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What Is A Typical Summer For College Players?
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Iain Byrne, an expert on college soccer, discusses how collegiate athletes are expected to spend their summers and how they can make the most of their indvidual trainings to prepare for the next season.
Hello to all you future Lionel Messi’s, and Jurgen Klopp wannabies:
For most college students, summer is a time to look forward to. You get a break off from classes and you are often living back at home with your parents. Many students have some type of a part-time job or internship, and then they spend the rest of their time relaxing poolside and catching up with their Friends.
Summer break is awesome for students. No real responsibilities, no classes or studying, no set schedule, and your parents taking care of you!
A college student’s summer bedroom...”But mom…..I’m on summer break!”
Student athletes have a different agenda during the summer. While some will have a part-time job or internship, and they may spend a few hours of the day relaxing, much of their free time goes to training and preparing for the upcoming season once school starts back up in the fall.
The other requirement is that players train and play during the summer months. Joining a team is very popular, and the players enjoy competing. Quite a few leagues have developed over the past few years that cater mainly to college players and recent graduates. This level is often just below the first rung of the professional ladder, meaning it is very high. The big danger with the summer leagues is that a small percentage of players often report to preseason injured… and you only have to look at Liverpool this past season to understand what injuries can do to a team.
Some athletes routinely forgo summer break to remain on campus and hone their skills as they work jobs or internships on campus that they do not have time for during the traditional academic year. Others take classes in order to minimize their academic burden during their competitive seasons, or to improve their grades and GPA.
Coaches and trainers will provide their athletes with summer workout programs that they are expected to follow. Athletes are sometimes paired up in small groups to support and monitor each other and make sure everyone else is staying on track with their workouts. Often, the captains will monitor the incoming freshman players to make sure they are following these plans correctly.
The summer workouts are detailed with specific drills, runs, and lifts. Some coaches will include charts where the player can document his or her progress, and compare them to the minimum standards required at preseason. This summer program spans two to three months and is very demanding.
Here is the summer training program we use at Oneonta:
Each of the items refers to a plan, shown below
The warm up, to be done before each training
Sprint Workouts (1-4)
The 4 soccer-specific sprint workouts
Manchester United Test
The Manchester United fitness test, so players can evaluate themselves during the summer
This summer workout program is designed to prepare the players for the fitness tests that will be conducted during that first week of preseason - tests that the players dread by the way!
STILL WANT TO PLAY COLLEGE SOCCER?
Of course, the player can choose not to train during the summer but you all know how that will end. The player will fall behind his/her teammates, possibly lose the chance of playing, and perhaps even his or her scholarship. If you don’t train over the summer and you show up at preseason out of shape …arrivederci!
Summer is not all work though. Student athletes also know how to have a good time and take advantage of any free time they have. After all, they are still in college and need a break just like any other student.
I would be happy to answer questions you have about college soccer in the USA……Shoot straight to firstname.lastname@example.org