The varsity soccer team’s season has been pushed back from Nov. to Feb., forcing the athletes to alter their preparation for the challenging season.
Head coach Chris Walter ‘93 discussed some of the drills and protocols that the team is going to need to follow while they practice at Loyola.
Walter said, “We have to stay socially-distant while we practice, so that means there is no contact with players. We can’t have one-on-one battles, we can’t do anything with players competing against each other. We have to only do skills and passing as long as we are six feet apart. We are not going to be able to have the full team. The numbers are going to be limited.”
Walter continued discussing the uncertainty of practice times and locations and how there has been very minimal communication between the players and coaches.
Walter shared, “Our number one priority for the players is to keep healthy and take care of their family. In terms of soccer, they can work on their technique as well as staying in shape and running.”
While wanting the players to continue working on their game in their spare time, Walter and his staff have one priority: for the players to remain healthy during these unprecedented times of COVID-19.
Senior forward and midfielder Nate Smith-Hastie talked about what his return to playing Loyola soccer would mean to him.
He responded, “It would mean a lot [to start practice again with Loyola]. I can’t wait to get back out there. I really want to see my teammates again and be able to play with them again.”
Smith-Hastie shows how much the players miss competing for Loyola and how the seniors want to play one more year for their high school before they move off to college.
Additionally, Smith-Hastie explained how he has been training for the upcoming season. He has been playing on his club team, which practices by socially distancing and by wearing masks. Furthermore, he also mentioned how he has been running and biking to maintain his physique.
The varsity soccer team has a lot of things to prepare for when it comes to the start of practice. The coaches need to find ways that they can keep the social distancing protocols while doing drills at the same time.
Walter mentioned what the team is going to need to do in order to succeed in practice at school while players also participate in club soccer as well.
Walter said, “We are going to have to communicate. Communication is key between the players and me. It is going to be completely different than before but we will get through it.”