Article by: Carolina M.
Visual by: Johanna O.
Edited by: Lucas V.
As students start to settle into their academic routines, some of our student-athletes head off to Bangkok (volleyball and cross-country) and Taipei (soccer) to participate in Pre-IASAS. To those not familiar with these events, they are important sporting exchanges as they provide teams with a chance to play against teams they will encounter during IASAS, exposure to the fast-paced schedules of IASAS events, and lastly, a way for them to bond with their teammates.
A typical Pre-I weekend is “fast” says Saiya Z. a player on the girl’s soccer team. Mr. Pekin, ISM’s Athletics Director confirms how quickly the exchange weekend plays out. It begins early; teams leave Friday morning to fly out to the host site and already play a game that day. On the following day, they play another two or three games to gain even more of the “practice and opportunity” that Mr. Pekin describes. According to Mr. Pekin, the weekend’s true purpose is for athletes to “get a taste of IASAS” and to learn how to cope with the high-stress environment.
Coaches view the weekend matches in different ways. Some like to “go all out to win” while some prefer to “test new players” out. As a coach for Varsity Boys Soccer, Mr. MacInnes uses this tournament to gauge “how well the players are able to put into effect the system of play” which ultimately allows for him to assess their most suitable positions. Aside from evaluating the team, he also “measures [the team’s progress] against our IASAS rivals” to make further adjustments where need be. Ultimately, your Pre-I performance doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not you get into the IASAS squad. However, it does act as an indicator for your coaches on where you stand as a player.
It is important for players to remember “[that] being calm is probably the best thing [a participant] can do”, as Saiya Z says. Through the chaos of the weekend, being “level headed” allows players to truly stand out and take advantage of the opportunity at hand.