Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Glens Evolution 17U Boys goalkeeper Joe May has crushed his MAD training, and his subsequent success on the field has inspired his teammates, fellow Glens Evolution athletes, and Glens Evolution coaches to pursue further training with MAD. Above you can link to an earlier segment of the “MAD Minute” in which Joe discusses his MAD experience.
In February of this year, the Glens Evolution collaborated with Murray Athletic Development to conduct a strength and conditioning program specifically tailored to the Glens young goalkeepers. Glens Goalkeeper Academy Director Sebastiano Tevaratto consulted with MAD Director John Murray who designed a curriculum of exercises and drills catering to the needs and demands of the goalkeeper position. Embraced by both male and female athletes ranging in age from 12-19, the program was a huge success with 18 Glens goalkeepers participating, and all seeing and feeling results. Over the course of eight weeks of training which encompassed 15 games, the Glens goalkeepers posted an 82% attendance rate, gained over 800 lbs. of strength, and incurred no injuries.
At the heart of the program are exercises that promote the athletes’ health, well being, and long-term athletic development, and which form the foundation of every MAD regimen. These exercises focus on core strength, joint protection, and correct breathing. To these, Director Murray added drills and exercises designed to develop the athleticism, skills, and mental acuity specific to the demands of the goalkeeping position. They improve the players’ quickness, explosiveness, jumping ability, strength, and focus, and all this enhances the players’ comfort, confidence, and overall performance.
One of the Glens’ standouts in her training with MAD is Anam McCartney who tends the goals for the Glens Evolution 07 Team. Though only 12 years old, Anam attacked her MAD training with energy and enthusiasm from the get go. In her first session, she gained 70 lbs. of strength. When she was forced to miss a week of training due to a family vacation, upon her return she told MAD coaches that although she enjoyed the trip, she really missed her workouts. At the end of the Glens Goalkeeper Academy training program with MAD, Anam chose to continue training with MAD.
Another Glens goalkeeper who extended her MAD training after the conclusion of the Glens Evolution Goalkeeper Academy MAD Strength and Conditioning Program is 13 year old Dina Frenkel. The goalkeeper for the Glens 06 Celtic Academy 1 Premier Team, Dina shined throughout her MAD training. Although at first she was bored while learning the proper techniques for performing the various exercises, once the actual training began, she got to know some of the other athletes and began to enjoy her workouts.
More excitingly, she began to improve. Just four weeks into the program, one day in practice, Glens Coach Daniel Boyer noticed that Dina was able to jump up and touch the crossbar, something she had never before been able to do. She had also increased her strength and quickness, and as Dina continued to improve, she inspired her teammates and Glens’ coaches also to seek out MAD training.
Niccolo Chiera, a sophomore at Lowell High School, is another Glens Evolution goalkeeper who is working with MAD, but unfortunately, he was unable to participate fully in the Glens Evolution Goalkeeper Academy MAD Strength and Conditioning Program because Niccolo suffered a broken ankle while horsing around with his cousins. However, wanting the best outcome for his young player, Coach Tevarotto recommended to Niccolo that he rehabilitate his ankle with MAD. After only six weeks of working out with MAD’s staff, Niccolo says his ankle is already 75% of full strength.
If one player could symbolize the success of the collaboration between the Glens Goalkeeper Academy and MAD, that player would be Glens Evolution 17U goalkeeper Joe May. Among the initial group of Glens Evolution players to test the waters with MAD in September of 2018, Joe hit the ground running, and he has been training with MAD ever since. A novice in the weight room, Joe came to his MAD training with a healthy curiosity. He understood the detailed reasoning behind MAD’s training methods and his reasoning and his faith in MAD’s coaches kept him going initially. However, after several weeks of training, when he began to feel the difference in his body and see improvement in his performance on the field, Joe was hooked.
As a result of his first hand experience, Joe now comprehends the value of strength and conditioning training in the off-season as well as in season, and he knows they are different. He now knows that in season training is different at the end of the season than it is during the early part of the season. Soon he will learn that postseason workouts are also different from the off-season and in season regimens. Towards the end of this season, while other players were tiring and vulnerable to injury, Joe said he felt as fresh as he did at the beginning of the season except he was faster and stronger.
