Last but certainly not least, the fifth of Princeton Day School's five fall sports in this series is Varsity Field Hockey. Head Varsity Field Hockey Coach Heather Farlow is our final "Fall Coach Friday" spotlight.
Varsity Field Hockey Head Coach Heather Farlow
In her sixth year as Head Coach of the PDS Varsity Field Hockey team, Heather Farlow focuses on the constants: embracing team-building and emphasizing senior student leadership.
Keenly aware of the unique circumstances the team would face this season, Coach Farlow took initial steps early in the summer and during August pre-season training to establish new team guidelines and processes with the goals of safety and leadership firmly in mind. Coach Farlow shared, "I named our captains for the team in June and communicated with them weekly throughout the summer. The four captains, Gianna Gasparro '21, Skye Harris '21, Olivia Phillips '21, and Aaliyah Sayed '21, took a leadership course this summer to prepare themselves to take on more substantial roles this season. The coaches rely heavily on these leaders to set the tone and tempo of practices and games, and to make meaningful connections with all of the players in the Upper School program."
To reinforce new health and safety protocols, each of the four captains was assigned a pod of seven to nine players during the extended pre-season. The captains took the lead in making sure that their pods maintained proper distancing while warming up and cooling down. "The seniors and juniors also took on the roles of 'big sisters' to the sophomores and freshmen, looking out for the younger and newer teammates to make them feel included on the team and at PDS," Coach Farlow noted.
The team has embraced the coaching staff's plans and all signs currently point towards this season being a meaningful one both on and off the field for the PDS Field Hockey program. As Coach Farlow explains, "Our goals for the season are to have fun, learn the game, and be as competitive as possible. We pace ourselves with a mix of light and hard practices and make sure we are really making time for team-building activities. We are seeking a balance between a 'normalized' routine and maintaining perspective on what's most important in the lives of the families we work with."
Coach Farlow concluded, "The girls are very excited to be playing a sport they love with teammates whom they love and care about. It's been a great season so far and I am excited to see the girls continue to progress."
The PDS Girls Varsity Field Hockey teams will have a busy week next week with three scheduled games varsity games and two JV games: Monday 10/19 @ Moorestown Friends School (Varsity only), Wednesday, 10/21 @ Stuart Country Day (Varsity and JV) and Friday, 10/23 home vs. Hun School (Varsity and JV). See the full PDS Athletics schedule for game times and locations.
Photos (from top): Split photo of Coach Farlow observing practice; game action during Varsity Field Hockey's opening victory over Pennington School