“I want to be the very best, like no one ever was.”

Sitting in the bleachers of Fauver Stadium before a women’s lacrosse game against Bard College, the ignorant or inattentive listener might not notice the song, or just hear a vague cliché about victory, entirely ordinary for a sports team’s warm up playlist. But by the time the second verse ends on the line, “Each Pokémon to understand the power that’s inside,” even the most oblivious listener will have realized that the playlist they’re hearing is no ordinary one.

The warm-up playlist, as an idea, is really more for teams than it is for the crowd. It is a carefully curated selection of songs to help the team prepare for the competition ahead. How a playlist achieves this goal varies from sport to sport and team to team.

Jamie Wallisch, senior midfielder and team captain, was in charge of this year’s UR Women’s Lacrosse playlist. Where some teams’ playlists are dominated by generic Top 40 hits and mainstream hip hop pump-ups, Wallisch’s priorities were to capture the personality of this year’s team and to keep the songs generally light-hearted.

“I think it’s important to keep the atmosphere from getting too serious during the warm-up,” she said.“When we have to go out and be super focused for a 60-minute game, it’s important to keep the warm-up relaxed and stress-free.”

Fans who are early enough to hear the beginning of the playlist certainly can tell that the team’s pre-game mix isn’t trying to take itself too seriously. The first song to play is a trap remix of “Hedwig’s Theme” from the “Harry Potter” movie series, and over the next roughly 45 minutes, the playlist weaves its way through various hits from hip hop and pop (Kanye’s “Stronger,” Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill,” Beyoncé’s “E.T.”), interspersed with perennial crowd-pleasers like “Every Time We Touch” and “Milkshake.”

But it’s through the occasional tongue-in-cheek throwback like “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from “Mulan” or “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic” that the team’s personality really shines. Wallisch made sure the final mix was not dictated from above but inclusive of the whole team, allowing input and specific song suggestions from every member.

Despite the wide variety of musical tastes on the team, junior Hannah Spalding said that this year’s playlist is more cohesive than last years, a testament to Wallisch’s efforts to craft the team’s suggestions into a playlist that was reflective of the team both as a group of individuals but also a unified whole.

The result is a playlist uniquely tailored to help the 2017 UR Women’s Lacrosse Team, in the words of one well-known song, “understand the power that’s inside.”

Tagged: LAX


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