Although the fall season just officially began, winter sports are already ramping up. One of these sports is girls soccer, which kicked off conditioning practices on Monday, Oct. 5. These practices are optional, but can be very useful when it comes to getting in shape for the upcoming season.
Like all sports, soccer is slightly different this year. Getting clearance to play was done completely online and social distancing is suggested for most exercises. Conditioning gives a glimpse into what future tryouts and practices will look like to accommodate for COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“We take everyone’s temperature everyday,” junior varsity’s head coach Katherine Jucker said. “If there’s any equipment being used like a medicine ball or a flag or something, there’s always hand sanitizer around too.”
Participants in conditioning do a variety of exercises to mimic the athletic ability needed to do well in soccer. The exercises aim to prep players outside of handling the ball and increase their stamina.
“A lot of it is like cardio, and getting in shape,” Jucker said. “Conditioning wise, as far as their cardio is concerned, there’s a lot of running in soccer, from running, stopping, jogging, walking, and stuff like that.”
There is more to conditioning than just running, however. Because soccer is not just running the entire time, conditioning is not meant to be either. To reflect this, some of the exercises may even be stationary to build players strength, or running is done in intervals.
“We’ve done obstacle courses, suicides, and some strength building exercises, like planks,” junior Summer Egner said. “We bring the towels for when we lay on the grass for planks to avoid getting itchy.”
Although two weeks cannot fully condition girls for soccer, attending the practices allows players to get into shape while also giving them a feel for who they might be playing with.
“I love what I’m seeing,” Jucker said. “It’s so great to see the different vibe from girls from last year who really know what they’re doing now.”