Weekday notes are the newest feature to debut on the Grande Sports Academy website. Once per week we will be taking a look at all the happenings going on at the Academy, on and off the field.
Getting Back To Business – Setting Goals
As the new semester starts for the boys, and with all of them returning back to the Academy from their homes during the winter break, things have been quite busy here. While the new players get accustomed to a new school and new friends, the coaching staff is eager to get things started again.
“It’s always exciting to get all the guys back. I’m more excited when they have had some success during the early season,” said assistant coach Freddy Juarez. “The guys that are returning back for their second semester have been acclimated, and are used to the style of play now. They know the workload. The guys that have been here it’s nothing new for them. They are great with the young guys and the newer guys.”
Javier Avelar and Jack Gayton are two players who are returning back for their second semester at the Grande Sports Academy after joining in August of 2012.
“It’s good because I know what to expect and what things I need to do. Especially certain aspects of the game that I need to improve on,” Avelar explained.
Gayton then said, “Coming back was good because it gave me a nice little break from soccer to recharge my batteries. Now I know what to expect from the Academy.”
As the coaching staff and players have both been overjoyed with returning back to the field, both groups also have certain goals in mind as the season progresses.
The two biggest goals on the players mind is making it to Nationals and counting down the days before the MLS clubs report to preseason camp at the Grande Sports World.
Making it to Nationals is always the ultimate goal and along that journey coach Juarez has a few goals in mind for the teams. “We always have high standards for the boys. Continue to win and try your hardest every match. We always look to win. Hopefully stay undefeated at home, maybe try to go on the road and stay undefeated by winning a game or tying a game and try not to lose many points on the road. The end goal is getting to the playoffs whether it be first place, which we would really like, or second place and making a run for the national championship.”
The U-17/18 team currently sits in second place in the Southwest Division with 2.14 points per game played. The U-15/16 currently sits in first place in the Southwest Division with 2.14 points per game
Sports Psychologist Visits The Academy
Dr. Dan Friegang, a Sport Psychologist with the U.S. National Team joined the boys on Wednesday afternoon and talked to them about the mental aspects of being a professional athlete.
“I went in there wanting to hear what he has to say because he is with the national team, ” said Tigran Tiraturyan. “Once he got started he got our attention with what he had to say. I thought it was interesting and a lot of stuff I didn’t know about.”
Friegang, once an internationally ranked athlete and national team coach, explained to the boys that they need to take control of the goals they set in their life and to just let it flow. Friegang further explained that even though practice may have ended on the field a player needs to be dialed into their goals of being a professional athlete 24/7, which includes eating right, recovering correctly and practicing every day.
Throughout the workshop the boys went through different exercises to show them that they need to put their mind towards a move or skill set and not to be enamored with what a professional athlete can do on the field. Rather see what he can do, tell yourself you can do it and practice it every day until you master it.
All of the players walked away from Friegang’s teaching with a better understanding of what they must do to achieve their dreams. Tiraturyan explained this, “My goal would be to start a lot of games this half of the season, and to commit to a college. Taking control is going out every day and giving it my all and that’s pretty much it.”
Below are pictures from the workshop.