Meet Kristen Zmijewski, a freshman on the Hoosier roster in 2002. She begins her collegiate career after a stellar high school and club team run. She played in the 2002 All-American high school soccer game on a team chosen by the NSCAA, held in June in Charleston, S.C. She earned all-state recognition from the Chicago Tribune and played for the Illinois State ODP and regional ODP teams. Kristen has also been recognized as one of the top 175 players in the nation.
Kristen Zmijewski or Kristen Z agreed to be the first participant in a new story idea on iuhoosiers.com called Hoosier Life. Read the following to see how Kristen lived and reacted to the first full day of training camp as a Hoosier.
Its now about one oclock in the morning and after a nice little evening of some pictionary and some charades we had our first real practice. We got to run the fitness test beep test which is just an experience in itself. Now that its all over were ready to go and have our first real practice tomorrow at nine oclock in the morning.
Up to this point I really enjoy the team and Im looking forward to playing this year.
Its now seven oclock in the morning and were just going to head down to breakfast and put some decent food in our bodies and well be back up to rest for a little bit.
Its 7:15 a.m. and Im just getting ready to head off to the training room because I have to get my ankles taped and then well be practicing at nine.
Its 11:15 a.m. and we just finished our first practice which I thought went very well. We did a little bit of foot skill stuff in the beginning and then we played five vs. five the rest of the time and I just thought it was great to start playing again.
I felt really comfortable when I played with them and it was just so great because everybody seemed like they really wanted to be out there and they were all ready to play. It was just great to get out there and start playing again. I think the coaches and the players both have the mentality of wanting to take this team upward and I think it was just a great practice and I look forward to the rest of our practices.
Since practice is over were going to go to the locker room and change, then we have to go to the training room to weigh in to see if we lost any weight. Its always exciting to see if we sweat a lot or not!
Well go eat some lunch and then come back and lounge around a little bit until around five oclock, but I have to go at four to get my ankles taped. Then well practice from five to seven and for now we have the day to do nothing. Probably sit around for awhile, take a nap. Just sit around and relax.
Talking about expectations of college and collegiate soccer:
At first I was really scared because I didnt know what to expect and I didnt know what was going to go on and what things were going to happen. But I really, really like the team a lot and I feel really comfortable with the girls and everyone wants to be here, which is great. Theyre also very welcoming, nice and accepting (even though I am a freshman). Its great to actually be here and then feeling like youre part of the team already on the second or third day.
As far as what I expected it to be like I was a little scared that it was going to be kind of tough adjusting and things but I think its actually been a pretty easy transition. It still sometimes feel like Im just at a soccer camp but I know Im actually at college. But its hard to think of it in that type of way but everythings going really great and I love it here.
As far as coaching goes, I guess with new coaches coming in a whole new staff actually - once again you didnt know what to expect and how things were going to be.
You talk the whole year with Joe (Kelley, IUs former head coach) and then hes not there anymore and you have a whole new set of coaches. I think were working well together as a team and with the coaches. The coaches are nice and they seem like they want to be here, which is wonderful and I just think its going to be a great season and Im happy to be here.
Its now about four oclock and I have to go get my ankles taped in the training room and then we have training from five to seven and then after we eat I think we relax. The nice little couple hours we had to relax earlier was nice because we got to talk with everyone and just chill.
Its now about eight oclock and we just finished practice and eating dinner. We did a lot of possession things and we did a shooting drill.
I thought over all it went pretty well because you could even see the intensity was stepped up a little bit just from the morning session. I think its good that everyone is working hard.
Its hard to get adjusted in a lot of little ways, compared to the ways your high school was playing just because its much more intense and fast-moving and you just have to jump in there and give it your all and not worry about anything. Everyone is so good here its just a lot of fun to play.
After practice we went to dinner and now were back and relaxing and doing whatever we want. Since we stayed up late last night until one or two oclock, its nice to sit back and relax and not do anything.
The first day has gone really well and hopefully the rest of the days will go this well. Its actually going by pretty quickly which is a plus.
So, thats a fun and adventurous day in the life of a pre-season player.