The Sanford Sports Performance team believes that summer is perhaps the best time to really dig into performance training, whether you’re an interscholastic athlete or an active adult.
“Even though an athlete might have other commitments, school is out — so the available time increases,” said Randy Martin, manager of Sanford Sports Performance in Fargo, North Dakota. “The summer months give a perfect window to commit and focus one’s mind and body to improving his/her performance traits.”
Focus your off-season training
Martin said summer performance training should focus on several areas:
- Quickness, speed and acceleration
- Cardiovascular endurance
Summer is the time to get prepared for the sports season. It can lay the foundation for athletic performance for the entire year.
Summer training’s physical, personal benefits
That can be done individually — one-on-one with a certified strength and conditioning coach — or in group settings. There are benefits to both, beyond the physical components.
Productive, off-season training can be good for personal confidence, and great team workouts can improve camaraderie.
“All junior high and high school athletes should participate in a supervised, structured, and progressive strength and conditioning program,” Martin said. “A summer eight-week training program should focus on improving flexibility/mobility, power, speed, quickness, agility and strength.”
Just ask Lucas Slack about that. He’s a senior quarterback at Brandon Valley High School and is playing at Minnesota State University Moorhead in the fall. He is already digging in on making sure he’s ready to go.
“You realize the social benefits — you get to train with your friends at Sanford,” Slack said. “It’s great to see them outside a school setting. It’s a long summer without seeing them otherwise. And we push each other. It’s a great motivator.
“I’ve gotten a lot faster over the last three weeks working with Sanford. We’ve been working on weighted running and working on my start. I thought I was doing it right when I started here but I found out I wasn’t. Then I got faster right away.”
Train for summer weather
Summer training even benefits athletes who compete in the summer. Injury prevention must remain a priority.
To that end, anticipating a surge of activity after winter is great — but don’t overdo it, says Scott Hettenbach, director of the Sanford Sports Performance programs.
“It’s OK to have a couple weeks of free play and recharge your batteries both mentally and physically,” Hettenbach said. “We have all these activities now, but we shouldn’t be throwing too much at kids too quickly. It’s still important to build some breaks in as the school seasons begin to wind down.”
On a smaller scale, transitioning from winter to warmer temperatures can mean a change in procedure.
“Athletes should tailor their warm-up and cool-down routine to the conditions they are in,” Hettenbach said. “They may need to shorten their overall routine or add some additional rest in between movements to allow for the proper warm-up needed without creating additional fatigue. Likewise, they may need additional time to cool down during warmer weather and account for that during the events they participate in.”
Sanford Sports Performance has been developing athletes for more than 20 years. It offers a variety of programs for athletes of all ages and abilities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and California. Find a location near you.
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