Physical Preparation Coach
Today’s junior high and high school athletes are busier than ever. In the sports world, we’re living in this time where kids are playing sports all year round. Whether it’s one main sport that they have specialized in and they play for their school team and then for their travel teams the rest of the year. Or they play multiple sports but end up playing 2-3 of them at the same time for even part of the year.
If you’re a parent of one of these athletes, you’re living it right now driving your kid around all week.
If you’re a coach, you’re competing against other sport coaches for time with your athletes.
Everyone wants to win, everyone believes they need to do more, and everyone is looking for that edge.
But, as a Physical Preparation Coach, I see many problems existing with the way of the sports world right now. I’m not going to try to go down the rabbit hole just yet trying to solve all of the world’s problems in one Lifestyle Blog post (if you want to discuss this more, please feel free to reach out to my). But I will make a conscious effort to advocate for your athlete...And more quality is what we need for them, not just more work for the sake of more work.
You see, most of these athletes go from sport to sport, coach to coach, all looking to get the most out of each athlete. The kids are getting passed around from one adult to the next without consideration of what the athlete is going through. You may have a baseball pitcher who is asked to pitch a no hitter against the teams rival one night, but the night before he was running 400-meter races for the track team.
This is only one example, but when your athlete performs at a high level, in a game/match/meet, a practice, a workout, the next day they will not be 100% ready to go…Heck even 90% ready, in which we consider their “A-Game.”
With less than stellar planning for not allowing these kids to recover outside of a Sunday off, we’re asking them to give us A-Game performances while only operating at their 70-90% if we’re lucky because their busy schedule just keeps asking for more and more.
To be honest, this whole more is better model is really all out of whack for athletes to truly excel, let alone trying to avoid overuse injuries, and hopefully not burn out. But again, this isn’t why I’m writing this to convince people to change this model, yet.
I’m all for kids playing multiple sports (I actually tell parents of athletes younger than 12 to sign their kids up in different sports and wait until they come to JYT), it’s the only time in their life to play the sports they want. But it must be a methodical approach. Not, let’s play the same sport(s) all year long with no breaks or time to develop their bodies.
In the past few years, we here at JYT on our end have had to make certain adjustments to our programming for these busy athletes. Majority of our athletes that we work with, currently are always in some sort of sport at any given time. Most never have a true off season anymore. These adjustments were meant to not just keep pouring on more and more work onto them and make changes to fill in the gaps so we can still develop them as athletes.
But, if you’re a coach or a parent of a junior high and high school athlete, I have a few action steps to make sure your athletes are doing these things in order to help them keep up with the current demands that we call athletics these days.
The good news is, being a young athlete they can recover fast from a lot of physical stress. And when the athletes are highly driven, they bring their best efforts forth every time. This is how the flaws of maxed out busy schedule gets masked by youth and competitive natures. But this reality shouldn't be excuse to not do what's best for them by 1.) expecting more and more from them or 2.) neglecting their recovery needs whether their sports schedule is busy or not. Take action today, so that it pays dividends weeks and months from now.
Lastly, sport coaches I know you may not like this because it may be your sport, but if the athlete is involved a current sport, it’s okay to keep them out of a second and especially a third sport especially if it’s only open gym. Let’s have these athletes focus on one sport at a time and let them focus on themselves so they can produce at a true 90% or better when it matters for them and their teammates. They will be able to give back to their team way more if they’re healthy, rested, and motivated!
If you want to see your athlete(s) staying healthy, not getting burned out, and just simply excelling when they compete, then you will implement these 3 things as soon as humanly possible for them to give your busy athlete(s) the real edge that you are looking for!
1330 Seaborn Street Suite 3
Mineral Ridge, OH 44440