There will be a socially-distant all-teams tailgate party tomorrow night before and after the JVB game at Burbank Field. The program will provide individual pizzas and bottled water for Varsity and JVA players and coaches at 5:30 p.m., as well as for the JVB team following their 6:00 p.m. game. Varsity and JVA players should bring blankets and/or lawn chairs and practice social distancing while watching the game. Please contact Kelly Mitchell (614-738-9719) with any questions or special dietary needs.
Players & Parents:
Welcome to October, where the games and training sessions matter the most! Well almost.
I've posted to TeamSnap all the events for the month for all teams. Technically, the JVBs' final match is October 12 and the JVAs' is October 13. The staff, however, will be calling kids up to train and participate in the Varsity sessions throughout the month of October or until the Varsity season ends, which is technically November 13. So I need all JV players to finish your seasons strong this week and early next. Then you need to “frame your brains” for possible sessions where you'll be competing against our Varsity to help prepare them for tournament matches and to show for your future.
We will be having a postseason banquet, although it will look a little different this year. Our parent board is still working out details and will let you know when things are finalized.
If you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com or 614-226-2032. Let's focus and finish strong in what has already been a very successful season for all teams! Good luck and All In!
Players & Parents:
On behalf of the staff, I want to say a huge thank you to our Parent Board for all the organization and planning that went into last night's Senior Night! I also wanted to pass along a special message from our Varsity Captains:
Dear Parent Board,
Thank you so much for all the work you put in to making Senior Night special for the seniors and memorable for the whole program, especially during such a unpredictable time. On behalf of the seniors, we are especially grateful for the extra tickets allotted for senior families, along with the usual senior night props and traditions.
I also want to thank UAGS rock star Avery Pine for her beautiful performance of the National Anthem last night! You made it super special for all of us and you are so talented!
Lastly, I want to thank all the players on JV who, after a tough match, still stayed and volunteered to help as ball girls for the Varsity game. One knock on playing in that stadium is that the balls tend to roll 50-75 yards away from the field, so we appreciate your help last night!
Thanks again to all, and good luck to JVB in your game tomorrow!
The staff met earlier this week, last night, and had morning discussions today regarding hard roster moves. At this time, there won’t be any. The staff is in total agreement that no one in the program is deserving of a move down. Rosters will be left unchanged and you should focus on your current team and current position(s).
Regarding moving up, we will stick with the current strategy of moving players up on a game-by-game basis that are deserving by their efforts in training and games, their form, their confidence, and positional program needs.
We will communicate more tomorrow morning at the training session for the Varsity/JVA players and after the game to the JVB players.
Now that the season is starting, here are the protocols for riding the team bus:
The bus leaves at the announced departure time. If you're not on it, it will leave without you.
No food on the bus. Players should eat a pregame meal or snack before arriving.
Music is allowed on the bus as long as it's clean and appropriate.
Masks must be worn at all times.
The Schools' transportation department will clean the bus before we get on and after we get off.
If you feel uncomfortable with your player riding the bus or about any of these protocols, you many drive your player to the game and home as long as you notify the head coach of your plans in advance.
Carpooling is NOT allowed and players are NOT permitted to drive themselves to games if they are scheduled to play.
If you do plan to drive, please arrive no later than the announced arrival time.
Team Picture Day will be Sunday, August 23 at noon at the Marv. Players, please plan to arrive five minutes early wearing your home (all-black) kit and a mask. The shoot should wrap up by approximately 2:00 p.m.
Here are your allotted times to meet with the staff tomorrow. Ideally, we would like to know at the meeting that if you are offered a spot in the program that you will accept. If, however, you feel you need a bit more time to think about it, 4:00 p.m. is the deadline.
There is no easy way to do this, but to be fair to the girls in the later Pods, please allow the teams selection process to happen without distracting your teammates. I don’t want to take away from your excitement, but I'm asking you to mute your own information until at least 10:30 a.m.
Thank you and we will see you tomorrow at the Marv!
Pod 1 & Goalkeepers
Mary Kate Basil
The Team Selection Process for the 2020 season will take place on Saturday, August 15 from 8:10–10:30 a.m. at the Upper Arlington High School stadium. We will let you know each player's exact meeting time on Friday, August 14. At your assigned meeting time, the staff will let you know if you'll be receiving an offer for one of the three teams being formed.
We'll be making our Varsity Team Captain Selection Announcement immediately after tryouts on Thursday, August 13. The staff is proud of these young ladies! As well as being excellent players, they have shown commitment, dedication, leadership, and kindness. They're very deserving of the opportunity to lead the program forward in 2020.
