It’s coming, Mane Landers — the 2020 season that has painfully been inching toward us at a snail’s pace feels as though it’s in sight! We’re just a little over a month away from the season and home opener. Every day the social media team is giving us little glimpses into the preseason. From drills and weightlifting, to two-a-day training sessions, and players posting recovery stories on Instagram, it’s clear the Lions have started the work as we venture into another unknown year. As Michael wrote the other day, preseason is both exciting and frustrating, so this is how I plan to prepare in the coming weeks.
Plan, then Plan Some More
I’m not what you would classify as a digital native, although I’ve been writing papers and practicing drill-and-kill programs on computers since I was in elementary school, but I have yet to find a digital planning tool I like. I want to see the whole month in front of me and I don’t want to click a “+ 3 more” on each day just to see what I have on the day. I know, a media specialist that paper plans…I am what I am.
With the 2020 season schedule having been announced, I have this weird thing I do. Last year I ordered a bunch of little Orlando City stickers from Etsy that I was going to link, but they aren’t available anymore. On the first pass-through I add the stickers to all the home match dates. I don’t add opponents or times in that moment. When the excitement/anxiety is building or I need something to do during a meeting/training I do another pass-through and add the times and opponents — all in purple, of course. I use the FriXion Erasable Finliners because they actually write really nicely and erase completely, opening up the opportunity to erase and redesign the whole thing as the anticipation builds and gets the best of me. How do you plan for games? And if you have a digital planner you love, let me know!
Spread the Word
With single-game tickets going on sale yesterday, my current social media goal is to be that girl — the one posting regularly about how much fun a group of friends could have going to a match. How the family could have taken advantage of the $25 ticket pricing in celebration of the 25th year of MLS (the promotion ended January 22). How when you’ve had a terrible week there’s nothing like yelling at the ref and opponents to make you feel a lot better. How going to a match isn’t quite like attending other sporting events in that the environment the supporters create is unmatched — you’re looking at 90 minutes in and out (plus halftime and extra time of course, but still not a huge time commitment) then you have all the fun of Downtown Orlando and the surrounding areas. Bodies in seats are good for the club, the players, and the supporters. So how do you share it out and get people to come out for the first time?
Stalker, No Stalking
Yes that’s a play on Dora the Explorer. I work with kids! It’s a weird place to be, especially after having binge-watched the series You on Netflix over the holidays, but I always feel like a bit of a stalker in the off-season. I’m following players on Twitter and Instagram just to get snippets of updates and a peek inside the action that maybe the club isn’t sharing. Do the guys seem excited and motivated after training or do they seem defeated? Fortunately, it’s all been super positive this week as the team works with the new coaching staff and welcomes new teammates. I live for the little sliver of insight, especially when we are going into another season blind as fans with a high roster turnover. Who are your favorites to follow?
I Think I Can
With the new season, I’m so full of positivity, excitement, and hope for the Lions. I believe the club’s new signings are going to make an impact right out of the gate and that Dom Dwyer’s head space and healthy family is going to lead to a great season for the striker we missed last season. I’m taking the circulation statistics on the new OCSC book with Dom on the cover as a good omen. I am optimistic that we’ll see the Lions climb in the east, and just maybe stay there. My wounds from seasons past are almost healed (I’m still not over Sutter, but whatever) and I’m ready to be hurt again, but hoping I won’t be. To prepare for hurt, just in case, I’m trying to work on my breathing by actually using the breathe feature on my Apple Watch and by trying my hand at meditation with the Calm app. If anything, maybe it will help my anger in the stands, when there are children around.
With the all the new players joining the club, my husband and I like to create the starting XI a million times over. Who would we start in a player vs. player type of battle. We don’t know a whole lot about the chemistry and what will actually work on the pitch, but it doesn’t stop us from going full Hunger Games game maker in our designs. During the season, we try to predict the 18 before they get posted each match and we have bets in place for whoever has the highest percentage of players correct. Does anyone else do this? Do you pit player against player in the fight for a spot when designing a lineup?
There are a lot of ways one can prepare for the upcoming season. I love to read all I can about new players, stalk their socials, and share my love for the Lions with anyone who will listen. I’m also preparing to take a hit to my “fun money” account with the new away kits if they’re as exciting as the sneak peeks have me believing. How are you preparing for the 2020 season? Let us know in the comments!