There is a lot of newness surrounding the Louisiana Tech soccer program this fall.
New head coach. New uniforms. Eighteen newcomers. And of course, a brand new home.
With one week of preseason practice in the books (and only 10 days until the start of the 2021 season), interim head coach Steve Voltz discussed all of the newness and more.
What are your overall thoughts on the first week of practice?
“I have been really impressed with the energy and the commitment that the players are bringing in practice. They have done an excellent job of adjusting. The returning players have done a great job of getting everybody acclimated to the team.”
What have been some of the finer points of practice so far?
“The first few days have been about getting the players comfortable with the ball and evaluating players in their physical fitness as well as technical development and getting adjusted to the speed of play.”
With so many newcomers, how has the team been meshing?
“The time spent together off the field has been invaluable already. We are on the right track.”
What has it been like being able to practice on your new home field?
“You cannot describe how massive of a difference it is. Instead of driving out to a sports complex or a high school, now we have our own home. We walk right out onto the field and the excitement is immediately there. It has translated into training. I do not think we have had a flat day. The team is very appreciative of the new surroundings we have.”
What is the idea behind the mantra “Bring the Joy?”
“I have used it in the past at other programs. It is not just about being in a good mood every day. It is a mantra that should translate into everything that we do. Understanding that we are playing a game and there is a joy in training and playing that game. Having joy of being around teammates and playing a game you grew up with.”
What do you hope to get out of the preseason trip to Mississippi?
“There is the off the field part, continuing to grow together as a large group. Having time together that the players can enjoy and make memories. It is also about fine-tuning our team, experimenting with new roles. Come back to Ruston closer together and better prepared.”
Can you feel the excitement as the season gets closer?
“You can feel it all around. We are the first athletic event on campus of the season. Everybody has been working hard to make this opening of the new facility a special event. The anticipation is there and the players are hungry. They are eager to go out. We just have to make sure the moment is not too big for us.”
PHOTO: by Emerald McIntyre.
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