September 2011 Archives

Mental Fitness Coach Katie McKee Helps Lions Bounce Back

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LMU came out of the gates as the aggressor against Cal State Northridge Friday at Sullivan Field. But despite unleashing four shots in the opening 13 minutes of play, and 10 for the balance of the game, the Lions could never find their mark, falling 3-0 to the Matadors. This was a tough loss for the Lions, but with a new addition, Mental Fitness Coach Katie Mckee, the Lions look to continue their win streak on the road as they head to UNLV this weekend. The lions have a clean record of 3-0-0 on the road. I sat down with Katie and asked her a few questions.

Gabby: Hi Katie! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Katie: My name is Katie McKee, and I am a Mental Fitness Coach working with the team this year. I'm from Northern California, Danville specifically just like some of our players. I went to the University of Redlands. I graduated from Redlands in 2006 with my BA in Psychology and a Minor in Physical Education. I played 4 years of soccer and 1 year of softball at Redlands. I would have played 4 years of softball but I was injured and needed surgery the other years. Growing up I played every sport I could; soccer, softball, tennis, basketball, swim team.

Gabby: Shout out to Danville, CA! That is where I am from along with Cori McGovern and Marissa Zamora. Katie, the team seems to be responding well to you. What are some of the activities you have done with the girls thus far?

Katie: This year I'm working with the team as the Mental Fitness Coach. What that means is I'm mental teaching skills to help the team be able to perform at their best. Some of those skills include goal setting, ways to focus and what to focus on, helping maintain consistent confidence, breathing, etc. We've done some team activities this year also. We went to the Tide Pools as a team this year for some team bonding. We also did a team activity where everyone on the team, including the coaches, got a piece of a puzzle. Each person had to write on and/or decorate their piece with what motivates them or inspires them. It could be a picture, quote, song lyric, movie, etc. When they were done, we put the puzzle together, framed it, and it's hanging in the locker room. I did this with them because I believe a puzzle represents a team. Each of us are individuals on the team and bring something important to that team, and all the pieces have to be in place for it to be complete. If one piece were missing, we wouldn't be a team.

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Gabby: Above is the picture of the puzzle. The puzzle is so unique and I know that the girls loved it. It was really cool how you included all of the coaches as well as the players. Do you have any specific goals for the lions this season?

Katie: Let's see. Some goals I have for the girls this season are to be able to look back on the season and know that they did all they could so they feel happy with themselves.  I would love for all the players and coaches to have also learned one or more mental skills throughout the course of the season so that they can carry that with them beyond the soccer field.

Gabby: Mental skills are very valuable whether you are on the soccer field or off so that is a very positive and important goal! Have you enjoyed working with the girls?

Katie: I absolutely love working with the team this year. It's great to be part of a college soccer team again. My favorite part is working with the team in a group or individual setting and to see what we work on make a difference for them. That's why I got into this profession, and if I can help at least one player or coach this year, it makes is so worth it!

Gabby: Thats awesome Katie! Now, can you give me three random facts about yourself?

Katie: This is probably the hardest question!! Ok. Elephants are my favorite animal. I've had 5 sports injury related surgeries. And...I'm a milk chocolate kind of girl!

Gabby: Thank you Katie! You are a huge asset to this team! For more information about Katie and her business, click here for Katie's Website.

Check back next week to see pictures and hear about the Lion's trip to Las Vegas after they face the UNLV Rebels for their last preseason match. You can follow the game on Sunday at 4pm by going on our website. Follow this link to gametracker: LMU vs. UNLV.


"What lies behind us and what lies beyond us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what lies within us out into the world, miracles happen." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Interview with Etajha Gilmer

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The picture above is from the game vs. SMU on September 11, 2011. The color guard came out to do a special dedication in honor of September 11, 2001. The fans and players shared a moment of silence before taking the field. Thank you Pete Jagger for this amazing picture.

The LMU women's soccer team hosts Cal State Northridge Friday at 4 p.m. to wrap up its current three-game homestand. The Lions enter the week with a 6-2-1 record and winners of three of their last four match-ups.

Above is a link to an interview with sophomore defender Etajha Gilmer. The lion's defense has really proved themselves this year having six shutouts out of all nine games.  The woman between the posts for the lions is redshirt sophomore Brittany Jagger.  Here are 20 facts about goal-keeper Brittany Jagger:
1.    My favorite color is blue.
2.    I love football, especially the cowboys.
3.    I really want a pit bull.
4.    My favorite childhood movie is The Goofy Movie.
5.    I like Flaming Hot Cheetos.
6.    I am terrified of spiders.
7.    I like all kinds of music.
8.    My car's name is Corona the Carrolla
9.    I am addicted to my cell phone.
10.    My first concert was Britney Spears.
11.    My favorite movie of all time is Million Dollar Baby.
12.     I love Mexican Food.
13.    I use to play for the Dallas Texans.
14.     My favorite musician is Trey Songz.
15.     My favorite video games are Mario Cart and Mario Party.
16.     I like to cook.
17.     I love fried pickles.
18.     My Dream car is a Camero or a Ford F150
19.     I took ballet and tap dance when I was 4... it only lasted a week.
20.    I am a black belt in Taekwondo.

