For Gabby Picco and the Waverly girls there won’t be a soccer season when it normally would have started.
However, when the season does take place, the Wolverines senior knows she will be more than ready.
New York pushed back the start of the season until at least September, and there is another plan that would push things back until later in the school year.
“It’s hard and upsetting that the season is getting pushed back and not even knowing whether we will have a season or not, but at the same time it gives the team and myself more time to work on what we need to work on by ourselves,” Picco said.
One of the challenges for Picco was getting ready for a season, when she wasn’t sure if there would be a season. One thing that already was lost was the summer season for Picco and her travel team.
“Losing soccer in the summer was very hard in the fact that it’s normally the time when you are at your best and you can really show yourself to coaches and it’s been a struggle just training when you know you won’t be playing anytime soon,” Picco said.
There is a lot the Waverly senior did to stay in shape, and ready, for the season.
“Getting ready for the season, I have been training every day, alternating between lifting, sprints, technical work on the ball and lots of cardio,” Picco said. “It really has been up to me to push myself and make sure that I train at 110% so when the season starts I will be playing and will be better than I was when Covid hit.
“It has been a struggle staying motivated, but only for the fact that I know I’m training, but not playing. But, soccer and training is not an inconvenience for me or an everyday chore, it’s a game I love, so I train because I love the game and want to be better at the game. I don’t train for a punishment, I train to make sure that when I go on the pitch I will be even better than when I left.”
Picco’s dad, Joe, is a coach, that has coached her on travel, and coached the Towanda girls last year. Having him around helped Gabby continue to get work in.
“My dad has been a huge help considering he knows the game and he knows my work ethic,” Picco said. “He is not the type of father who tells me to go out and train, he’s the type of father that asks if I want to train, and of course I say yes, and he has put in an endless amount of time with me over the summer to make sure that like I said, I am better than I was when I had to leave the game because of Covid. And, I really can’t thank him enough for what he does for me.”
Having a pair of older sisters, both of whom played soccer, also helps Gabby Picco.
“My sisters help me also, especially Capria, who will do the distance runs with me to make sure I stay in shape,” Gabby said.
One of the toughest parts for all athletes is the not knowing what was going to happen.
“The uncertainty of what might happen has played a huge toll on my emotions, especially because it’s my last season for high school and premier soccer,” Picco said. “I’ve grown up with the game and it’s literally my best friend. When I’m upset or sad, or just not having the greatest day, soccer has been there to help me get through it. I know the girls in the game and I will be devastated if we don’t get to finish our last season with our teammates, because that’s all a senior wants to do is make their last memories and the uncertainty of what might happen makes me feel robbed of them already.”
When she is back on the field again, Picco knows how excited she will be.
“I can’t even put into words my excitement for when I do get back on the pitch,” she said. “It’s like a kid on Christmas eve, but in the worlds case, Christmas Day might not be tomorrow. All, I know is when I do get on the pitch, my excitement will not be contained.”