Bradley’s ‘Queens Court’ aids Orange with mental, physical toughness

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm Ange Bradley wants to make sure her team has a physical edge. The edge is ingrained on Tuesday. When in her court, she determines a queen. The coach has spent her fair amount of time this season working on schemes and positioning, but realized a fault in her coaching after a loss to unranked Kent State. ‘I think I got a little too soft in working more systems with so many returning players,’ Bradley said. ‘The mental toughness piece is the piece that we’re still working on finishing. That comes from tough, demanding Tuesday practices.’ With Tuesday comes a familiar solution to the fault: her court.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The practice Bradley is referring to is the weekly tradition that has become known as Queen’s Court. The practice style, which Bradley instilled since accepting the head coaching position three years ago, has become a trademark for the SU players and something to expect after a lackluster performance. The practice focuses on the physical aspects of the game and pairs players up in limited man situations, highlighted by one-on-one matches — like a game of one-on-one basketball. Junior forward Heather Susek playfully recalled memories of the practice before Wednesday’s practice, but knows of the emotions that surface when Queen’s Court commences. ‘Everyone gets a little frustrated,’ Susek said with a laugh. ‘Sometimes there is yelling at each other, but at the end of practice, we all come together.’ The practices — which Susek said are the hardest of the week — are usually on Tuesdays and are tools Bradley can use to make sure her team doesn’t get too complacent. The practice starts by ranking the players, one through 24, with one being the most talented player in the eyes of the coaching staff. Then the players are matched up based on their rank. The one seed matches up against the 24th seed, and so on and so forth. In the end, the queen is crowned: the best player every Tuesday. The two players compete for 30 seconds, with the winner moving up and the loser moving down. The Queen’s Court is the field where the No. 1 player starts, and the cellar is where the worst player plays. ‘It’s basically a mini-tournament,’ Bradley said, ‘Like what you would have at the NCAA championship or the basketball championship.’ After playing a couple rounds, the queen is determined by the winner in the top court. Then another court begins immediately. The players team up with the top players in their court and play a couple rounds of two-on-two. The process is then repeated, with the top eight seeded players being split into two teams of four for the final match. Susek said the intense practices lead to quite a number of heated exchanges and are the closest practice gets to a game-like situation. Said Susek: ‘It really got us to compete against each other and know exactly what it means to bring that to the games.’ Bradley said the team has done the practice many times this year. One of the reasons for the increased intense practices figures to be because of the Orange’s early-season loss to unranked Kent State. The 2-1 overtime lose was the first time SU lost to an unranked opponent since Oct. 25, 2007, when Cornell beat Syracuse, 3-2. Sophomore back Iona Holloway said the team uses the practice as a tool to keep the players levelheaded. Even if it routinely is one of the most hectic field hockey sessions, week in and week out, across the nation. ‘This year I think what we are working on is not expecting anything,’ Holloway said. ‘When we lost to Kent State this year, that was absolutely not what was expected to happen. Perhaps we were expecting to just win.’ After watching her team lose to fourth-ranked Princeton over the weekend for the team’s third loss of the year, Bradley figures she will use the practice even more this season. Two of SU’s losses were to opponents ranked higher then them, but the Queen’s Court sessions will still be used to keep the players on an edge. For as long as the team’s true queen, Bradley, wants for it to last. ‘It’s just competition and going at each other every day in practice,’ Bradley said. ‘We use it on Tuesdays — when we are furthest away from games — to create that competitive spirit and mental toughness of going after each other and competing.’ [email protected]center_img Commentslast_img read more


first_imgLetterkenny’s Oatfield sweet factory has finally closed today with the loss of 17 jobs.The announcement was made by the company’s owners Z Candy a short time ago.Local Letterkenny Chamber President John Watson said the news came as no surprise but was nonetheless a blow to the town. “The closure of Oatfields unfortunately does not come as a surprise and this announcement ends the speculation that has been around for a number of months about the future.“Oatfield Sweets is very much an institution in Letterkenny and part of the fabric of the Town that will be missed. The decision to move manufacturing to the base in the UK is very disappointing and a sign of the times as businesses continue to come under pressure to reduce costs.“At this time it is important that we think of the employees who have given many years to Oatfield and we offer any help we can to them. We would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Oatfield Sweets to the business life of Letterkenny and the support we as a Chamber have had from the company over the years.”The move has also been condemned by Labour Party Senator Jimmy Harte who said the owners could have done more to engage with the workers. “Oatfield Sweets are an iconic part of the area and have been employing workers for generations.“Many families have had long links with the company and the loss of 17 is a blow to the local economy“The McKinney family have been making swwets in Letterkenny for 85 years and the new owners Z Candy have now decided to discontinue the tradition which could have been avoided,” he said.He said he spoke to workers reps today who are saddened to get this news but it was something that they were expecting.“I have to say that the owners have been gradually winding down the plant and they have not been active in trying to engage with the local agencies to save the plant. “I would ask that they now give the workers their entitlements and I have spoken with Minister Joan Burton today to ask her assistance with any issues that the staff will require.“The workers in Oatfield have been dignified throughout this period and I hope that they will be looked after now,” he said.EndsOATFIELD’S SWEET FACTORY FINALLY CLOSES WITH LOSS OF 17 JOBS was last modified: April 28th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more