ow that spring football practice has finished, everything shuts down, right? Wrong. The final sprint to the finish line is now upon the fall sport athletes to prepare for the upcoming season.
While many people believe the long summer break is now upon us, athletes and coaches understand the season is about to begin. Yes, it is a break from the academic side of school (unless summer school is needed), but fall sport athletes only have approximately eight weeks before their season kicks into full gear. While eight weeks seems like a long time, it is really a very short period of time to put the exclamation point on strength and conditioning preparation.
As summer vacation ends, fall sports begin with training camps and practices starting up in August. While athletes might be excited to start their season, jumping back into a rigorous workout routine after a long summer break can sometimes be taxing on the body and could end the season before it even begins. To avoid injury, athletes should begin preparing in the weeks leading up to camp.
Not every high school will have a summer conditioning program. It is vitally important for student athletes to put an exclamation point on the conditioning they have work to achieve throughout the winter and spring. At Copperas Cove High School, Coach Brock oversees a strength and conditioning program designed to strengthen the ligaments and tendons of the joints of the body. Athletes must prepare by strengthening their body properly.
The summer program offers weight training and general conditioning, which includes sport specific exercises such as strength, speed and power exercises for football players and volleyball players and endurance training for cross country runners. Each head coach defines sport specific exercises to specifically prepare athletes for the season demands.
Although it may seem convenient to train alone, an athlete can progress much faster with a high school coach. Additionally, friends help to motivate and encourage each other. Teams are formed from the comradery and observation of each member’s dedication in preparation of the up-coming season.
There are numerous benefits for high school athletes in working with a coach, including observation of proper technique in training, having a guided training program with progressions, understanding strategies involved in a specific sport and most important of all, training in a safe environment and receiving positive and respectful communication. If an athlete is doing additional sport specific training, it is important to let the coach of the sport be aware. This eliminates over exercising body parts which may do damage to the body.
Athletes are strongly encouraged to train hard during June and July. These months are critical for the body to be prepared in August but there is also a concern to not over train. There is a fine balance between training hard and overtraining. Soreness is one thing, but pain is another. Coaches are familiar with their athlete’s activity level and monitor their athletes closely. Having a scheduled, thoroughly planned program, the chance of over training is eliminated.
As August inches closer and athletes have not trained properly, they should not attempt to cram it all in. Trying to do a lot of training in a short period of time will often do more harm than good. That is why the state interscholastic league (UIL), which governs athletics, states coaches shall keep summer workout records. If an athlete has skipped summer conditioning, it is imperative they get in shape before participating.
Players that have not trained properly throughout the summer months will probably need to wait for the next season to participate or begin a conditioning program and eventually rejoin the team. It would be improper to begin full fledge participation without proper preparation. Competition in interscholastic team sports like football and volleyball requires a very high level of conditioning. Safety is important and especially during the hottest time of the year. Consequently, if a child wants to participate in August, they must train their bodies properly in June and July.
Thought for the week, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” Colin Powell