Buffs Complete The Program For Second Year
BOULDER — The University of Colorado's women's lacrosse completed The Program for their second consecutive year. The Program is a rigorous team building course that emphasizes attention to detail, leadership, and accountability.
Teams that partake in The Program are pushed outside of their comfort zones and players are forced to rely on one another so their team can complete the various physical challenges that are set in the training course. Teams involved with The Program multiple years in a row build upon the skills and lessons they learned during the prior session. For CU, this meant having a greater focus on team accountability this session.
"The Program has been a great experience for our team these last two years. This year, we did it at the end of fall ball instead of the beginning," Coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. "Over the two days, our players were challenged physically and mentally, they learned a lot about themselves, and we saw different individuals step up and lead, which was great. It was awesome, to watch them compete and battle for each other on the final day.
"You could see that this team has some real fight in them, we just need to bring that same level of fight all the time to everything we do."
Fifth year midfielder Liz Phillips commented that The Program is a fantastic opportunity for her teammates and her to grow closer as a unit in a different format than playing lacrosse together.
"Watching your teammates fight through the challenges inspires the next person to go in and give it your all," Phillips said. "This year's challenges required everyone to own their role. It really showed us that when everyone does their part and works for the person next to them, that we can be successful. At the end of the day, it took everyone to meet the goal, and that's the energy we will need to be successful this season."
Phillips said that, despite being a fifth year, she still can learn from the younger players and grow in her own role as a leader.
"The Program requires knowing how to best communicate with each individual. For me, it showed me the level of intensity I need to bring to every task and every drill for us to be successful," Phillips commented. "It was great to see some of the younger girls step up and bring a high level of energy and intensity I need to match. All of us can learn something from each other, and there's lots of ways each of us can lead. It'll be exciting to keep developing our leadership skills as we move through the season."
Finishing out the fall with The Program gave the Buffs an idea of where they stand and the team foundations they can improve between now and their spring season.
"Doing The Program at the end of fall showed us we aren't quite there yet," Whidden commented. "We have a lot we need to work on over these next couple months before our season, myself and my staff included. The big challenge is on our players to see if they can take all they learned in those two days and implement it over the next two months, and then the rest of the year. If we can do that, this is going to be one of our greatest teams here at CU."