This year marks my 3rd season as Assistant Coach and Fitness Coach with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks Women’s Varsity Soccer Team. The Women’s Soccer program at UOIT itself also happens to be only 3 years old, having been introduced in the winter of 2012. The first three years in our team’s history have been very successful. We qualified for the play-offs in year one, and improved upon that record in year two by advancing to the OUA West Quarter-Finals. Moving into a new division (OUA East) in year three. we finished the season in 2nd place, with a 12-2-2 record (going unbeaten in our first 12 games), and even earned a CIS National Top-10 ranking for the majority of the year, finishing with a #7 ranking heading into the play-offs. We continued to get good results in the post-season, earning a bronze medal in the OUA Final Four, plus a place in the 2014 CIS National Championships at Laval University in Quebec City, as the 3rd place team from Ontario. The success of the UOIT Ridgebacks Women’s Varsity Soccer Team owes itself to numerous factors and people, the most important of which is the Head Coach who literally built the team from scratch three years ago, Peyvand Mossavat (he was also named OUA East, and CIS Coach of the Year this season). I am honored to have been a part of the coaching staff since the team’s inception, and to have contributed to its impressive performances on the pitch.
My next four posts will briefly describe of the four physical preparation strategies that I and the Coaching Staff used, which have contributed to our team’s success over the past three year in general, and specifically during the incredible 2014 season:
- Recruit good athletes (as well as good players):
The reality of university soccer is that the season is very short (only 2 ½ months including play-offs) and there are typically 2-3 games per week. There is also very little time to prepare teams, as the actual “pre-season” comprises only 2 ½ weeks in the middle of August. For teams to be successful, they must recruit players with certain athletic qualities that will enable them to thrive in this environment. Among the qualities to look for are:
- Speed (especially over 20-35 metres)
- Leg strength and jumping ability
- High intensity running ability (as measured by a field test like the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test)
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic. Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.