After a successful winning season, Greenville University’s men’s soccer team is looking to have another great year; but, like other teams, they are adding a few changes to their normal routine. Following a season with a record of 10-9, things are going to look a little different for the Panthers’ upcoming season. Having to follow strict guidelines throughout practices has forced coaches and players to become very flexible.
What kind of guidelines must be followed? Coach Edgar Bueno explains a typical practice that follows the new guidelines. “We set up chairs in a big circle, six feet apart, which allow the players to get ready for practice as a team but distanced. From there are warmups. If you’re in line, we ask to keep masks on and can be pulled down to breathe easier. As soon as there is a transition, like water breaks or transitioning from drill to drill, we ask to wear masks. Everyone has their own water bottle and our trainers do a good job of wiping them down.” Having to follow these rules for practices makes it difficult for coaches and players to adjust, but because things are continuing to change day-by-day, players are beginning to become more adaptable and must be open to new ideas.
Men’s soccer preseason typically starts in the heat of August, but due to COVID, their preseason will be starting in the freezing temperatures of January. This is one of the major obstacles players are going to have to face during their season, but the 2020 fall season moving to January of 2021 has brought nothing but confidence upon men’s head coach Chris Swift. He believes that if they adapt better than the opposing teams, that it is going to propel them to win the conference championship.
How is being adaptable going to help this team win a championship? Coach Swift expects his team to jump all the hurdles thrown in their path with no excuses. “We’re going to be the mentally toughest team. We’re going to overcome every single obstacle. Nothing is going to get in our way, and when we do that, then we’re going to set ourselves up for success.” Coach Swift explains how critical it is for his athletes to push themselves through many obstacles due to an irregular season.
Another major change to the soccer season is that they will be playing their conference opponents twice. This does allow a small amount of room for error, but if the athletes come ready to play every game, Greenville can separate themselves from the rest of their conference opponents.
The Panthers have already built a steady foundation, and they are expecting this foundation to lead them to victory. If Greenville can separate themselves from their opponents, a conference championship can easily be won. The teams that adapt to these changes the best and the quickest are going to be successful. To get that conference championship title, Greenville University’s men’s soccer team is going to have to adapt better than the rest of their opponents.
Media by Jose Soutullo Fernandez.