With the cancellation of the WNFC 2020 season, our players have had to adjust not only to missing an entire season of football, but also to practicing safe distancing due to a global pandemic. We want to hear about it.
Inspired by The Players’ Tribune, The WNFC is excited to introduce a new blog series, "The Iso Journal", where we catch up with our superstars to find out how they've spent their time in isolation, what they are doing to prepare for the 2021 pre-season, and how they are remaining #WNFCproud off the field.
I was looking forward to another year of tackle football so much and I was unbelievably excited to be stepping in to the WNFC…this league just feels like it’s brimming with energy and huge potential. The cancellation of the season definitely put me in a bit of a funk for a while and it was really my Ravens teammates and an even deeper dive into sport-specific fitness that pulled me out of it. I started putting together socially-distanced, outdoor speed/agility/quickness workouts for myself and my teammates at a local high school a couple of months ago and even though we can’t hug each other, it has been great to go through ladder drills and cone drills and sprint workouts together. It’s been a huge comfort to me.
As a winemaker, I’m going through my busy season and spending a lot of time in the vineyards, so I have plenty of opportunity to do hill sprints while I’m out checking on my grapes. It’s funny…I always think about football a lot, but the cancellation of the season really increased the amount of space this sport takes in my brain. It has become clearer to me now than it has ever been that I rely on this sport and this team and this league to bring balance to my life and help me maintain a healthy amount of focus on self care.
I’ve converted my third bedroom into a home gym so even with my local gyms being closed I have been able to keep up a pretty solid lifting routine. As a running back, I’m focusing on fast-twitch muscle recruitment and explosive power which means lots of single-leg exercises and heavy weights coupled with a lot of plyometric work and active recovery between sets to build endurance. I’m eating a paleo diet with proteins coming mainly from chicken, fish, eggs and grass-fed whey and plenty of delicious vegetables coming out of my garden. Consequently, my body feels strong and fast and very eager for next season to hurry up and start!
I’m thankful for the various NCAA conference networks that continually air old college games and for the fact that a lot of the WNFC games from last year are available on a few different platforms so I can keep my mind sharp. I watch a lot of football and use pause and rewind a lot so I can try and draw out some of the plays I like on paper as well as some of the defensive schemes. I’m watching my opponents’ games from last year as well to learn more about each team’s style of play and which teams are most effective at stopping the run and how they are doing that. This league is full of amazing athletes and some really thoughtful play-calling and every time I work through a game, drawing out plays or trying to predict what a team is going to do based on down and distance, I get more and more thrilled about what is to come.
The other thing keeping me sane has been finding any way I can to be of service to other people. The sadness and conflict and struggle that is happening all around us in this country has made it even more clear to me how very important it is to think and act with compassion, tolerance and humanity. Whether it is making myself available to help teammates with health and fitness or donating whatever I can to organizations that are working for causes I believe in. I do my best to find ways to make people smile and help myself sleep at night.
When I am sleeping, my best dreams are, of course, always of smashing on the gridiron!
Sarah Cabot #21 RB/DB