Written and Media by Jen Brakenhoff [divide]
The Greenville Men’s Soccer season is underway and the team is ready to accomplish great things this season both. Not only do they have 12 returning varsity players, but the teams have 10 new talented freshman and transfers to add to their varsity squad.
Though every team has their strong points, there is always room for improvement. The head coach, Chris Swift, is setting high standards for his team this year. He stated, “I expect for us to come out and work extremely hard every day and to be better tomorrow than we were today. If we do that, I know we will be there at the end of the season competing for a conference championship. That is not the goal, but it is the by-product of our work.” Swift then added, “We are a bit of an unknown quantity and people don’t know what to expect from us and because of that we will be surprising people.”
Not only does the team focus on their on-the-field goals, but they also prioritize goals focused away from the playing field, especially in terms of character development. There are two character skills they are emphasizing this season: unselfishness and competitiveness. Coach Swift said, “We are really pushing the character side of things.”
To help build character amongst the team, the coaches have each player choose five performance skills and five moral skills that they would like to attain throughout the season. Each week, they choose one skill from each category that they would like to perfect. They then write it down on the accountability form and provide an explanation of how they will work on this skill. The following week, the coach will ask each individual player if they have accomplished their goal. If they have not, they do not receive that card back until they succeed with their goal.
Each year, the men’s soccer team comes up with a theme. This year, the theme the team chose was, “Hold the Rope.” As explained to me by Coach Swift, the meaning behind this comes from Mark 2:1-5 in the Bible. The story is about a paralyzed man who was brought to Jesus by his friends through the rooftop, since they were unable to get to him any other way. Jesus recognized their amazing amount of faith in him and healed the paralyzed man. The men’s soccer team is using this story to reflect how they want to be this year. They want to be the type of friends and teammates that are willing to “hold the rope” not only for each other but for others outside of the team as well. “That’s the kind of men we want to build in our program,” Chris Swift claims.
Greenville Men’s soccer is ready to put in work this season both on and off the field. They have instilled core values and a team culture that will allow the men to thrive and succeed. We’re expecting to see positive outcomes this season from this young, hard-working, and talented group of men.