Georgia State’s summer soccer stalemate

Twelve days— that’s about how long the Georgia State men’s soccer team gets to practice together in the three months before the season starts in late August. This is because the team is not allowed to practice any soccer activities over the summer and season starts just after summer break ends; usually around mid-August. This creates a real problem for head coach Brett Surrency and his squad because time together on the practice field is vital to the success on the field.

“It’s tough for us, we actually can’t do anything with the players in terms of coaching and soccer instruction side of things from two weeks ago when we finished for spring until August 7th,” said Surrency.

To combat this three-month stretch of not being able to practice together, Surrency and his coaching staff give the players workout programs to follow through the summer. These programs start at the end of May so the players can make it through finals and then the work begins. Players who stay on campus for the summer are allowed to work out with strength coaches in the gym or fitness workouts on the field, but receive no soccer instructions.

The workouts are made up of two parts, a gym portion and a tailored on-field fitness portion. The fitness portion is unique to each player and is customized by the coaches based on how much they’ll be playing over the summer. The more a player plays, the fewer workouts he will have and vice versa.

This drought of team activities has led many players such as junior center back Kyle Clinton to look for soccer elsewhere in leagues such as the Premiere Development League and National Premier Soccer League. These leagues are made up of college players and amateurs and give the players a place to stay in shape and continue mastering their craft over the summer. Clinton is spending his summer playing soccer with the Cincinnati Dutch Lions, a team in the PDL.

“It’s gonna be a great platform to keep playing in the summer because it’s such a long time off, just to keep myself ticking over and hopefully impress some people and come back in the fall ready to go,” said Clinton on playing with the Dutch Lions.

These summer leagues can be very beneficial to the players in more ways than improving their skills and conditioning. Leagues like this give the players the opportunity to be noticed on a larger scale, which is what Clinton said his main goal for the summer.

So while the team can’t practice together on the field, things like summer leagues and fitness programs ensure that come August 7, Surrency’s players will be ready to go.