the team will play practice matches and train competitively. When a player makes an error, Yelin forces that player or that scrimmage team to do push ups or run laps around the court.While that practice routine hasn’t been their pre-match routine this season, after going through hard practices like that, players said it felt relieving to have some fun before the match.“I really like how Coach made our before the game, like we had a lot of games and competition between each other,” Wlaszczuk said. “He made us loose and have a lot of fun, which we actually enjoyed all this time.”After a six-hour bus ride to Maryland on Friday morning, the team may need to be loosened up before the game at 7 p.m. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 17, 2013 at 1:12 am Contact Ryan: [email protected]last_img read more