Spring means sprints: inside preseason practices

preseason

Chapman’s men’s soccer team sprints across Wilson Field during a spring practice. Spring practices are a time for players to improve technical skills and acquaint themselves with team strategies.

The preseason – also known by players as spring season – is a time for players to hone and develop technical skills. While the regular season is over, it is not a time for players to sit back and relax.

Instead, players from the football and men’s and women’s soccer teams practice for five weeks. During that period, they complete intense conditioning and workout regimens, as well as practicing the fundamentals of their sport.

“Spring is mostly the time for learning,” said Keely Lane, a freshman midfielder on the women’s soccer team. “On top of staying in shape, you’re able to (learn) concepts.”

Lane and Elle Uyeda, a freshman defender, both said that the preseason is more personalized, allowing coaches to talk to players one-on-one about specific areas needing improvement rather than speaking to the whole team.

Jarod Matteoni, a sophomore team captain and defender for the men’s soccer team, said that preseason involves getting in shape and focusing on the “technical stuff.”

preseason

Players rest after a spring practice on Wilson Field.

But these early season practices build more than skills, Matteoni said.

“(Winning) is definitely something that drives this team, that push from within to not be OK with losing,” Matteoni said. “You can tell when we’re losing, no one is happy for the whole week.”

As the start of another season comes closer, summer training becomes even more crucial. As most athletes return home for the summer, it is often up to the individual player to stay on top of his or her fitness regimen during the months off.

“When you’re with the team, it’s so easy to be motivated, to stay on top of it. You consistently have people pushing you,” Lane said. “But when you have to be your own motivator, it’s so hard.”

But Andrew Dieken, a junior defensive end on the football team, said he likes doing his own thing over the summer.

“Our program really focuses on setting you up for success after school and bettering yourself so when you leave, you can be successful,” Dieken said. “I think that’s really cool.”

Lane said players unquestionably prefer the regular season over preseason, when results from practice are evident from game to game.

“Whenever you get to play other teams, you feel like you’re working for something that you can immediately see,” Lane said.