By Heidi Colford (TheLorian)
My first head coaching job has begun in a completely different way than I imagined. Not only did I have to learn the ropes of the many responsibilities of a head coach for the women’s lacrosse team, but I began my time at Loras having to navigate an environment that is experiencing a worldwide pandemic with COVID-19. I came to Loras after spending two years as the assistant coach at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. We had just finished out spring break trip to Michigan when all of a sudden, we had to tell our athletes to leave campus and return home. It still remains the worst moment of my coaching career, the shock and sadness of that moment still leaves a pit in my stomach. Now we were having team zoom meetings, and trying to stay connected while we were all far apart in our homes. While it’s been over two years since my playing career ended, this pandemic drove home that the most important part of this game wasn’t the wins and losses, but rather the small moments of being together every day. I no longer had practices where the team was trying to convince me to dye my hair or join in their TikToks.
One of the most important characteristics my team has to have this season, is the ability to adapt – to be ready for changing practice times, modified practices due to lower numbers, and many other situations that will arise during these challenging times. We also cherish every minute that we are able to practice since we don’t know what could happen in the future. We haven’t had a full team practice yet, but it has been great to see my players come to our 6 a.m. practices with a high amount of energy, and making the most out of every practice.