North Texas Daily

Women’s lacrosse finds joy in virtual meetings despite the inability to practice, recruitment troubles

Women’s lacrosse finds joy in virtual meetings despite the inability to practice, recruitment troubles

Women’s lacrosse finds joy in virtual meetings despite the inability to practice, recruitment troubles
September 28
15:39 2020

The Mean Green women’s lacrosse team has not practiced together on a field since their season ended early in March due to COVID-19. Team president and senior captain Olivia Jennings is prepared for potential protocols and believes the team could successfully practice right now.

“We would implement mask wearing throughout the drills and social distancing when possible, as well as disinfecting sticks and goggles after each practice,” Jennings said. “I have seen many teams both at the secondary school and university level begin practices again, and it appears to be as safe as you can be right now.”

Under normal conditions, the team would practice three times a week at Traditions Field. Until the university gives the green light on practices, the team is forced to practice and workout individually. Players practice twice a week to stay active and work on skill sets.

As president of the team, Jennings is in charge of scheduling practices, scrimmages and games. North Texas hosts a scrimmage towards the end of the fall semester, but the scrimmage is unlikely to happen unless they can get on the field soon. The team played against Texas State, Sam Houston State, Oklahoma, Southern Methodist and Louisiana State before their season came to an abrupt halt in the 2020 spring semester.

Jennings said traveling and hosting scrimmages is too risky right now while schools are figuring out the best ways to keep students and athletes safe.

Despite the circumstances, captains put together team bonding sessions over Zoom where the team partakes in game night once a week. Sophomore captain Willow Knight chose a multiplayer drawing and guessing game “Skribbl.io” for this past week’s bonding session. 

“Since we can’t meet in person, we aren’t able to get to know each other through practicing together,” Knight says. “It’s important to me that we still create some connections and are able to laugh and still have fun, which is why we are having game nights and team meetings.”

Thursday night Zoom meetings are meant to improve team chemistry. Lacrosse terms are implemented into the games to maintain an enjoyable learning experience.

During a time where human connection can feel scarce, Jennings believes these meetings can also benefit the mental health of her players.

“I want them to feel like they aren’t alone in this and that they are still a part of a lacrosse team,” Jennings said. 

Among other struggles, the team faces recruiting problems and has had a difficult time with making additions to the club. While the current roster size sits at 15, the team hopes to recruit more people before the season starts in the spring.

Recruitment chair and senior captain Anna Long is uneasy after the virtual orientation meetings that took place in early September.

“I feel a lot of the new students don’t see any good reasons to join a sports club when any workout given has to be done on your own and any meetings are over Zoom,” Long said. “Most of our recruits join from our table at orientation so this year when there were no orientations, it made it difficult to recruit people.”

The recruitment process started with the Sports Club Fair that took place over Zoom meetings. Lacrosse being a less traditional sport resulted in fewer individuals attending their lacrosse Zoom room.

Long began contacting local club teams, high school teams and branched out to local leagues to try and recruit players. 

Recruiting occurs all year long for the team and is not the main concern, Long said, while they wait to be able to practice again. Having enough players won’t be an issue if there is not a season.

Long believes no matter the outcome of their season the decision to play will be up to players and safety is the main priority.

“It all comes down to wanting everyone to feel safe,” Long said. “I don’t want anyone to feel pressured to play if they are not comfortable.”

Courtesy Willow Knight

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Jarrett Farley

Jarrett Farley

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