Soccer players’ calendars are booked for the holidays

%22I+think+%5Bpractice+over+break%5D+is+a+good+way+to+make+sure+no+one+gets+super+rusty+and+it+keeps+people+in+shape%2C%22+said+Gabriel+Anson%2C+a+senior+and+varsity+boys+soccer+player.+

Niamh Marren

“I think [practice over break] is a good way to make sure no one gets super rusty and it keeps people in shape,” said Gabriel Anson, a senior and varsity boys soccer player.

As students discuss their holiday vacations and plans, soccer players know precisely what theirs look like during the break: arriving at school almost every day for practice.

Soccer, being a winter sport, practices during November through around the first half of February, and there are no hesitations to disrupt the practice schedule when school is off. 

Depending on the player, practice over break might be an inconvenience for relaxation time or family plans. But, it can also be a beneficial way to stay in shape, continue a social life, and prepare the team for the rest of the season.

Katie Blondino, a junior on girls varsity soccer, said, “I think practice over break is a good thing. I don’t think it should be mandatory because high schoolers don’t usually control their family’s holiday vacation schedule, but it should be highly recommended because it is something that you signed up for and agreed to put your all into.”

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s “20 Hour Rule,” college student-athletes may not practice for more than 20 hours per week during the season. For Carlmont athletes, about 12 hours per week are dedicated to practicing or game time. 

“I love the sport, but sometimes it can be annoying to have the time commitment, where you want to do something else like hanging out with friends [or] family and grandparents,” said Gabriel Anson, a senior on boys varsity soccer. 

As it is common for families to go away over the holidays, students and their families stay in town because of their athletic commitments

“Say you really want to play a position and be a starter, you’re going to want to go to practice. So that could be frustrating if you have plans,” said Luca Byers-Mora, a freshman on the JV boys soccer team.

Although, generally, players see it as a way to stay well-conditioned and build team chemistry.

“It’s fun to see how friendships form over time and how we improve as a team on the field […] If I didn’t decide to join soccer, I’d probably be playing another sport. I love to be active,” said Alyssa Attard, a sophomore JV girls soccer player.

When signing up to play soccer, athletes must be aware of and accept their commitment to practice during school breaks. 

“For a school sport, there is a high expectation of commitment since you are a team, and you want to do your best to help the team […] but everyone accommodates well and understands the commitment levels. Also, people on the team enjoy soccer, so no one really minds having to go to practice every day,” Blondino said.

If players commit to the responsibility of practicing several hours a week, including winter break, they must enjoy the sport enough to not even to care.

“Having an occasional practice over break […] in a way is a break for me. While playing I am surrounded by friends and participating in a sport that I love. At that moment, I don’t need to worry,” Attard said. 

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