By Christine Baker, TSB Staff
Athletes who sign to play in college don’t always know what to expect prior to arriving on campus. The first day of practice has yet to arrive, the new experience has yet to begin, so what comes first?
This summer, those questions have been answered by three former McKinney High soccer players who are preparing for college careers.
We put the question to them: How can you make sure you’re prepared?
MHS graduates Nicole Gostic, Kristyn Leung, and Steven Lauterbach give us a little insight. You’ll learn a little about each of them, as well as what they’re doing before beginning their freshman seasons on the pitch.
“I will be playing defense on the soccer team at St. Edwards University,” Gostic said. “To get in shape I have been going to the Michael Johnson Performance Center three times a week, as well as working out on my own.”
“I am going to play center mid on the soccer team at Francis Marion University,” Leung said. “I train at Michael Johnson performance Center and at LA Fitness.”
A common theme here is the Michael Johnson Performance Center, located in McKinney. It provides in-season and off-season training programs, biomechanical analysis, nutrition assessments, remote coaching, physical therapy and injury prevention programs for youth, college and professional athletes and teams.
“I am going to play soccer at the University of Texas,” Lauterbach said. “They don’t have an NCAA team because of title IX so they only have on club team, but it’s pretty much like NCAA without scholarships. I play every position but I prefer forward and I’ve been doing Michael Johnson Performance Center about three hours every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I’ve also been mountain biking and playing on an indoor soccer team.”
Preparing for college sports, especially soccer, involves training in agility, speed and endurance. Just like everyone else, athletes have their least favorite workouts too.
“My least favorite workout is definitely lifting weights,” Leung said. “But I really like doing (abdominal) workouts.”
“I hate any workout that involes running miles and long distances,” Lauterbach said. “But I like sprints and short distances.”
“I really don’t like dead lift or just straight conditioning,” Gostic said. “I really like ab workouts and agility stuff because it’s not too tiring but helps a bunch.”
Making the transition from high school to college sports isn’t easy, so besides exercise, isn’t there more to it? Your diet, perhaps?
“I drink a lot of water.” Lauterbach said. “But you definitely need to stay in shape because it’s so difficult to catch back up and that’s what happened to me. Keep practicing your sport some, but the main thing is to stay fit so that you can keep up with other athletes who stayed in shape when you get to school.”
“Other than working out, I just try to watch what I eat.” Gostic said. “I have no real diet, but I try to only drink water and not snack in between meals. For future athletes I strongly recommend that you stick to the summer workouts your coach gives you. If you don’t work out over the summer, you will find yourself struggling.”
“Preseason is difficult so working out during the summer is really important to pass the fitness tests.” Leung said. “I try to eat healthier and I stopped drinking soda and that helped a lot. Future athletes should definitely make a work out plan and stick to it!”