How to: get through preseason sport

It's not that bad.

Photo: Ticiana Alencar

You’ve had a long summer holiday and spent the last month celebrating your results, maybe travelling and generally avoiding any necessary preparation for the forthcoming week.  If you’re lucky you might have been to IKEA to get your new bed sheets and some fairy lights but you certainly haven’t been to the gym. So you’re dreading the return to Oxford, and the return to a busy training schedule.

If you’re staying with an older player you will have their address and make your way there laden with bags and sticks for the week – praying they will take pity on your bewildered, unfit soul.

When the first day of training comes around there are loads of new names and faces to remember before the lacrosse can begin.  Despite having a really fun holiday, you struggle to think of even one interesting fact about it.

Having worried about your fitness you begin to realise that you are not alone– most people haven’t played all summer either and the number of dropped balls almost matches the number of breaks you need to take. You’ll probably regret wearing your school kit but at least everyone else will be shamefully adorned in all types of Oxford stash. The rest of the week flies by– when you’re not training, eating or sleeping you’ll have some time to see Oxford and get to know your way around. You might feel intimidated by the wise 3rd years but as survivors they are a great source of advice for freshers’ week and beyond.

You’ll also begin to be very grateful to have a nice warm, clean college room to go to next week after seeing the second year houses in Cowley.

Throughout the week there are lots of murmurings about the social. Words like crewdate, sconces and shoes are being thrown around and even when these are defined, it’s all still pretty baffling. When the final night comes around you’re so relieved you have managed to disguise your lack of fitness all week, you haven’t even had time to think about the social. When you arrive, all the stories seem to fit into place: pennies are flying round like bullets and every conversation is punctuated with the chiming of metal against glass – time for a sconce. The first social of the year is a great team bonding exercise. You will wake up the next day after a blurry night in Park End hoping you haven’t embarrassed yourself but a lot closer with your teammates and with plenty of stories to tell after just one week in Oxford.