Joe and his teammates Eric Sweeney and Ethan “Econ” Khoo have all continued working with MAD individually after the initial MAD/Glens training program ended in October of last year. Due to their dedication, hard work, and dramatic improvement on the field, the three have been an inspiration to their teammates and other fellow Glens Evolution footballers. As a goalkeeper, Joe’s example was particularly influential in the genesis of the Glens Evolution Goalkeeper Academy Strength and Conditioning Program with MAD.
In addition to being a role model as a result of his persistence, work ethic and success in his MAD training, Joe is also a vocal supporter of the joint venture between the Glens Evolution and MAD. He says that he is proud to have been a part of creating what he sees as a great partnership for all Glens players. He believes that the strength and conditioning is beneficial to the younger Glens too because as they approach their teenage years, it will improve their health, help them ward off injury, and give them a competitive edge.
He further encourages the younger Glens to be patient with their MAD training,
“Be patient. Results, especially on the field, they can take some time at first. A
lot of the stuff you learn at the beginning is technique. You’re not necessarily
using a lot of weight or a whole lot of muscle, but it will come. I’ve been here
since September of 2018, and it took awhile for me to see results, but once you
get there, they will start coming like crazy. You will really see the changes on the
field so stick with it. Be patient.”
Joe is currently weighing his options for next year. He has received inquiries from schools across the D1-D3 spectrum, and presently the front runner is Goucher College in Baltimore, M.D. which has given Joe a verbal commitment. Wherever he lands next year, Joe is looking forward to playing collegiate soccer for the next four years.
Joe May not only influenced his fellow Glens Evolution players. His noticeable improvement as the result of his MAD training also convinced Coach Sebastiano Tevarotto to partner with MAD in training his young goalkeepers. Coach Tevaratto grew up playing soccer in Venice, Italy, where the sport is a national obsession. He played semi-pro soccer in neighboring Padua and has been a life-long fan and student of the game.
A veteran keeper himself, Coach Tevaratto is the creator and Director of the Glens Goalkeeper Academy. The Academy is the culmination of years of Coach Tevarotto nurturing the germ of this idea dating back to his playing days. He knew that the goalkeeper position was a unique and singularly impactful position which required specialized coaching. However, although the creation of the Goalkeeper Academy brought to fruition part of the coach’s concept for the ultimate goalkeeper development curriculum,there was still a piece missing.
Coach Tevarotto had long envisioned an athletic training regimen for goalkeepers which combined strength and conditioning exercises with goalkeeper specific skills and goalkeeper specific mental training. This type of training must be an idea whose time has come because Kevin Sweeney, who assists Glens Coach Benkay Kajihara with the Glens Evolution 17U Boys Team, had been searching for just such a program for all soccer players, and he believed he had found that training system at Murray Athletic Development.
MAD Director John Murray had been using his holistic training system for more than a decade before he formalized it as the Mind, Body, Skills (M.B.S.) Program when he launched Murray Athletic Development in 2014. The foundation of this system is core strengthening, concentration, and correct breathing, and its emphasis is on injury prevention and long-term athletic development. To this Murray adds sports specific drills and exercises which integrate athletic development, appropriate mental strategies, and specific skill improvement.
With the success of the players in general, and Joe May in particular, after the Glens Evolution initial session with MAD in September 2018, Coach Tevarotto decided to roll the dice and place his Goalkeeper Academy training in MAD’s hands. The first Glens Evolution Goalkeeper Academy MAD Strength and Conditioning session took place in February and March of this year, and MAD’s training exceeded all of Coach Tevarotto’s expectations. Also, he was surprised at how well the players and their parents responded to the training, and he was particularly proud of how professionally every Glens’ player, from the twelve year olds on up, approached the MAD curriculum. MAD Head Coach Eric Bringas agreed saying he had never seen a group, especially one with such a wide age range, where every single athlete committed to the training so wholeheartedly.
Coach Tevarotto believes that the M.B.S. style training is the wave of the future and can be instrumental in the Glens Evolution future, and he, Glens Evolution Director of Coaching Mike McNeill, Board President John McCormack, and the entire Glens Evolution organization appear committed to creating the premier, cutting edge, youth soccer development program. Moving forward, their primary goals are to improve the girls program so that it is the absolute equal of the boys, and to enhance their player development so that at least half of the players on the S.F. Glens S.C. are products of their own system. They would also like to habitually place the 17U boys and girls players in college programs. MAD looks forward to helping Coach Tevarotto and Glens Evolution achieve all of their goals.