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Robertson prepares team to compete


Head coach Amy Robertson talks to her team in a huddle Sunday before the field hockey game against Ohio University at the IU Field Hockey Complex. IU lost 2-1 to Ohio in a shootout. Steph Aaronson Buy Photos

Although her game plan changes weekly, Robertson said she is never focused specifically on the other team. The adjustments, she said, are always internal.

“We always focus on ourselves,” she said. “We will not switch players around to play against a strength of the opponent. That says something about your team, and we really have a lot of trust in the personnel of this team.”

She noted that strategies vary on where the team can apply pressure and finding the other team’s vulnerabilities, as well as protecting its own. Robertson also mentioned how the game plan is a week-long process and that practice plays a role in how her team performs on game day.

“The game plan is definitely not something I pull out on game day,” Robertson said. “It’s been practiced all week long. If we have to bring a lot of intensity, then we will practice with a lot of intensity.”

Although Robertson and her staff draw up the plays and have a huge impact in how their athletes play on the field, she noted the importance of team psychologist Aubrette Kinne, who is working toward her Ph.D. in counseling psychology.

While she is not professionally certified yet, Robertson said she uses what she has learned from Kinne with her players, and she said it’s made a huge impact.

Robertson also mentioned that initially, it was surprising to see how well her team meshed with Kinne, and now she says the team loves her.

“At first I was worried they would be like, ‘Why do we have a sports psych? A shrink?’ and have this bad idea of it,” Robertson said. “But they love it.”

When the team meets with Kinne, no coaches are present so the players can be completely open. They can talk about anything they wish, but they make sure to tend to the matter at hand.

“They have real conversations with her, and she helps them relax, build confidence and increase their mental preparation and mental game,” she said.

Robertson said the team’s scheme is not complex but that the mind is a big part of the game, so her players are always challenged to be innovative on the field so they can be effective.

“Our structure is pretty creative,” she said. “It isn’t real simple, but you need to be creative so it is fluid and you have many opportunities.”

Robertson said some might measure the team’s success in wins and losses, but her goal for the team this season is to simply learn both on and off the field.

“They aren’t just here to get a win or just to get an A,” she said. “It’s about learning, growing, and being out of your comfort zone and striving for more. If you don’t embrace that in school, then it probably won’t carry over.”

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