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Soccer team prepares for fall season

By Alejandro Villegas
On March 19, 2013

After losing the conference semifinals to Tabor College last semester, OU players are preparing their bodies for the upcoming season.

Coach Bob Casper explained the way in which they work shifts during spring.

“The biggest difference is the type of activities,” Casper said. “During spring we have more time to work on our players’ physical development. In fall it is about exploiting those strengths that we built.”

Speed, agility and strength are some of the areas soccer players try to work on during the off-season.

“Fall was more game-ready fitness. In spring, we are focusing on building strength,

getting us ready for the next season and working together,” freshman Andrew Wesp said.

Casper said they use those tactics within the game.

“We also combine that with soccer elements,” Casper said. “We have a developmental approach. We work in technical stuff.”

Casper said he believes the best players are those who are self-made.

“We give our players a goal-setting paper,” he said. “Then, we meet with them and give them some feedback--to let them know if they are going the right way or if they need to be more specific in certain topics. They have to want it. If we want it more than they do…they are not going to reach their potential.”

Coaches try to help their players, giving them some activities if they need them.

“You have to trust they are going to do some stuff,” he said. Spring is more about individual growth. In the fall is everything about the team.”

Spring semester brings a change in the daily routine for soccer players.

“We went from practices in the afternoon to practices and weight lifting in the mornings,” Wesp said.

However, spring it is not all about weight lifting. They also play scrimmages.

“We are just getting to go outside,” junior Casey Waniska said. “We had not been able to go outside because of the weather.”

The Braves will play at Benedictine College April 13, then against Independence Community College at home April 22.

“We could play two games in a day, but we only have around 15 available players right now,” Casper said. “One game really gets everyone a lot of minutes. Two games would be a lot.”

“It is competitive, but it is not as intense as it is in the fall,” Waniska said. “It is more relaxed, so you can have more fun with it.”

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