UChicago Athletics consists of 19 men’s and women’s teams that compete at the NCAA Division III level. The fall sports—including soccer, football, volleyball, and cross country—all start practicing in August. This period is known as “preseason,” when student athletes live on campus for a little over one month before classes start. It is a time for athletes to dedicate their life to their sport before the hustle of classes and extracurricular activities begin. My life during preseason just so happens to be soccer.
Being thrown into the unfamiliar college environment with more than 1,500 new faces in your year alone can be challenging. That’s where the entire athletic community, especially your teammates, comes in. Your team will focus on getting to know you, making sure you are comfortable, and taking advantage of everything UChicago offers.
Starting preseason and not knowing anyone on my team, the thought of spending every minute of our days together was worrisome. However, I quickly became comfortable with my teammates, and preseason is where it all began! Here is a typical day for a preseason athlete:
7:00 am – Wakeup Call
We start our days early. My coach likes us to be up and eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up.
8:00 am –Ratner Athletics Center
We head to our locker room, get ready, and check in with the athletic trainers in the training room. Ratner holds varsity locker rooms, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. It’s open to athletes and non-athletes, so we can train there even in the off-season!
9:00-11:00 am– Morning Practice
During preseason we have two-a-days (two practices per day). Our morning practice is usually more technical and focused on getting better on the individual level.
12:00-3:00 pm – Lunch and Rest
It’s great to have a break midday to relax and hang out. After lunch, most use the time to nap or chill in the lounges of Renee Granville-Grossman Residence Commons (commonly called “South” on campus because of its location south of the Midway Plaisance) where we live. Our team loves to binge watch TV shows together, and 90 percent of our jokes come from these shows!
4:00-6:00 pm – Afternoon Practice (turf field)
The second practice of the day is more team-oriented. It is mentally and physically hard to get through, so having the support of your team makes it much more fun.
8:00-9:00 pm – Team Activity
Our coach comes up with the best team bonding activities for after dinner. This is a great time for players to open up and show their humorous side! My favorite is our annual scavenger hunt, based off the UChicago tradition “Scav”, but with a UChicago Soccer twist.
10:30-11:00 pm – Lights out
Bed time! We need to get a good night sleep so we can do it all again tomorrow.