Opening with a new season, the Malden High’s Boys Varsity Soccer team kicks off  with a record of 1-2-2.  Since officially coming back in person full time on account of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the soccer team’s ambitions are extremely heightened. Coach Jeremiah Smith, with great confidence, is assured that the varsity players are determined to make up for the time they lost due to the pandemic. Whether it is independently or the team as a whole, all the players wish to improve and excel in their skills where it is needed for them. 

On Thursday, September 17th, the Boys Soccer team had their fourth game of the season. It took place at Pine Banks and they played against Somerville. The final score ended with a tie. Although in the past their records were not the most impressive, Junior Bradley Toussaint has “full faith in his teammates.” Junior Kyle Lee’s goals for this year are for the team to “make it to States” and for him to “earn his starting position”.  Even if they do not exceed or meet their expectations, what matters most is how hard the team is willing to work this season.

To prepare for upcoming tournaments, every player has their own way to get themselves psyched up before a game. One way most of the team keeps themselves in shape is maintaining a healthy eating schedule. 

 A solution is to create consistent good eating habits before and after training. For starters, the players make sure to eat breakfast, and to try to eat a big proportional meal before a game or practice. In order to play better, the teammates all make a commitment to physically keeping themselves in good condition. Specifically for Lee,  what works for him best is to eat a meal with a lot of carbs two to three hours before a game and make sure he stays “hydrated everyday.”  Lee makes it clear that drinking lots of water is a must and is an important task to do, whether it is outside or during training or games. 

The answer to being a good player and to have a higher chance of stronger results, is the right mindset to have. Mental health is immensely underlooked, especially for students who play sports. When losing a game, it is hard to move forward and keep your drive to continue. It is easy for soccer players, or anybody in general, to lose their dedication. 

A method to keep players motivated is to “know their why.” What I mean by that is everything. Players need to remind themselves why they are doing this and why they are training hard every single day. Toussaint adds that his overall plan before a game or practice is to “not get too nervous” and that “staying positive” is key.  If players were to see the brighter side of things, and be more optimistic, not only will they be successful but their mentality will be more open-minded. 

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