Greg Siewers, #14 of the Los Angeles Ironmen, checks in to give a recap of the last official practice in preparation for the NXL Vegas Open -

This past weekend marked the final practice going into the 2017 season. This weekend is always a balance of hard work versus understanding. Everyone wants to say that they worked harder than everyone else going into a new season because they had long practices before the actual event. In my opinion, that only accounts for about 20% of how well you and your team will play. The other 80% comes from how you spent all of your weekends since World Cup the year before and your actual understanding of the event layout. Were you lazy and taking time off, or did you put your nose to the ground and keep your skills sharp? The understanding of the field should take precedence over how many points you played going into any event. 

As the Ironmen, we had to take a slightly different approach going into this last weekend. This was only our second weekend playing together with our new roster against another team. We did not have much time to come together, but we were able to get a great understanding of the field by practicing the Russian Legion over three days. We spent the first day just playing points and taking our time between each to reassess the field. After gaining a general idea of how the layout was going tom play, we brought objective drills into the next two days of practice. Some of the drills we went through included multiple versions of breakout drills, timed points, objective based points and finishing each day with a full race to 7 match. 

Overall, I honestly think we looked like a veteran team by the end of the weekend, rather than a team trying to rebuild a roster. Our communication came together, we put the final touches on our team codes, and we put in enough field time that we had a chance to get a good understanding of each of our individual styles. Luckily, this isn’t just me trying to make us sound good on paper. As a team, we were able to do some things “new teams” wouldn’t typically be able to accomplish. We won low body situations. We won long points. We defended each other when the practice got heated. We put in the work and we understand the team’s goals.

I am very excited going into the Vegas event. I think we will surprise everyone with how quickly we have been able to come together. And the best part is that this is only the beginning!      - Greg Siewers #14

Al Fernandez airing up.

Rookie pro Scott Graham getting his routine stretches in before first game.

Under Armour keeping the Ironmen's feet happy.

Keith DeVit lacing up a fresh pair of UA's.

Coach Todd Martinez after a productive practice.

*Header image by @tothefifty.