After Greenville University student-athletes return to classes after the much deserved Thanksgiving break, they will face their last two weeks of the fall semester. In these two final weeks, the world seems to stop as the number of projects, presentations, and exams overwhelm most students.
At GU, most athletic programs end their activity right before the break so that athletes can focus on finishing the semester strong. This is the case for both soccer programs, men’s and women’s. This two-week span is when coaches are incredibly concerned about their athletes, both mentally and physically, as coaches want them to perform in their classes without neglecting exercise and their health. According to Head Coach Chris Swift, “It would be a shame if all the work that was done during the fall semester, both on the field and weight room, goes to waste because of an inactive winter break.” This scenario would negatively affect all that leverage that the program achieved over the past several months, especially since the other schools in the SLIAC (Saint Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) were not officially practicing.
In order to tackle this potential circumstance, the men´s soccer program staff, which is comprised of Coach Swift and Assistant Coaches Edgar Bueno and Pablo Arriaga, have decided to start working on a Christmas exercise package for players. Similar to the workouts that took place over the summer, there will be weekly challenges in which pre-established teams compete against each other through individual strength-focused routines. This model is expected to substitute the regular on-campus routine of soccer practices and weightlifting at the Annex.
For the months of December and January, the vast majority of student-athletes will be back home. Most players agree on the fact that the level of competition and fitness is going to decrease in certain measure due to the lack of team drills where the soccer ball is involved. However, the staff firmly believes that the fall semester intensity will come back as soon as players are back on the field, which will presumably happen in later January 2021.
This workout plan has already proved itself to be efficient and reliable because the teams did a similar workout competition during the summer. Similar to this summer, all of the team members will be spread out throughout the country and even the world. Luckily, the workouts will be delivered to every player through their phones. Thanks Teambuildr, the strength and conditioning coaches at GU can connect with the athletes. In this app, Head Coach Tom Broomfield and Assistant Coach Chris Crawford design and share different kinds of weekly workouts that cater to the physical demands of the sport. In the case of soccer, the workouts are focused on strengthening and enhancing both core and legs.
Through all of their offseason dedication, GU soccer players have set up their way to succeed in the upcoming conference season. All of the hard work that they put in over the break will help them achieve their team goals so that they will be able lift that trophy as conference champions.
Media by Wyatt Moser.