Tomorrow and Thursday’s Pod Training sessions will serve as our official 2020 tryouts. The tryout sessions will be similar to what we did this evening. You have all worked extremely hard over these last two months. The coaching staff appreciates the commitment and energy you're bringing day in and day out. Time to bring it yet again the next couple of days!
Take note we will be going from 5-6:45 p.m. on Wednesday. If you are in Pods 1, 3, 5, or 7, please wear your WHITE training shirt. If you are in Pods 2, 4, or 6, please wear your BLACK training shirt. Shin guards are mandatory and bring a big water bottle. Masks to and from your cars to the field are recommended as well.
Please update TeamSnap on your availability and email me if you are unable to attend either of these two final program sessions. Good luck! ALL IN!
Good news! We received new information today from our school officials allowing us to train past August 19 with no shutdown period. No word on competition at this time; only training in our pods. However, within the pods we are able to return to full contact.
With this new information, please plan to be in shin guards this evening and at all sessions moving forward. And please wear masks to and from the car and the field as recommended.
The coaches will be restarting player evaluations this evening and team creation is back on the table for all. See you tonight, and please update your status on TeamSnap!
There will be a brief Zoom meeting today at 5:00 p.m. to provide updates on the program's schedule based on guidance from the Upper Arlington School District and the Franklin County Board of Health. You should have received an email with the meeting details. Please plan to attend. Thank you.
With the governor’s latest Covid-related announcement, I’ve received questions regarding mask wearing and what is recommended. Of course, being sensitive to multiple factors, I want to be consistent with all Upper Arlington High School and district activities. This is the direction we've receive from school officials:
"Aside from children under 10, the governor announced other exceptions for the mask mandate:
Those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability
Those who are actively exercising or playing sports
Those who are officiants at religious services
Those who are actively involved in public safety
Those who are actively eating or drinking
We would encourage students to follow the governor's orders in public and follow their parents' advice coming and going from their car to the field."
This is what school officials are having coaches communicate to parents at this time. You are free to make your own individual family decision on mask-wearing to and from the car to the field.
Being in a unique situation as both the head coach and a parent of two UAGS players, I will share how our family processed this guidance. My wife and kids discussed it, and starting today we will be wearing masks to and from the field to do our part to slow any spread. Of course we will re-evaluate if any new information presents itself in either direction.
I hope this helps everyone in their family’s individual process. Feel free to email me with any additional questions.
The UAGS Parent Board has reserved The Golf Center at Sports Ohio for a Covid-safe team bonding activity on Sunday, July 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. Please RSVP by Friday 7/24 if you are able to attend. The returning varsity players will create groups of 5-6 players each and mix up age groups so that everyone has a good time and gets a chance to meet someone new. The course takes about 45 minutes to play. Please bring your own ball.
The address is 6100 Dublin Park Drive in Dublin. We are not allowed to loiter in the parking lot before or after (similar to our rules at practice), so be prepared to stay in your car until it is time to start (apologies to parents of young players who may need to wait). We are doing our best to keep everyone safe and healthy while also providing some of the relaxed social opportunities that make high school sports fun and memorable. Hope everyone can join in!
A note for Saturday’s track workout and for lifting next Monday: Crews will be digging behind the high school near the weight room for the next 10 days. There will be no parking allowed behind the school during that time. Please plan to park, pick up, and drop off in either the tennis lot, pool lot, or senior lot. Players will be able to walk into school through the back parking lot, but no cars will be allowed. Thank you.
What a week we had last week! Michela Paradiso, one of our all-time UAGS greats, came back and spent some time with us! Michela gave a nice speech to the girls and participated in both Thursday’s and Saturday’s sessions. It was a joy to have her step up and give back to the program. You could tell the girls were excited to have her back, and she's welcome anytime.
The returning varsity players also had a Zoom meeting last week and did some brainstorming on team bonding off the field. Look for an email from the board on an event coming up during Team Evaluation Camp.
Speaking of Team Evaluation Camp, all girls who are interested in playing for the high school are strongly encouraged to attend. The camp starts this week and takes place over 8 days immediately prior to tryouts. It serves as the launching point for the season with the goal of preparing players for tryouts and the season. Here are the details:
Dates: July 21-24, 27-30
Time: 5:00-6:30 PM
Location: Tremont Turf Field
We hope to see everyone this week and will continue to do an excellent job practicing social distancing and making sure the girls are safe. That being said, these are unprecedented times and parents need to do what they feel is best for their families. If your daughter won’t be at any of the sessions in the next two weeks, I only ask that you contact me via email in the next 48 hours to let me know. Covid-related concerns and a few special circumstances (kids being involved in other sports/tournaments) would be just cause to be missing.
