August 30, 2010
I have recently discovered yoga and I love it!!!!
Being flexible is so important in Taekwon-do and yoga seems to be the perfect fit. Not only is it helping with my flexibility it’s a great way to stretch after a hard work-out. It’s also something that I can do at anytime in my own house which is really convenient. I have a bunch of videos of yoga so I’ve basically just been following along and teaching myself. It’s a great way to get all the kinks out.
I wished I had tried this earlier!
This is the last week of training before back to school. I am really looking forward to a training session with Master Laquerre in Trois Rivieres on Labour Day weekend. The next 8 weeks will be a lot more intense with my training as I gear up to Nationals November 12th. I’ll wean off a bit the week before Nationals. It’s all about peaking at the right time.
August 30, 2010
It was a great summer season and we are proud to have have won all 14 league games. We did have one tie. The team really came together with a lot of hard. Our coach is amazing and I learned so much from him. He really knew how to get a group of girls to work together
Our last game this summer will be September 19th which is the Finals for the Cup Tournament. It’s separate from the season league but it will be very intense since it’s against Kanata who came in second place in the league and we know they are going to come out strong!
August 23, 2010
The East Region Cup is a single game elimination competition played throughout the season for teams playing in the Ontario East Region Soccer League. On Sunday evening we played in the Semi-Finals (OSU Force G14L3 vs. NHS Selects G15L3). They are a year older than my team.
Since I was so exhausted from completing the three day Taekwon-Do Course I was really worried about having enough energy to play but I knew how important this particular game was. If we lost this game it would be sudden death but if we won we would continue on to the final Cup game in September.
I was able to catch a couple hours sleep and have a healthy dinner between the two events. When I went to put on my cleats I thought my feet weren’t going to fit in. They are so bruised from all the stomping in bare feet from the last three days. Not a good feeling!
Once I got to the field I somehow got my second bust of energy and was really excited to play.
I normally play defense but in the second half my coach put me up in striker position for a while and it was an absolute blast. I played the entire game and to be honest I was running on sheer adrenaline. I really couldn’t feel my legs.
At half time we were losing but we pulled it together as a team and ended in a tie. Since it was a tournament game there had to be a winner so we went into shoot outs. I was so relieved when my penalty shot went in! All my teammates were linked arm in arm for support and it was a great feeling when the last ball went in and we ended up winning.
The Final for the Cup Game is September 19th.
I can’t tell you how happy I was to get to bed that night! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
August 23, 2010
This weekend was really exhausting! I completed the Technical Licensing Course held by Mr. LeGrow. The purpose of the course was to train the black belts how to be consistent in their teaching for dojangs in Ontario. It’s important to have a standardization for all the schools to improve the level of Taekwon-do.
It was a three day course on learning the materiel that each belt level is required to know. It was a great opportunity to brush up on some important information and also it was really helpful because we were put in the position of roll playing. We had go through the steps of how to teach someone a specific piece of information.
The first part of the course was on Friday night from 6pm to 9:30pm. Mr. Legrow introduced the concept of the course and what he was aiming to accomplish by the end of the weekend. Friday night was based strictly on how to do a proper warm-up and the white belt material. The warm-up was pretty straight forward so it didn’t take long before moving onto the white belt materiel. We used the whole night because white belt takes the longest. We learned how to start off with a new student and how to teach them.
Saturday was from 8:30am to 5:45pm with a lunch break. During the day we made our way up to green belt-blue stripe. We continued going through the material and teaching teaching each other. This course was also a good time to be corrected on the beginner and simple movements. The beginner movements are actually the hardest to perfect because they are the easiest to spot out a mistake. Mr. Lim was also there to share some of his knowledge so it was an extra bonus.
Sunday was the last day of the course and by then everyone was absolutely beyond tired and sore. We started at 9am and we ended up finishing at about 1:30pm. When we finished I thought my legs were going to collapse. The difference in between TKD and other sports is that you are literally working every muscle in your body as opposed to working isolated muscles. I could not wait to just have a hot shower when I got home each day.