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Here is a picture of Brittany Jagger and some young fans.

See you tomorrow, Friday September 23 at 4pm at Sullivan Field!


Winds of Change

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Today, the ACC accepted Syracuse and Pittsburgh.  The main impetus of this move is football, the addition of two programs that have won national championships which enhances the stature of that conference in the BCS.  The by products of such a move are the inevitable increase in the strength of the ACC as a basketball conference while also insuring its existence if/when the SEC comes calling for some of the ACC football programs that have been rumored moving.  Football, and the associated dollars from television and bowl games, is THE and ONLY driver in these moves.

So what does this mean for the Big East and the Big 12?  Will there be four, five or six super conferences founded on football?  And what will happen to the rest of the collegiate athletic landscape? 

Certainly the Big East has been weakened.  Look for UConn and Rutgers in particular to attempt to flee that conference.  If the Big East is going to survive, it must look west to the Big 12, which has its own issues in remaining intact.  A year ago, there was a distinct possibility that Kansas would be left in the cold with conference realignment...amazing that one of the hallowed basketball programs could be without a conference home.  Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are all mulling over the possibilities for their institutions.

A couple of years ago, my good friend Dave O'Brien a former athletics director and now the director of the Drexel University sports management program, suggested the creation of a Catholic basketball conference based upon the WCC model.  Today, maybe more so than ever, this move appears to make great sense.  Imagine an "East Coast Conference" with Georgetown, St. Johns, Villanova, Providence, St. Joseph, Marquette, Creighton, and a handful of other candidates creating a basketball rich environment. 

I am very proud of the WCC, through the leadership of Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich, taking the initiative in seeking out BYU to become a Conference member.  We took decisive action to strengthen the Conference rather than watching curiously the happens around the college athletic scene hoping to be minimally negatively impacted.  Certainly those Catholic schools mentioned above must feel somewhat powerless, but they shouldn't.  They can take their fate in their own hands and create something that matches who they are.

Being proactive is what the non-football power schools should be doing in the Big East and the Atlantic 10 Conference.  Basketball is the game for universities like LMU and basketball players want to go where they are the focus of the university rather than encore acts for football.  Where all of this will end I am uncertain.  But I do know, it isn't over.

Terry Sullivan

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LMU lost a great fan in Terry Sullivan.  Terry was a frequent fan and attendee of our athletics contest as well as a great fan of LMU rugby.  Terry was 49 when he passed away and his brother Dan was constantly by his side.  He was also an athlete in his own right, having participated in LMU's Special Games for the past 20 years.  Because of Terry's special needs, he made everyone else he came into contact special.  His sister in-law Rhonda and niece both spoke at the eulogy and told of the lessons that they learned from Terry.  This year, Terry will be in Heaven's front row with Hank and Pete and Bruce and so many others, cheering on the Lions.

Tough Loss Lights Fire

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This weekend the Lions lost in double overtime to Rutgers University on Friday. The girls did not take this loss lightly. The loss lit fire under their belts and the Lions took out their anger on CSU Bakersfield and won 3-0 on Sunday. Sophomore defender Etajha Gilmer scored for the Lions on Friday while Freshman Linda Bakker scored twice for the Lions on Sunday and Junior Cori McGovern had the third goal.


This week we looked at Sophomore Forward Tawni Martino's pre-game routine on Sunday vs. CSU Bakersfield. Every athlete has their own superstition and ways to get ready for games. Here is how Tawni Martino gets ready for hers...

Sunday September 4, 2011 LMU vs CSU Bakersfield

8:45 AM: Wake Up
9:00 AM: Team Breakfast in the coaches' offices. Breakfast included bagels, cereal, fruit and yummy chocolate milk.
10:01 AM: Walked to the training room.

10:13-10:59 AM: Had treatment and took an ice bath

11:00 AM: Walked to our brand new awesome locker room.
11:07 AM: Made my Facebook status and tweeted, "GAME DAY! GO LIONS! Rawrrr!"
11:15 AM: Listened to music with all the girls in the locker room
11:25 AM: Started putting on socks, cleats, shin guards, etc.
11:35 AM: Put my own headphones in and listened to music to get in the zone.
11:52 AM: Team ritual "clap"

11:55 AM: Coaches came in for team pre-game talk

12:12 PM: walk out to field for warm up


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Gabby: Do you have any superstitions or routines that you do prior to every game?

Tawni: I have a couple superstitions and routines that I do before every game. I always wear the same sliders for every game and I have this yellow sweatband that I always wear on my left arm. I also make sure to listen to my own music to "get in the zone" and once we step on the field, I do a special handshake with Tata (Etajha Gilmer).

Gabby: What is your favorite part about game day?

Tawni: I think my favorite part about game day is just the environment and enthusiasm from all of my teammates and the fans. I love stepping on the field ready to play some soccer.

Gabby: What time of music do you listen to before the game to get ready?

Tawni: Most of the time I listen to hip-hop, rap, and electronica music but sometimes I also listen to pop. Anything that can get me amped up or if it's popular right now I'll listen to it.


Thank you Tawni for letting us see your game day routine! The Lions will head to Fullerton at 7pm on Friday and will be home again Sunday vs SMU at 1pm. See you there!