Here are our goals for the camp and tryouts:
1. To demonstrate and teach our UAGS curriculum with the objective of improving the girls' technical, tactical, and conditioning levels.
2. To identify the UAGS players who embrace our vision and who are most likely to put UAGS on a greater path to success.
Our five main areas of focus and concentration will be:
Technical: Skills important to soccer and/or a position.
Tactical: Decision-making and understanding strategy.
Mental: Motivation, self-confidence, attitude, leadership.
Physical: Speed, strength, flexibility, endurance, balance.
Sportsmanship: Respect for rules, teammates, officials, coaches.
All of the above are important qualities and characteristics that help make up our UAGS identity. We will be looking for these qualities in each of the players.
Good luck and bring lots of H2O. Let’s help each other out and push ourselves these next two weeks. ALL IN!
We had another successful week on the training pitch with the exception of Tuesday’s rain out. That being said, I hope everyone agrees that having TeamSnap helped keep everyone up to date and informed in a timely manner.
We are inviting all sophomores, juniors, and seniors to the Wednesday, July 15, session this week. This was initially planned for last Wednesday, but we ended up inviting all again due to the rainout.
The Jonathan Alder tournament we pulled out of last Sunday ended up getting cancelled altogether this past Thursday, confirming that our board and staff made the correct call in taking the initiative ahead of time.
There are a lot of rumors going around about what's going to happen or not happen with our season since other sports organizations (e.g., The Big Ten, Ivy League, etc.) made some decisions last week. We are operating under the assumption that we will be having a season. This obviously could change at any time, so that is why I continue to remind everyone that if you want a season, take social distancing seriously and do your part to slow the spread.
Just a reminder that next week starts one-day-per-week lifting. That will occur on Mondays from 12-12:45 p.m. for the rest of the summer.
Finally, there will be a special Zoom meeting to do some brainstorming on how the program can do more things off the field while social distancing. The meeting is for returning varsity players, coaches, and board members and will take place on Wednesday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. So returning Varsity athletes, please start thinking of any ideas you may have on this topic ahead of the meeting.
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next week!
We had a busy last week and have a few updates to share.
First, I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful 4th weekend. It was a long weekend and many of us spent time around other people. With that in mind, if you're not feeling well today or any time in the next couple of weeks, please stay home. Also, if you can, please have a parent take your temperature as an extra precaution before training each day. If it's above normal, be safe and stay home.
After consulting with our Athletic Director, I've made the decision to pull out of the Jonathan Alder Pioneer Showcase on July 25-26. The OHSAA and our school district have not yet made a decision about allowing competitions against other schools, and this tournament would have required 3 games a day over 2 days -- some bunched alarmingly close together. In addition to being exposed to the 6 teams our teams would compete against, we would also be around 40 other teams coming in and out of the complex. I think the risks outweigh the benefits here when it comes to injury, heat fatigue, Covid, etc. The tournament may be fully cancelled or go on without us, but we'll opt to stay safe and get stronger in our own environment.
We have a few training updates:
Wednesday, July 8: We are inviting all sophomores, juniors, and seniors to Wednesday training this week from 5-6:30 p.m. It's already up on TeamSnap.
Saturday, July 11: The track session this week will be from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at Jones Middle School. This has been updated on TeamSnap as well.
Lifting and Strength Training: Starting the week of July 13, we will only be lifting one day per week on Mondays at noon. We're reducing strength training as the intensity of our field training increases.
All sessions up to Team Evaluation Camp continue to be optional. There is a feature on TeamSnap that allows you to tell us if you are coming to these sessions or not. With these optional sessions, sometimes it's tough for the staff when we don't know exactly how many players are going to be attending, so please get in the habit of going into the TeamSnap Schedule tab and letting us know your availability for each and every session.
As always, if you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com. Thanks.
The Fourth of July is this weekend, and as your coach, I want to be very clear about my expectations of you for not only the upcoming holiday, but every day.
As a team, we are all mutually accountable to each other, and I expect that you will not put yourself in situations where underage consumption of alcohol or illegal substances are present. Not only would you be potentially violating the athletic code of conduct, but you would be hurting your team and teammates. When we value strength in team, we are accountable, we focus on what matters, and we think we, not me.
