For fall athletes, the summer months serve as the last stretch of preparation before the season begins.
Some athletes, including rising senior quarterback Brad Mayes who is from Florida, will stay on campus during the break to focus on the upcoming season.
“I only get to go home for one week this summer,” Mayes said. “Trust me, it stinks that I don’t get to go home and spend time with my family. But they know the opportunities that I have, and they know the sacrifices I have to make, like not going home to achieve the dream I want to achieve.”
Mayes said the football team normally has between 30-40 players who remain on campus taking classes and completing summer camp.
Throughout the summer, the team trains with head strength and conditioning coach Eric Markovcy, who focuses on finding different methods to improve athletes’ techniques.
“(Markovcy) does a good job of making sure everyone is doing something over the summer,” Mayes said. “He does a good job of holding everyone accountable by making them enter their bench and squat numbers into a Google Sheet, which he checks every week.”
The strength and conditioning program will play an important role in preparing the athletes for the fall season, when Mayes and the rest of the football team will look to compete for a third straight Patriot League title.
“Our team goal for next year is to start making Patriot League Championships around here the standard,” Mayes said. “We want to be able to start competing at the national level where we feel like we belong, and we want to make a name for ourselves this year in the playoffs.”
Unlike the football team, Lehigh field hockey players aren’t required to stay on campus over the summer but are still expected to train on their own.
Rising junior field hockey player Trish Reilly said she and her team have already established concrete goals for the upcoming season.
Their main focus off the field is on accomplishing a 3.5 team GPA, something the team has been close to achieving in the past.
On the field, Reilly said she hopes her team is ready to compete for a championship title, which has been out-of-reach.
“I hope and expect our team to come back stronger than ever,” Reilly said. “We’ve been building for a while now, and it’s time to see the results. We want to make the Patriot League Tournament, which is a platform I think our team strives for every year.”
Despite not having to stay on campus over the summer, the Mountain Hawks are given training programs that focus on cardiovascular endurance and strength conditioning to follow while they are home for the summer.
Reilly said the training programs are created with each individual athlete in mind, something she finds to be helpful while at home.
“Our packets are each tailored to every individual’s need, which is a huge testament to our coaches’ and trainers’ work and dedication to the process,” Reilly said.
After an up and down 2017 season, Lehigh men’s soccer is looking to have a more consistent 2018 campaign, starting with a summer training expectation similar to the field hockey team.
Rising senior Mark Forrest said the team is talented enough to win a championship but fell short with a loss to Holy Cross in the Patriot League quarterfinals last year.
“Our team goal is just to right some of the wrongs from last year,” Forrest said. “We had a really talented group last year, but we just fell out of form at the wrong time. We know we have the talent to win a championship and go beyond, we just need to execute in the right moments.”
The team’s main focus for the summer is on improving its defense so the Mountain Hawks are able to efficiently and effectively block opponents’ attacks on goal.
As he prepares for his final season at Lehigh, Forrest is motivated to make the most of his training at home this summer to prepare for a successful last year.
“My goals for training camp are just to come in healthy and in better shape than I ever have before, as I know I am capable of doing more than I have,” Forrest said.
Mayes, Reilly and Forrest said their hard work toward improving their technique, endurance and skill by training and practicing over the summer will be important come the fall season.