This course was extremely important in my point of view because all the coaches and instructors should be on the same page so when September comes, all of the students will be learning the same thing so everyone will benefit.
I was really tired after all the training and I was really nervous because Sunday night I had a semi-final soccer game. How was I supposed to exert even more energy? I was even worried about getting my bruised and achy feet into uncomfortably hard cleats!
August 23, 2010
Last Tuesday, was the 2010 OSU Community Soccer Festival . This Festival was geared for kids from Community Housing. It gave young kids an opportunity to play soccer against each other within the different communities.
Myself and about 35 other OSU soccer players volunteered to help run the tournament. It was cool to see all the school buses arrive packed with excited players.
I wasn’t really sure what I was going to be doing that day but I ended up refereeing for my first time. Fortunately the kids in my division were all about 7-8 years old so I wasn’t too worried. It was interesting being at the other end of the whistle It was a lot of fun seeing how competitive these guys were even at such a young age. Some of the kids really had a lot of talent. At the end of the day every kid got a medal for participating. By the looks on some of their faces I’m sure it was their first medal ever.
It made me think about my own soccer playing. I only started soccer when I was 11 years old. I wonder how much better I would be if I had started at their age. I was always so focused on Taekwon-D0 that it never entered my mind to even consider other sports.
When I went to my first soccer try out three years ago I didn’t have cleats or shin pads. I really didn’t think they were that important since I had never played soccer before. I quickly learned that shin pads were important It wasn’t until my buddy who plays for OSU gave me his old beat-up cleats that he was throwing out that I realized what a difference a cleat made. A little duct tape and I was good to go. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was to handle the ball. I didn’t care about their condition, I just wanted to play.
At the Festival there was this one boy in particular that really caught my attention. This kid was so talented but his cleats didn’t have any spikes on the bottom and the front of them were completely opened at the toe. It really bugged me and I wanted to find a way to make sure kids like this get cleats so they have a better chance to play competitive.
I wrote an email to my soccer coach to see if we could start a program where people from our club could donate their gently used cleats to as many people as possible. He told me that there already is a program for it in place for donating cleats to countries around the world as well as in our own community which is amazing. But I still want to do more. There are too many kids out there who still don’t have cleats. I’m just not sure how or what yet. If anyone out there has any ideas please let me know.
I just know that if it wasn’t for my buddy giving me his cleats I might not be playing soccer today. It’s hard for families to buy cleats for their kids just to try out for a team but if you don’t have them, then it can harder to play well.
I had a really fun day, and I would love to do it again.
August 16, 2010
The highlight of the week was a special competition training that my Instructor Mr. LeGrow organized in Ottawa.
Competitors from Trois Rivieres, Laval, Gatineau and Ottawa all came together to train with guest instructors, including Master Laquerre who came in for the last hour to watch us spar and helped us with our patterns. It was the first time that I trained with them as a member of the National Team so it was pretty exciting. There were so many amazing and talented athletes in the room. It’s cool how people that will be competing against each other for the final spots on the National Team for the World Championships can all encourage each other and work together in a training season. These training sessions are all about teamwork and pushing each other as far as possible. Everyone wants to to get the best training, guidance and critiquing possible. When we’re training it’s like one big family but then it’s all business at tournaments. I find this type of training is the most fun because sometimes it get’s boring training with the same people everyday so it’s fun to mix it up and see how you compare to other people.
The day started with my normal Saturday morning training and then our guest instructors started on sparring drills. They were really good drills but I was paired up with a couple very strong guys and they kicked and punched really hard. I was concentrating so hard on blocking that I didn’t realize how swollen and bruised my forearms were. Nothing a bit of ice won’t cure
It’s so important to keep your focus and be aware of your surroundings with so much else going on so you don’t get hurt.