If you are struggling to make safe decisions or worried about one of your teammates, please reach out to me immediately to chat.
“All In” is a commitment and a code that we live by on and off the field!
Just a reminder that TeamSnap is how we will be doing “coaches-to-program” communication from now on. If you have not done so already, please download the app, upload a photo (head shot preferred), and make sure all your contact information is accurate and up to date. Coaches are still getting to know all the players, so a head shot will help us out!
This week's schedule will look like this: Lifting Monday and Wednesday in the high school weight room at noon; Tuesday and Thursday skills training for the entire program from 5-6:30 p.m. at Tremont Turf; and Wednesday training for freshmen, sophomores, and lacrosse players from 5-6:30 p.m. at Tremont Turf. Since Saturday is the Fourth of July, we will move our usual Saturday track session to Friday, July 3, from 8:30-9:30 a.m., but we will be at the Jones Middle School track this time.
We will begin adding all the sessions for the remainder of the summer to the Schedule on TeamSnap tonight. If you have any questions about the upcoming schedule, please be sure to check there first. Thanks, and let's have a great week!
In order to communicate more efficiently and effectively as a program this season, we will be using the sports team management app TeamSnap for team communications. Many of you may already be familiar with it from other teams you're involved with.
We'll be using the app's Schedule function to post and update training, games, spreads, school functions, etc. Additionally, the girls will be able to note their availability to help coaches plan practices and other events without having to manage and monitor multiple emails and texts.
You should receive an email today inviting you to join. Please download the app on your favorite device(s) and log in using the link in that email. You'll need to enter your family and daughter’s contact information as well as her photo. Please plan to do that no later than Saturday, June 27. A test email will be sent out on Sunday, June 28 and we plan to start using the app beginning next week. If you do not receive the invite or if you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The alternative training session scheduled for Wednesday, June 24 has been moved to Monday, June 22. Same time (5:00-6:30 p.m.) but now at Tremont Turf. Upperclassmen only please. Please email Coach Blomgren if you plan to attend.
Thanks to everyone whose hard work and support made this year's fundraiser the best in program history! You can pick up your trash bags on Saturday, June 27 at Tremont Turf Field (by the Senior Center entrance). Pick up times will be broken up alphabetically by last name:
A-H: 10:30-11:30 AM
I-R: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
S-Z: 1:00-2:00 PM
Please plan to bring boxes or bags to pick up your rolls. Thanks again and see you then.
Excited to be in our third week of on-the-field training with the girls!
Starting this Saturday, June 20, we'll begin the optional “track sessions" we discussed during our summer training meeting. Since the high school track is still under construction, we will train at the Hastings Middle School track instead. Sessions will go for one hour from 8:30-9:30 a.m. and will continue on summer Saturdays going forward until we're able to transition to the UAHS track. The purpose of these sessions is to get in some speed work and help the girls prepare for The Marker. Please wear running shoes and bring your own water.
At the end of our skills training session tonight, we will recognize and award our fundraising leaders and podium finishers! We did a great job as a program and owe a huge thanks to all who helped and participated.
See you at Tremont Turf this evening. Bring your energy!
The new UAGS training T-shirts are in and we will start distributing at the beginning of training tonight! Each registered player will get a white and a black training shirt with our new logo on them! These are complimentary so no need to bring $$, but your daughter needs to be registered. Not already registered? Go to the Registration page under the Parents tab and fill out the form. It only takes a minute.
The girls can start wearing the shirts immediately if they want or their past years’ UAGS Ts. We won’t require formal training attire with the new Ts until July. This will be communicated at a later date as well.
It appears tonight may be the hottest day of the year, so bring a larger water bottle. At this time, we are not using the water horse, so the girls need to plan accordingly.
Once again, excellent job to all regarding the fundraising efforts. Final data is still being collected from the final push last night, but the girls certainly exceeded expectations this year! More info and celebration around this topic to come!
See you tonight at Tremont Turf!
Great first week and happy to be on the field with all the girls and seeing their smiling (most of time) faces!
A couple of things to remember. We are still social distancing at training and I feel the two Player Kit Zones worked well last night. We will stick to this formation for the foreseeable future with the last names A-K and L-Z on where to go after you check in.
The new training T-shirts will be here soon, but in the interim, let’s try and wear a soccer t-shirt, soccer shorts, and soccer socks. Period. I’m all for Lululemon and tank tops, but not on the soccer field. Once we get the training T’s, we will further communicate and define what is expected in regards to the training uniform.
