It’s that time of year again, time for preseason soccer training. Realistically, soccer is never really out of season in Nevada, but players for Sparks’ local high school squads are gearing up for the fast-approaching prep season. Tryouts are looming, less than two weeks away.
Tryouts for high school soccer start Aug. 17th, and the area high schools have many different ways of getting student-athletes prepared.
The Reed girls soccer team, as well as Spanish Springs, spend the two weeks prior to tryouts with optional conditioning training, open to any girl attending one of the respective schools that is interested in the program.
Many of the girls at Reed and Spanish Springs are involved in outside club soccer, which begins in January and February and can extend into the summer, as late as mid July.
“Our philosophy is that kids still need to be kids and have a couple months to themselves and not think about soccer,” Reed girls soccer coach Jason Saville said. “Then, hopefully they’re more enthusiastic when they come and get ready for season … They don’t need to be working out year round as long as they know what the expectations are.”
Reed spreads the word at freshman orientation, so incoming students know that there is time for them to get in shape and meet returning Reed players.
“It’s not mandatory,” Saville said. “Nothing is mandatory until tryouts. It’s a good idea that they come so they are getting to know the kids and getting to know us, so they know what the expectations are.”
Saville also said that the training gives newcomers time to adapt, meet the team and start to relax so they’re not so nervous when it comes down to tryouts.
“We don’t want kids to be nervous. We don’t want kids to fail,” he said. “The more acclimated they are, and the less nervous they are for tryouts, the better. You can definitely tell the ones that have come to non-mandatories and the ones that don’t show up.”
Reed is working out Tuesday through Thursday in the evenings this week and next.
“If they’re still doing some family vacation they can have that four-day weekend and still come out for soccer,” Saville said. “They have two more weeks to enjoy their weekends and still do soccer. Come the 17th, it’s hardcore soccer for three months.”
The Spanish Springs girls program is holding its preseason conditioning workouts in the mornings, Monday through Friday.
“The first week is doing a little bit of touch drills, just getting them to touch the ball in different ways,” Spanish Springs coach Mike Faker said. “We’re basically just playing, a little bit of running.”
Spanish Springs and Reed both want to find a way to give the kids the opportunity to start conditioning before they start head on in the season.
“It’s important because I don’t think there’s enough time between the day we have official tryouts and our first game to get them fit,” Faker explained. “We’ve tried to go early, like July and I don’t think that’s very necessary.”
Saville agreed that one benefit of the preseason workouts is having some actual time to get in some conditioning.
“(It helps) to kind of get them fit so we don’t have to worry so much about playing a game this week,” Saville said. “We can just work on fitness right now.”
While the girls have two weeks of preseason training, the Spanish Springs boys have been active all summer long. Coach Rob Moreland set up to have field time on Monday and Wednesday evenings all summer long to play pickup games.
“I’m not pushing them, they can push themselves,” Moreland said. “ I want to see what they’re made of. We find out the first week easily.”
Moreland said that the guys meet at the field, do some warm ups and then pick two random captains to choose teams and play. Sometimes they have up to four teams depending on how many show.
“I don’t put a lot of pressure on them over the summer or anything like that,” he said. “I do to them what I did as a player. I didn’t need anyone to hold my hand.”
Moreland didn’t seem to feel the need to have a set conditioning schedule, reiterating that the official practice season will start Aug. 17th.
“They need to be fit on their own,” he explained. “The first thing they need is respect of the sport. They need to work with the ball every day and run every day. By the time we’re ready to go, you’ll be ready. Where you want to go, depends on how much you run and how much you work with the ball.”