After sparring we worked on perfecting Patterns. I loved that part too. It was the first time that Master Laquerre critiqued my patterns out of a tournament environment. Master Laquerre is the Technical Director for Canada so I really wanted to show him that I’ve been training hard on my patterns. Mr. Legrow is working with me on dropping my body more at the end of the movement so that means that I also have to go higher in my sign-wave. It feels really weird and kind of embarrassing. Before we started patterns, Master Laquerre assured me that what I am working on was correct. That made me feel more comfortable and confident when we actually got to working on patterns.
I’m so lucky that Mr. LeGrow organizes all these great training events. Thank you Sir!!!
August 8, 2010
It was a relatively chill week. I had some good TKD training and we won our soccer game in Cornwall. I took advantage of some down time to hang out with my girlfriends which is something that I rarely get a chance to do. I also needed to rest my body since I’m gearing up to the busiest month in soccer and then in September I will be training super hard for TKD Nationals which are in November. It’s all about peaking at the right time. The weird thing is that when I don’t train, I physically get agitated and restless. I’m so used to being active so I really really miss it when I’m not.
The highlight of the week was being a volunteer at the Ottawa Kids Sport Canada Camp for an afternoon. I went with my OSU soccer coach Kwame and another team mate. The purpose was to show kids (most were around 10 years old) from the Inner City of Ottawa the different sports that are available in the community. It was part of their Fun Zone Program. I had fun just being downtown. There were a few hundred kids and they did rotations of different sports so they could try them all out. At my station they played a game that included a scrimmage. There was a lot of potential in some of the kids. I get so frustrated that some of the really good teams are missing out on great athletes because not everyone can afford the club/membership fees. I find the higher the level I get in sports the more expensive it is and it can be really difficult! I wish there was a way to help these community centers out so more kids could get the same opportunities. It was definitely a reality check for me because realistically, there are so many people that can’t afford to be enrolled in competitive sports. I think that too many people take great training and opportunities for granted and we all need realize how lucky and fortunate we are. I can’t imagine my life without competitive sports.
August 3, 2010
This was the last week that I was a councilor at the summer taekwon-do camp. I have to admit I’m looking forward to sleeping in past 6:00 am next week! I probably won’t miss that. The last three weeks have been great with all the training and now I’m looking forward to having some time with friends during the day and then training in the evenings.
I played 6 soccer games over the last three days in the National Capital Soccer Tournament. There was a lot of great competition since we played teams came from Barry, different parts of Toronto and Ottawa. We were so excited to win 5 of out the 6 games which left us with the First Place! I really missed my two teammates who are injured. Adriana had her surgery two weeks ago and is working hard with her physio. She was supporting us from the side lines. Hopefully Ali will be back soon from her knee injury since she is my partner in crime playing defense with me HURRY BACK!! Our two call ups did a really good job for the tournament.
I tried to use all the ‘mental tools’ that I’ve been learning in TKD to help me this weekend on the soccer field. Mr. LeGrow and Master Lan have taught me the importance of never under-estimating my opponent or getting psyched-out just by passed statistics. What happened yesterday is over – focus on today, right now!
This is also very true for soccer. No team ever plays the same twice. There are always changes in teams, different call-ups, training schedules or injuries that affect the team and their performance. You can only be responsible for your own performance. This is more complicated when it’s a team and not an individual sport. That’s where the trust in your teammates comes in.
Just like in Sparring you have to play each game 100% for every single minute since it’s not over until the last whistle blows. Anything can happen! Just because you are winning in the first half doesn’t mean you can slack off. Anyone can have a strong strong come back. It depends on who wants it more. I know this is all common sense stuff but I like to remind myself about it before I do any sport. Knowing something and being able to follow-through with it can be the tough part if you don’t work at it all the time
The weekend was really fun but I have a feeling I won’t be able to feel my legs for a couple days. I loved having my whole family there cheering my team on and it was great that my Aunt Dais came to watch too.