In just a few short weeks, the high school spring sports season will begin. Baseball, Softball, Track, Golf, Boys Volleyball, Lacrosse and Tennis will all be in full swing starting March 24, 2014 (with the exception of pitchers and catcher training which begins on March 17).
Thousands of athletes and coaches across the state wait anxiously for that magic date. However, don’t wait until March 24th to get ready. The time is now for coaches and players to prepare for the season.
Most coaches have already attended sport specific clinics, read up on the latest training techniques, and have starting designing their practice schedules already.
What can you do as an athlete? If you are not involved in an off season travel league, there are plenty of things that you can do to prepare yourself for the upcoming season.
First of all, before beginning any type of physical fitness routine, always check with your parents and family doctor to make sure you are in good physical shape to participate. Proper stretching and cool down techniques are critical to prevent injuries, so please do not skip these steps. Once you obtain these approvals, here are a few options.
Join the local “Y” or fitness club. They have student discounts for memberships where you can use the weight room, gym, and pool if available. Most gyms have conditioning equipment such as stair masters, elliptical machines, bicycles, and treadmills. Swimming is a great whole body exercise that is low impact on the body. You can set yourself up with a great conditioning program to be ready for the first day of practice by using local fitness clubs and the “Y”.
Before starting any weight training or conditioning program, please start off easy and work your way up for higher weights or longer times to prevent injuries that may hamper your efforts to prepare for the start of the season.
Many local park and rec departments have open gyms or leagues available to play during the off season as well. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable court time and experience.
Many batting cages are open to get some pre-season hits in. There are many facilities with indoor tennis courts as well.
Of course, you can work out at home with a friend or parent. You can develop a conditioning plan, set goals, and become healthier at the same time.
If the above plans don’t work, I have an easy way to work out while watching TV. I tell my athletes just to sit down with a glass of water and watch TV. During every commercial break, drop to the floor and perform pushups, crunches, or sit-ups. This is a great way to enjoy yourself and gain some conditioning at the same time.
Regardless of which method you chose to prepare for the season, now is the time.
Finally, make sure your medical physical is up to date, otherwise you won’t be able to try out! Check with your AD or school nurse to verify.
Get ready, be prepared, and good luck on the 24th.