In less than eight weeks high school athletes will be gearing up for their fall season. Athlete’s ranging from football players to field hockey players are getting ready for the 2014 fall season. If you drive past most high schools you will see teams practicing on the fields that surround their campus. Football players are lifting weights in the weight room. Soccer players are running intervals on the track in an effort to build their endurance. Coaches are doing their best to bring their teams together so when preseason officially kids off in early August their kids have already developed a solid base of strength, fitness and team unity.
Below I want to share with you FIVE tips for high school athletes when it comes to your preseason summer training.
Tip No. 1: GET A TRAINING PARTNER
Let’s face it, when it comes to training it’s always better to train with a partner. When you get tired he/she will be there to help you finish the last set even when you want to give up. When it comes to getting a training partner it’s important that he/she understand your goals and that both of you are on the same page. The two of you need to hold each other accountable for your actions. Finding a good training partner can be the difference between JV and Varsity.
Tip No. 2: MASTER THE BASICS
When it comes to working with high school athletes I want to make sure that all of them (both male and female) can do the following:
- Squat (Front squat)
- Hinge (Deadlift)
- Push (Push up)
- Pull (Pull up)
- Crawl (Bear Crawl)
- Roll (Forward, back and to the side)
- Sprint (100% effort with good form)
- Stop (Land from a jump)
- Breathe (Relaxed with full exhalation)
If you can master the basic movement patterns listed above you will have developed a solid foundation for you to build upon. If all you do is bench press and curl you run the risk of getting hurt.
Tip No. 3: TRAIN IN WARM/HOT WEATHER
If all of your training is taking place in a nice comfortable gym with air conditioning and music you will have a rude awakening when camp starts. I am not recommending that you do all of your training at the hottest part of the day just get outside and get use to the warm weather. It takes time for your body to get use to the heat. I would recommend that you do both early morning training as well as mid-day training. Keep the sessions rather short. The goal is to get your body use to training in the warmer weather so on the first day of camp you are not struggling with the heat and humidity.
Tip No. 4: TRAIN FOR YOUR FITNESS TEST
Most high school athletes are required to complete some sort of fitness test. Below are some common tests for high school athletes
- One (1) mile run
- Repeat 110’s on a track
- Bench press max
- Pull up max number of repetitions
- 300 yard shuttle runs
Make sure that you understand exactly what is expected of you on day one of fitness testing. Over the summer set a baseline for the tests and over the course of the summer repeat the test several times to see if you are making progress.
Here is an example. If you have to run 1 mile on day one of camp I would recommend that you test yourself 8-10 weeks out and then every 10-12 days test yourself in the mile to see if you are making progress towards your goal.
Tip No. 5: DIAL IN YOUR NUTRTION AND HYDRATION
Nothing can shut down an athlete quicker than poor nutrition and hydration. It’s critical that high school athlete’s take the next 6-8 weeks to understand exactly what their body needs to function at a high level. Some athletes do well on a high carbohydrate diet. Others do well on a lower carb diet with a medium mix of fats and proteins. Everyone is different. Now, is the time to experiment and make good decisions. I always recommend REAL food for my athlete’s. Start with vegetables, fruits, lean meats, quality fats and water.
Preseason camp is an exciting time for high school athletes. I wish all of you the best and good luck with your training.
Follow Union fitness coach Kevin Miller on Twitter: @kmillertraining and on Instagram: kevinmillertraining. Also, Miller is a featured panelist on Philly.com's Sports Doc blog: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sportsdoc). For best practices along with additional health and fitness tips, check out: Philly.com/Health