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07/20/18

Preparing Your Athlete for Fall Sports

iStock Photo/Sports Moms Illustration

Summer Conditioning Programs

While not all high schools have a conditioning program, establishing a routine of exercise and strength training is important. Your kids need routine and structure, especially when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. If your local high school doesn’t offer a summer conditioning program, invest in your children and create healthy structure at home.

Make sure your athlete lives an active lifestyle. Weight training and cardiovascular training are crucial in a healthy lifestyle. Encourage them to go for a run, lift weights, find a gym, or exercise outdoors. The benefit of a summer program through the school is the focus on sport specific exercises, including speed and power exercises, strength and endurance training, weight training, etc. If your school doesn’t offer any program, have your athlete contact the coach and ask for sport specific exercises to do.

Health & Wellness

In addition to exercise, diet is crucial. Make sure they get the proper nutrients they need. Fuel their bodies in the morning with a healthy breakfast. Skip the cereal and opt for eggs, bacon, whole grain wheat toast, etc. A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits, grains, vegetables, and protein. Skip the prepackaged snacks and junk food. And drink water! Staying hydrated is a game-changer. Putting down the caffeine, the carbonated beverages, and the fruit drinks filled with sugar and Red 40 will make a huge difference in their energy level and overall health and wellness.

Research sports nutrition to find out more information about what foods and drinks will help your athlete in their overall health journey.

Fitness Evaluation

One final step before the fall sports season picks up is a fitness evaluation. You can train all summer, but most schools require a Preparticipation Physical Evaluation to participate in the athletics program. This includes a full medical history, consent and release of liability, a parent permission form, and a physical examination by a licensed physician. Contact your school’s athletics department to find out what forms are needed before your child can participate in sports.

If your athlete is going out for a high-risk contact sport, they will also need a concussion baseline test, which includes verbal and visual memory measurements, processing speed, and reaction time.

Talk to your child about their goals for this upcoming school year. Ask them which sports they are interested in and take advantage of this last month of summer by practicing with them.