Last week I wrote about the beauty of Fall ball and how the college coaches all get to start over this time of year with new team chemistry and some fresh faces in the mix. As that fall ball season moves along, they start to understand what they are working with and how they are going to get to where they want to be in 2012.
I caught up with Peter Milliman, the head coach at Pfeiffer University and one of the rising young coaches in the college game, to hear what he's thinking at this point in his season. Milliman, a Rochester, NY native performed CPR on the Falcons program that he took over in 2009, and just this fall found themselves ranked #9 in Lacrosse Magazines Division II power rankings. Milliman knows the game, he played in the MLL for the Rochester Rattlers and can be found all over the record books at Gettysburg University, but he'll tell you all of that doesn't make it any easier as a coach. It still takes tireless hours and a ton of work even in the fall and winter.Fortunately for us, he took a few minutes from his day to answer a some of my questions regarding Pfeiffers fall so far and what lies ahead. Let's get a look inside the program.
LN: What are you looking to know about your team at this point of the season?
PM: We are looking to see how our young players are going to develop and who is going to be the big contributors this year.† We played a lot of freshmen last year so their progress through the fall will be a big part of our success this spring.† We have a good group of upperclassmen but its not a big group.† We are still going to need significant contributions for the younger members of the team.† For the most part, we have been pleased with the effort of the group and we are farther ahead than we were at this point last season.† Still a long way to go though.
LN: How important are Wins and losses, a lot of teams don't keep score in the fall, do you?
PM: Wins are always important, it doesnít matter what part of the season you are in.† We do keep score, even if itís not on the scoreboard.† We certainly need to see more from a fall game than the final score so itís a great time to be able to teach important topics and try new things.
LN: Do you know what your competition is doing right now?
PM: We always keep an eye and an ear out for what the competition is doing even if itís the off-season.† It's more about our team at this time of year though, so as much as you might want to know about your competition, it generally not as important as what you have got going on at your own practices.
LN: What's after the fall for your team?
PM: After our fall season is concluded, we will go back to individuals and our conditioning program to prepare for the spring.† With such a long break for Christmas, we want to get our guys in a good position to sustain their fitness over the break because we get going pretty quickly once the next semester starts.† We also start our game schedule pretty early so we cant spend the first few weeks just getting in shape for the season, we need to hit the ground running.
Pfeiffer's 2012 season will kickoff with a Conference Carolinas opening match at newcomer Coker on February 17th.