Summertime as a Student-Athlete
Come the end of April early May your semester is drawing to a close, campus is emptying, and your summer plans are upon you. Whether you are travelling home to spend time with family and friends or you’re playing USL2 during the summer, there is a significant gap in the calendar that needs to be filled…productively.
During the first summer or two of a student-athlete's time in college they will look to head home during the summer. Having not seen loved ones since christmas it’s a great opportunity to spend some valuable time with those closest to you. But having three months off can be both positive and negative to your college soccer career. Of course having some well deserved downtime is vital to recharge the batteries ready for the upcoming fall season. On the other hand this significant time off can have a detrimental effect on the upcoming campaign, you go from training and being in the gym everyday to lounging around and over indulging, finding the right balance is crucial for a good start come the fall.
As soccer is a fall sport, meaning the competitive games run August through December, there is going to be a condensed season. This means you could easily have 2 or 3 games a week for a significant part of the semester. Making sure you are both mentally but more importantly physically prepared for this is vitally important. Given you will only have a couple of weeks preseason with the team at the beginning of August, how you spend your summer months will have a direct impact on how you start your season.
For student-athletes who are staying in the United States during the summer and playing USL2 you will have a huge head start on those who are not. This is something not only us at Destination 219 advise but your college coaches will also. For those student-athletes not playing USL2 we have an 8 week training programme that is sent out to our athletes at the beginning of June, to be used as a pre-preseason training camp ahead of their fall season. Those athletes who choose to use this programme before heading back to campus will be physically at the level to go straight into preseason, they might just need some extra ball work to get them fully up to speed. The athletes who choose not to use the training programme will be significantly further behind the other student-athletes starting preseason alongside them. As preseason in college soccer is normally no more than 2-3 weeks, you need to already have your base fitness prior to arriving on campus. Being able to arrive on campus, pass all of the fitness requirements and begin focusing on playing soccer is the transition each college coach is looking for, make sure you’re part of that group.