Since the Big Ten Tournament moved to Grand Park in 2016, one thing has been consistent: the cold weather.
Soccer is played in almost any type of weather and it can affect the way the match is played in certain conditions. For some teams, this could be seen as an issue. For others, it’s something they can use to their advantage. If you’re the Indiana Hoosiers, it’s something they not only use to their advantage, but something they thrive in.
IU has even coined a phrase for playing in cold weather. They call it “run all day weather.” It’s a phrase that’s taken on a life of its own.
“It’s kind of when that weather turns, the guys can go all day,” IU assistant coach Kevin Robson said. “This is the type of weather that you really thrive in and this is the most important games of the year coming up.”
The origin of “run all day weather” does have roots. When asked about it, senior midfielder Frankie Moore had no idea where it came from. He thought Robson woke up one day, thought of the term and started using it. His thought process, however, is not correct.
When Robson played for Indiana in the early 2000s and won back-to-back titles, it’s something assistant coach Caleb Porter would say to the team to get them ready. It’s not ironic that in this program, things that have worked have been passed down. Robson learned it from Porter and still uses it to this day.
“I remember Caleb Porter would say that to us a lot when we were warming up, like ‘I could run all day in this.’ It just kind of stuck,” Robson said. “I’ve said it to my teams, even club teams that I coached, and coming back here, when that weather turns, it’s a different mentality and it’s exciting.”
The Hoosiers are used to playing in all sorts of weather. There aren’t many sports that start when it’s close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and end when it’s close to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. But the Hoosiers aren’t strangers to playing when the weather gets close to freezing.
I could run all day in this
When the weather gets that cold, they know the NCAA Tournament is right around the corner. That’s when trophies are on the line. IU knows it can’t let the weather affect its play. Instead, the Hoosiers decide to embrace it.
“When this weather comes, it just plays into our IU mentality – the hard-nosed, blue-collar mentality that we try to instill into our team,” Robson said. “It comes with the weather. It’s a change of the guard and it’s a change of the times and it’s the change of the seasons. I think our guys embrace that and know that when it gets cold, trophies are on the line.”
One of those grinders is Moore. He's the guy who makes everything tick in the middle of the pitch. The senior is one of many players for the Hoosiers who brings the physicality to the pitch. It’s interesting, because tactically it plays to IU’s advantage, as well.
“It’s great for us because we like to run around, press high, win the ball back as quick as possible and jam it down the opponent’s throat a little bit,” Moore said. “It helps if it’s cold weather – we can do that for 90 minutes or 110 minutes, whatever it takes.”
But with the cold weather, comes dressing for that weather. Moore was sure to mention that he has the wardrobe part of it down to a science because of his four-plus years in Bloomington.
“I got it down pat,” Moore said. “Last year was a learning curve because I would come out for second halves freezing cold, but I learned from it.”
The weather is shaping up to be in the 30s along with a double-digit mile per hour wind, as Indiana prepares for Friday’s Big Ten Tournament semifinal against the Maryland Terrapins, . Perfect weather conditions for the Hoosiers who want to “run all day.”
But if you think the Hoosiers will be wearing beanie hats to stay warm, you are very much mistaken.
“You’re allowed to wear beanies, but we wouldn’t allow it because you look like a 5 year old,” Robson joked.