MONTGOMERY—Alabama State University’s soccer team began preparations for the 2011 season as preseason camp opened under a hot and humid sky.

A total of 16 players showed up for the first day of training with the coaching staff waiting on two more players to arrive from Australia.

Even though the first day was hot, head coach Jodie Smith saw some positives after the day’s two practices.

“Our fitness was actually ok for the first day of practice,” Smith said.  “You could tell our returning players had done some work over the summer, but as a coach you feel we are never where we need to be.”

With the weather being so hot, the coaching staff tried to gauge how hard and far to push the players on the first day of practice.  They have also looked at changing the length of the practice sessions.

“We are working a lot on fitness, but with the heat at this time of year, you try to find how hard you can push them, but not push them so hard they lose their legs during the preseason,” Smith said.

“We actually went a little earlier this morning due to the heat,” Smith said.  “We cut off the practices by about 20 minutes.  I felt the players had reached a point where the quality of the practice was sagging.  I thought the effort was there, but their energy was off.”

The Lady Hornets will continue their preseason work with only one practice tomorrow from 10 a.m.-noon.


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