Checking in with TCU Soccer

April 8, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU soccer coach Eric Bell is a little like an auto mechanic when it comes to dealing with his team -- especially in the spring. He tinkers, tightens, adjusts, tests and readjusts to get his team ready for the 2015 fall season.

"The spring is all about development, building a team and putting players in different spots on the field to see how it works out as opposed to tinkering around with it in the fall when the results matter," Bell said. "We're shuffling people around to see what works and what doesn't work so when the fall comes around we already have an idea of what the returning players can do, and then we put the freshmen in spots to fill the team."

The Frogs are roughly halfway through the spring season, and so far, Bell likes what he sees.

"On Saturday when we played Stephen F. Austin a lot of the things we have been working on came out in our play, and it was cool to see," he said. "Fortunately, we went on to win the game as well."

Last season, the Frogs finished 8-8-3 overall and 1-4-3 in Big 12 play, and a solid spring will help the Frogs improve on that mark in 2015.

"It's challenging. It's not like a spring sport where we can work with it in the fall and have our team ready to go in the spring," Bell said. "Hopefully we're building a culture and a program where the older players can be the coaches on the field, and it's important to make sure the incoming freshmen feel as comfortable as possible and as confident as possible."

The Frogs had nearly a dozen freshmen on the roster last year, and with incoming freshmen and newcomers, the number could be close to the same for the 2015 season, so it will be imperative for the returners to assist their new teammates.

"A lot of these kids we're bringing in we're counting on them to add significantly and make an impact on the team," Bell said. "We want them to be confident and knowledgeable on how to defend and attack. Walking into a new environment can be intimidating for any 18-year-old kid."

As always, fitness will play a key role.

"If a player is fit walking in the door then it gives her a chance to be successful," Bell said. "The soccer will take care of itself. If a player is a good player now then she's going to have an impact to the team. If she's not fit, she's going to struggle."

In the final month of spring practice, Bell will continue to push the team so it is ready physically and mentally for the season.

"This is developmental time. We're asking the kids to think a lot more and some of them aren't comfortable with that and it slows them down because they are thinking (too much)," he said. "Hopefully when the fall comes around they aren't thinking as much and they're playing because they know exactly what they are supposed to be doing in relationship to the game."



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