Student-athletes are looking for a break this summer, but keep in mind that what you do to prepare for your sport over the next couple of months, will pay off in August. You do not necessarily need to play the sport that you are playing in the fall, but cardiovascular conditioning, weight training, plyometric training, and swimming are all appropriate methods of training for any sport. As a longtime basketball coach, I have always felt that there was no off-season. There is a playing season and then training for the playing season. Even during the season, athletes should practice and train more than one team practice as a daily routine. It is really about being prepared. Just like preparing for an exam or playing a musical instrument outside of weekly lessons.
Being active in many activities has a benefit to “your sport” and allows you to develop agility, strength, and cardiovascular conditioning for any sport. If you watch the lifeguards at the beach, sure, they swim in the ocean, but they also run on the beach and do strength training exercises to prepare for swimming. Think of it this way… training is the ingredient to enable you to perform at your best. Strengthening the muscles that you want to use keeps your body toned and flexible, and helps your body avoid injuries. Try yoga, jump rope, dance or karate as alternative techniques to your routine.
The last advice I have for today’s student-athlete is to become a student of the game. Read about the sport, watch the sport played at a higher level, and help coach younger students in your sport. When you start teaching the game, you will begin to understand and view it from a different perspective than you do as a player.
Time to load your music, get your water bottle, set your daily goals, and become the athlete you hope to be! See you in August!
“Keep working even when no one is watching.” Alex Morgan
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