If anyone knows how to bring their team together, it’s field hockey head coach Jessica Seren. The energy that these women have—and their respect for each other—could make all the difference in the long run for the Knights. After welcoming 10 freshmen onto the team this season, Seren made sure to focus on forming a strong team dynamic—an essential cog for building a successful season. With a schedule full of talented teams ahead, this sense of cohesion on and off the field could be a huge advantage.
“We have really good leadership and have established a culture on our team that is very welcoming, so it is an easy transition for the freshmen. We brought in an organization to do a team-building workshop with us to help start our season off strong,” Seren said. “Optimal Performance Associates came in and did a day-long team building workshop for us where we did a lot of activities that were focused around trust and communication.”
Optimal Performance Associates is an organization that focuses on providing fun team-building workshops and seminars for groups who want to strengthen their sense of comradery, capitalizing on the idea that a successful team needs to have trust, respect, common goals and positivity between team members.
This strategy proved to be effective both on and off the field for the Knights. Not only did the women become closer as friends, but they also became a stronger team. Although they may not have gotten the results that they had wanted, they fought hard during their game against Skidmore College—currently ranked fifth in the country. The heart that was put into that match motivated the team members to push themselves harder in order to prove that they can play with the best.
“The freshmen have been a great addition to the team. We are really excited to have brought in such a large class, and they have come in and picked up right where we needed them to,” Seren said. “The transition has been smooth so far—and we have a couple of them who start, a couple of them who come off the bench and we’ve got the rest of them, who are solid role players for us at the time.”
With such an abundance of new players, the team is fresh and ready to go—full of new energy and skills. The upperclassmen and the utilization of OPA certainly helped the freshmen not only with the intensity of the college game, but also with the inevitable adjustment period that comes with the first year of college.
The advantages that the Knights have as a team in regards to both talent and support should help lead them to a successful season.