Men's Soccer Postseason Update

Jan. 7, 2013

The Office of Sports Communications sat down with Bearcats Men’s Soccer head coach Hylton Dayes to find out what has been happening with the program since the close of the 2012 season.


Opening Statement

“We did a lot of skill work and the guys also played a lot on their own, we call it free play, and we’ve been basically in the bubble doing that and in the weight room for the last three weeks. So once we finished the Marquette game the guys have been pretty much training and preparing. The guys have been hard at work; because we have a lot of young guys coming back from injuries that didn’t play in the second half of the season. So we need to get them out there.

The past month has been pretty busy for us. We did a lot of technical work and played small sided games in the bubble. We have also been doing strength work in the weight room. We have a lot of young players and others coming back from injuries so we needed to use this time productively.”


On Second Half of Season due to injuries:

“We had a number of injuries. We had at least three guys that had season ending injuries midway through the year and that really affected our depth and our ability. So the team-building process had started but we also just finished up our individual meetings with every player that we met with and did an evaluation of each player and talked about how the season went and looking forward and moving forward.

We had quite a few injuries, including some to key players that affected the depth and quality of the team down the stretch. I thought we had some positive results late in the season we still fell a little short of our goal to have an extended post season run. With this in mind it is important to put the disappointment behind us and start the preparation for next season.”




On Evaluation Process:

“Well obviously we’ll be doing things once we get back in spring semester. What we give the guys is an evaluation of their performance but we also provide them with feedback of things they can do to improve, and the errors which they need to improve. We will address some of those errors when we train, but some of that stuff they will certainly work on on their own because we can’t just leave it all up to when we train them. Some of this stuff is individual, whether it is getting stronger or improving their passing or just technical areas, like finishing. We’ll work with them on that but they also can go out and do some of that stuff on their own.

Once the three week period ended we met with each player to discuss their performance from the fall season and areas of improvement for the future. This includes a personal action plan which contains individual work that they are responsible for.”


On the NCAA Rules for the Offseason:

“You have what’s called your traditional season which starts preseason in August and goes through the end of your season, so for us it ended after the Marquette game. And then once that season ends you go in what’s called your eight hours a week and you can do two hours worth of training or skill work per week and you have to have a certain amount of days off. We basically go Monday through Friday with that and we use eight hours.  Now when the guys come back in January we will continue with our eight hours and then middle of February we will start up with our non-traditional where you can go into twenty hours a week with the guys. So then those twenty hours a week goes up until maybe just before finals. It’s nontraditional because you play some games but they don’t really count. So the fall is the traditional which is the season that really counts and the winter/spring is nontraditional.

Our traditional season starts in August and ends after the fall and January starts the non-traditional season which goes until we finish our spring season in April. We will condition and train for the maximum 8 hours per week from January to mid-February after which we will train for the NCAA mandated 20 hrs per week.”


On a Nontraditional Spring Season:

“We are allowed five play dates in the spring and we try to utilize all five dates after spring break. Sometimes we will play a mini tournament on one date, especially if we have a big squad. We also try to schedule a few out-of-region teams or teams that we do not play in fall.  The spring is an excellent opportunity for players who did not play much in the fall to get some playing time. It really gives us a chance to see what your team is going to look like without the incoming freshman and continue the team building process.”


On Recruits for Next Season:

“Our signing date is in February but at this point we have filled all our major needs for next fall, we still might add one or two more players.


On Planning for the Next Season:

“Literally the day after Marquette match, we started to prepare for next season. Obviously the closer you get to the season the more things crystallize and there are always changes, but the principles normally do not change much. We spend a lot of time in the planning stage to make sure that all the details are covered and everyone, including the players, has a roadmap for the future.


On Strength & Conditioning:

“We work together with all the support services. We refer to them as “the team behind the team”. A critical area is strength and conditioning. These particular coaches have the expertise to help our players become better athletes. It is a year-round commitment and they work with our guys in areas where they need to improve. We also have extensive discussions about how they train specific muscle groups to enhance performance that is critical to the functions they perform on the soccer field. What this means is that our strength and conditioning work is specifically geared toward soccer players, because soccer strength and conditioning is different from football or basketball, so we work together to make this happen. We also have a fulltime certified athletic trainer whose job is to keep the guys healthy and assist with rehab. At any one time they might have a group of 6-8 players that are at different phases, or have different injuries or rehabbing from an injury. So the strength and conditioning and the athletic training piece, along with the coaching staff, really work together to make sure that all the needs of the players are being met.”


On players relearning the skills from season ending injury:

“That’s why we had sessions throughout the three week period in November. We need to have guys playing and training because college athletics requires year-round participation and the time you’re taking off is when someone else is getting better. The NCAA monitors how much you can do but we will certainly do as much as we are allowed and our players want to do it because they want to get better.”


On Academic Success:

“Academic success is a partnership. It starts with recruiting good students, and then we work closely with Academic Services. Chris Strong is our Academic Advisor and he monitors the players’ academics on a daily basis. During the fall season, it’s tough because were traveling and guys will miss classes. However, they know they have to make up the work, so they’ll bring the work with them on trips. Chris meets with all the freshmen once a week in addition to any at-risk players.  He helps them organize their weekly work schedule and makes sure they stay on top of their workload.  

One interesting observation we have noticed is that our team does better during the fall semesters because they’re busy and have structure. They know they have to get it done and they don’t have time to do other things, so academics are a priority. So between Chris and Coach Bonomo, the liaison on our staff, they stay on top of the Team academics. Jeremy meets with Chris once a week and gets updates and progress reports. If guys are missing stuff, he makes sure there is follow-up. All new players have to attend eight hours mandatory study halls per week. Returning players also have to attend study hall hours depending on how they are performing. We also have a great tutor program, so if guys need help which (some of them do) we provide tutors. If guys are not performing in the classroom, it’s usually because they’re not putting in the work. To keep things in perspective, we always remind our players that they are students first and athletes second!”


On Special Activities or Events:

“We have two college ID camps (on January 26 and February 16) that are geared towards 2014 recruits. We also participate in many community service and outreach programs throughout the year. These community service events include soccer clinics, mentoring and volunteer work to name a few. We also have many special events such as our Awards Banquet, Alumni Weekend and Season Kick-Off events.”


Who are the Captains?

“The captains for the 2012-13 year are Michael Millay (Jr.) and Taylor Hafling (So.).”

With Coach Dayes at the helm, Bearcats Men's Soccer continues to build excitement and support. For more information about how to register for the ID Camps, please visit