By Sofia Parker
Feeling nervous and unprepared when showing up for tryouts is not a familiar feeling to the players planning on trying out for the Loy Norrix Women’s Soccer Team. They are given the opportunity to train and gain strength for the upcoming season by going to optional winter conditioning sessionrs which are led by the team captains.
Before winter break, players were given the chance to train on Tuesdays and Thursdays where they would run two to three miles followed by an intense weight lifting program. On Fridays, players run and do sprints for the program as well.
After the break the players are given the option to attend Monday night trainings which consist of yoga, kick boxing, and futsol, a version of indoor soccer played with a heavier ball, as well as other conditioning activities.
All of this conditioning is in preparation for tryouts and meeting the coaches’ goal of fitness which consists of running a 10.3 on the pacer test for tryouts. The pacer test, also known as the beep test, is a multi-stage fitness test in which you are required to run and “pace” yourself between a series of beeps.
“10.3 is a standard that college teams use for fitness,” said John McKenzie. McKenzie is one of the varsity coaches alongside Keith Kroll.
Both coaches, McKenzie and Kroll, believe that athleticism is a great advantage that Norrix has over other teams. “We won more games in the last ten minutes compared to the season before,” said McKenzie. He believes it was due to the winter conditioning of the previous year.
This is the second year that the winter conditioning has been running strong and it has been going better than ever. Soccer training is a great way for the players to bond with each other, while still getting in a hard workout.
“You become connected with all of the girls, and it’s important to start the season that way,” said senior Lauren McGlinn, one of the four captains of the varsity team.
Although bonding and gaining strength are good reasons for coming to the conditioning sessions, it is also excellent for injury prevention. The weight lifting program was set up to help prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries as well as many others. During last season there were fewer injuries during the season compared to previous seasons due to winter conditioning.
The Loy Norrix womens soccer teams’ winter conditioning will hopefully pay off in the upcoming season. The trainings help both prepare the girls for the season to come and help relieve the pre-tryout anxiety. The captains and coaches have high expectations, but the players are ready to exceed them.