Originally created 12/06/01

Team prepares for upcoming games



EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the ninth in a series of weekly diaries compiled by Augusta Lynx rookie forward Josh St. Louis as he chronicles his first pro season. The 25-year-old St. Louis will share his thoughts each Thursday during the season with staff writer Rob Mueller.

Coming off a rough stretch of seven games in nine nights, things have quieted down a bit this week, as we've taken some time to get healthy, refocused and ready for three more games this weekend.

We got back to work Tuesday after days off on Sunday and Monday, which I think was a really good thing. Losing the last three games of our road trip was pretty disappointing, although we did get a point for the overtime loss to Columbus.

The guys were pretty worn down and drained both physically and mentally. I think we all needed to a few days to recuperate.

The days off also gave us a chance to get out in the community a bit.

On Sunday, we attended a Christmas party for kids from our booster club, and that was a lot of fun.

We met a lot of great people and had lots of really good food and got to play and hang out with the kids. They had a pinata there filled with candy for the kids, and I really enjoyed being involved with that.

Then, on Monday, the team took part in a local blood drive. We were on hand to meet people, take pictures and sign autographs. Although we weren't actually donating blood - that's something you can't really do during the season - at least we were able to promote a worthy cause and show our support.

Making public appearances and attending functions is lots of fun and something I feel we, as players, owe to the fans and the community. It's important to give something back to people because I know Augusta Lynx fans do a lot to support us.

Getting back into the swing of things on Tuesday with practice, the team is looking ahead to three more huge games this weekend. I know it seems like we always say the games are huge, but they are. This league is so competitive and our division is really tight, and even though it's still fairly early in the season, it's important to win as many games as possible now so we're not playing catch-up down the road.

Our first day back Tuesday after the long weekend actually felt a bit like training camp. After practice in the morning at the Ice Sports Center, we headed downtown to the civic center for circuit training in the afternoon.

The circuit training workout involved going through different conditioning exercises at different stations in our locker room. We did things like plyometrics, some weight training, riding the bike and running stairs. It felt like two-a-days during training camp.

After practice on Wednesday, the team took part in a video session at the civic center, as we watched the game tape from Saturday's 5-1 loss at Greenville. Teams watch video all the time to try to learn from mistakes and help prepare for opponents, but Wednesday's session was a little bit different.

The session was led by three of our veterans - Scott Morrow, David Wilkie and Guy Larose. Basically, we all sat around watching the tape, as Mo, Wilks and Rosie would comment on certain things as we went along.

When they talked about something specific involving a certain player, we then had a chance to respond or ask questions and get some really good feedback. It was very informative. I definitely got a lot out of it, and I think the rest of the guys did too.

As for this weekend, we want to get back on the winning track as we take on the Florida Everblades and Pensacola Ice Pilots at home and then go on the road to play Greensboro on Sunday.

The two games at home are very important. Florida's a very good team and is always tough to play, and Pensacola also has a real talented team. That game should be especially interesting because there's a couple of guys on that team that played here, Louis Dumont and Dean Tiltgen.

They both were very productive players here in Augusta, and I've heard that Louis was very popular when he was here. My guess is they'll both be pretty fired up about playing here again, but that won't have any bearing on the way we play. We just have to go out and play our game, and I know we'll be successful.