My highschool experience was probably a bit different than most. I went to a boarding school where gym class didn’t exist, instead you were required to play a sport for all three seasons. While I absolutely LOVED this as I’m naturally a very competitive person, looking back, it limited the amount of “off season” training that is critical to growth. You can’t run everyday all year round, I mean you can but it’s not ideal. I would be in the pool swimming Nov – May (Swimming & Waterpolo) then immediately jump right into summer soccer with no real transition. No opportunity for my body to take a pause, regroup, focus on those weak spots and get stronger. I was bouncing back and forth from being a water animal to land animal and it was taxing on my body.
Senior year, after starting the collegiate recruiting process I realized one big question every coach was asking was “how often do you get into a weight room”. The answer, never. I always saw the football players in there trying to lift every heavy object and shyly would head to straight to the treadmill or bike. Those extra 30 min of cardio were doing nothing for my body. I didn’t know what equipment to use, how to use it, or what my body needed to become stronger and a p morerepared collegiate athlete. I didn’t know that it would simply just make me a more well rounded athlete. Second semester after lots of googling and reaching out to previous graduates, I started to put together a lifting program for myself. It was nothing fancy, I stuck to the basics movements.
Every morning from Jan – May that year I would wake up with a friend at 5:45a, quickly get ready and would go wait in the lobby until the clock struck 6:00a and we could open the doors without an alarm going off. We’d trudge across campus to our gym and pray that the football coach was in there doing his morning workout and had unlocked the doors. We learned quickly that this was the only time of the day we could fully dedicate to ourselves, to do something that would better us as people and as athletes. If we missed this early morning opportunity the rest of the day was packed and already scheduled for us. Should I have been lifting heavier weights, absolutely. Did I think lifting heavy weights would make me bulky, absolutely. I wish I could have told myself at 17 how inaccurate that was. I would have given anything for an early morning structured strength program that year. It would have given me the confidence to go into college stronger and more prepared. I didn’t learn what any of the machines did, proper body movements and the “dos and dont’s” when strength training until late into my Freshman year of College. Even then, there was a lack of teaching going on in the weight room. Our trainer at the time would just watch us go through the motion with no explanation as to the “why” we were doing it and how it was benefiting us. We can’t expect a star athlete to know how to strength train if they’ve never been taught. It’s my responsibility now as a trainer, as a coach, to provide this guidance and knowledge.