I’ve had many requests to add additional email addresses to the communications list. This can be done by responding to the UAGS board email address and not directly to me.
We are wrapping up the Fundraiser and the final date is June 8. That means one final push this weekend and/or to send donations in by June 8!
A reminder to ALL regarding social media. Social media can be awesome. Until it is not awesome. Be mindful and think about what you are posting and who your audience may be. Which potentially could be everyone. This is America and by no means am I saying not to post or “like” something. Just think it through because once it’s out there, it can take on a life of its own. We are experiencing some unprecedented events this year and people want to express themselves on social media. I get that and am just asking that you do it responsibly.
Finally, don’t forget about the All Players Zoom Meeting tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., led by our four returning seniors. I will pop on at the beginning of the Zoom to introduce them and then log off so the seniors can discuss the topics they have prepared.
Have a great weekend and stay safe!
There will be a 30-minute Zoom call with the coaching staff on Sunday, May 31 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss important training updates for the coming season. All players and at least one parent per family should plan to attend. Please see today's Parent Board email for meeting details and the Zoom link.
Please join the Upper Arlington Girls Soccer program for our spring informational meeting via Zoom on Monday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. This meeting is for all current and incoming UAGS players and their parents. Coach Kessinger will introduce his new coaching staff, talk about his coaching philosophy and program expectations, discuss the summer training schedule and team camp, tryouts, and the fall game schedule. Parent Board members will also provide information on fundraising activities, fees, and upcoming volunteer opportunities.
Just wanted to let you know I have been working hard to ensure that this program is on a new path to success! Here are some of the happenings going on at this time:
I first met with the girls in the HS gymnasium and discussed with them my vision to bring this program to a much higher level. We discussed that it won’t happen unless we roll up our sleeves and start putting in the work, desire, and effort it takes to be excellent. On and off the field. I was excited about the meeting, felt that we connected, and were all in agreement with this challenge!
Being on the job for only a few weeks, I have had programming meetings with our Parent Board. Let me just say I’m impressed and this group keeps us organized! I want to personally thank them for all their efforts now and in the future.
I have also been interviewing coaches and am in the process of finalizing our staff. I am super stoked about the talent coming on board to help me, but more importantly to help you. I can tell you that Chad Blomgren has joined the program as my Varsity Assistant Coach. Chad will also be helping to oversee the JV teams with me as well. Vertical Integration is very important to me and all teams will be organized/on the same page as we move forward.
We are in a new uniform year and have been hard at work on this subject. Since we will be in a new kit, we are also using this as an opportunity to review our logo, branding, website, and social media communications. There will be enhancements soon and the girls and parents will be proud and excited to see the updates! I’ll be reaching out to some players for their opinions on the uniforms once we get some options and further along in the process.
By now you may have received the July Team Camp notice. Let me just say that this is going to be much different in years past and my strategic thought was to have these 10 days (that I am allowed to work with the entire team prior to August 1) be essentially the launching point for the girls’ season. The training camp will be run by me and the goal is to get the girls prepared for the tryouts and the ensuing season. What is also different is that there won’t be any captains’ practices in June or July. So the girls will be “off” in June and first 3 weeks of July. This gives needed rest to everyone playing club soccer, time to enjoy the summer with family and friends, and for the girls on their own to improve their conditioning and mental preparation.
There will be a strength training program and a summer conditioning program that the girls will be expected to follow closely. I encourage girls to reach out to one another and “team up” for these strength training (lifting in the weight room but with a soccer centered focus) and summer conditioning workouts.
Speaking of strength training sessions, these are being monitored and coordinated by Brandon Spickler. He is the strength coach at UA and we already met with him to review his process and tweak the lifting program specifically for what we feel is needed in a soccer player – power, explosion, speed, stamina. Our times to use the weight room are changing starting next week. Times will be Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:20pm. Shout out and great job to Charlotte Reinke, Bella Donofrio, Bridget Mitchell, Sydney Clowdus, Avery Shea, Hanna Andersson, and Greta Dixon who were there for yesterday’s session.
We have some meetings coming up as a team and I am also meeting individually with parents and players from now through the end of the school year. The purpose being to sit down, get to know each other, and build the mutual understanding that this is a Team Effort!
All for now and we will communicate again soon.
UAGS will be holding a July Team Evaluation Camp this summer. All girls who are interested in playing in the soccer program this fall are strongly encouraged to attend. More details about this camp, summer conditioning, strength training, fundraising, and the fall schedule will be announced soon, but for now please save the dates (July 21-30) for this important team event.