November 19, 2010
By Alec Schimke
The Minnesota Swarm participated in its first training camp workout on Friday in Hagersville, Ontario. The Swarm will remain in town until Sunday and will make two more trips to Hagersville during Dec. 10-12 and 17-19. MNSwarm.com writer Alec Schimke caught up with coach Mike Lines to discuss expectations heading into training camp.
Schimke: This will be the first time the entire team has worked out together since last season, what are you hoping to see in training camp?
Lines: Well obviously we hope everyone comes into camp in shape. We don’t want to waste our time in training camp getting guys into shape. That’s something they should have done in the offseason. We are going to have some scrimmages from the get-go and will try to implement the new system that we will be running this season.
Schimke: Talk about the new system and what you are looking to accomplish…
Lines: We want to be a fast paced team that has a go-go-go and non-stop mentality all the time. We will be looking to use the two extra players the league is allowing us to use this season. Hopefully we will be able to push the pace of the game a lot more this year.
Schimke: Do expectations heading into training camp differ from last season?
Lines: Expectations are always high. Last year’s 5-11 record was obviously a huge disappointment. We lost a lot of close games. We were a goal or two away from being a 9-7 or 10-6 team. We are definitely looking to have a home playoff game this year.
Schimke: This year’s squad has a lot of retuning players from last year’s 5-11 team. What will those guys have to do to turn things around in 2011?
Lines: It’s a lot of little things. Last season we didn’t remain focused for 60 minutes. We had great quarters, but we never really put together a whole game. That comes down to consistency. In the five games that we lost by a goal last season, we were leading in four of them with less than three minutes to go in the game. We really have to be focused for a full 60 minutes this year.
Schimke: What are you looking for in the player's who are fighting for a roster spot this weekend?
Lines: First and foremost you have to be in shape and produce when you are out on the floor. In this league you don’t have two or three months with a bunch of exhibition games to get a look at guys. You have to make an impact right away. Once again we had another dispersal draft this season. The league gets tougher and tougher every year. Everyone’s lineup is going to be different this year. No one is guaranteed a spot.
Schimke: What sort of activities in camp will you be implementing to test player's toughness?
Lines: We will do some things that will put the guys in situations where they will have to man up. Last year our training camp was good, but I think too many guys came in taking things for granted. Especially when we had so many new faces in camp. Too many guys came in saying ‘I’m on this team’ and there wasn’t enough guys fighting to keep their spot. This year there is going to be more urgency with another dispersal draft this past offseason. There are going to be a lot of guys coming in that don’t have jobs at the moment.
Schimke: With the additions of Rory Smith and Andrew Suitor, do you anticipate your team being more physical this season?
Lines: I expect us to be a team that won’t get pushed around and I think in return that will give us more space on the floor. Guys that have played against Rory know if you don't know where he is, you are in trouble. Other teams are going to be that team we were last year. They are going to have to keep their heads up all the time. I think everyone around them (Rory and Andrew) will be bigger, stronger and tougher because of their presence.