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Virginia head field hockey coach Michele Madison enters her third season at the helm of the Cavalier program this fall. After back-to-back NCAA appearances, Madison and her team is ready for another successful year in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers open preseason training camp Wednesday and play their first game at home against William & Mary on Aug. 29.

Question: What did you do this summer?
Preparation, preparation, preparation. I enjoyed my summer. We ran a pretty big camp here with over 300 kids. It was mostly just preparing for the season and getting the staff fresh, getting me fresh. That’s what I did. And I went to Costa Rica.

Question: Are you ready to start preseason training camp?
I am very excited. We had our first meetings this week. I kind of feel like it’s Christmas and they’re all the Santa Clauses bringing me the presents. I’m really excited to see everyone’s faces and get going.

Question: What kinds of things do you emphasize to your players during training camp?
Stay in the moment. Take one day at a time. Professionalism, respect, be on time and don’t talk when I’m talking.

Question: Are you looking forward to the season?
Of course we are looking forward to the season, but preseason is what we are focused on right now. We have to see how far we can get in 17 days of preparation before our opening day.

Question: You and your staff are entering your third year at Virginia. What happens in year three?
We have our system in place and roles pretty much defined. We can expect what each other is doing. The structure is stable. We try to make every player the best they can be and challenge each other as well.

Question: Have you been watching the Olympics?
Yes! I am up at 6 a.m. every morning watching the USA. It’s very exciting. We have two ties, one against Argentina, the No. 2-ranked team in the world. Yesterday we tied Japan who plays well in tournaments. It has been exciting Olympics. You can see all the new skills in hockey at that level. It feels funny not to be there.

Question: Have you been watching any other events?
Yes, Phelps winning gold medals! And that relay team with that come-from-behind win to beat France was phenomenal. I have been watching gymnastics. Some of the women’s weightlifting is amazing because of how much some of those little women can lift. Our men’s basketball team is probably one of my favorites to watch because they look like they are having so much fun. And men’s soccer, that tie against Netherlands was huge.

Question: Speaking of national team play, first-years Michelle Vittese and Paige Selenski are playing in the Junior Pan American Games this fall. What does that mean to the program?
It’s an honor for them and a credit to what they have done to prepare themselves for Virginia field hockey. Those experiences only help players become better. I know when the time comes, it will be hard for them to leave. But we are going to have to help them out the door and take care of business while they are gone.

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