How Elite Athletes Balance their Training, Practice and Scholastic Schedules
Parents and Athletes,
I’m writing this entry today in frustration and concern. Not of disappointment in my athlete’s or parents per-say, but more in the sense of communication and understanding with regards to the priorities and commitment they attribute to strength & conditioning, regeneration, and recovery components essential to the development of your and/or your scholastic athletes fitness.
Here’s the deal,
Every week, week in and week out, for months on end, coming to the beginning of the new school year, vacations, holidays, travel, tournaments, practice changes, weather changes, traffic patterns, the migration of the freaking moose in alaska… I get emails and phone calls to reschedule and or down-size or scale-back on an athletes training program.
In addition to new girlfriends or boyfriends, theres also instapage, facegram, twittabook, and stumbleover and dozens of other social media distractions that literally robs you and/or your athlete HOURS of productivity, energy, rest, recovery, study, and family time and my personal pet peeve training and development time.[/text_output][text_output]Yet, low and behold, whether in the sales consultation (after an in depth evaluation gawking at the 3-4 hours I generally recommend for a development level athlete), or mid way through a beautifully simple, yet deadly effective planned training year – a parent gives me two, three, sometimes four excuses for dropping down the number of sessions an athlete engages in, or stops all together.
This comes as major frustration, as the Number one reason for this (aside from finances) is that the athlete has no time. Yet like clockwork, they devote their time religiously to countless hours of time spent on social media, runs to the border at Taco Smell, catching the latest Tanning Chatum movie the day it releases, and pulling overnighters in the parking lot at the retail stores for the new first person shooter games! You have to wonder at the planning that goes into a week like that when one has a ten page essay to write and a jump shot to work on. I know, priorities right?
Lets not mention, the dozens of high-priced “recruiting camps” that somehow become more important for your under-developed athletes exposure, in place of the development that will actually gain the exposure he or she needs due to extraordinary performance. And let me reiterate. Every Athlete at the High school -Junior college level is UNDER DEVELOPED. You’ll find out for yourself if he or she reaches that level… from those high priced camps that took the place of Professional level strength & conditioning and movement optimization.[/text_output][text_output]But lets address the problem, and discuss the ideal schedule for a successful developmental athlete hoping to play at the Division 1 level.
first and foremost unless the athlete is a Kardashian, they will need an education and experience level to contribute in todays working society. Their focus is to keep a great academic resume in order to continue playing sports, not to play sports well enough to discontinue academics. That being said, everything they do should revolve around the basis of the class schedule. Of course i’m not telling most of you something you do not already know. But lets face it, there are several athletes that I’ve aligned with over the years with phenomenal talent that was seen only in the pros, forget college. Well thats just what they did, forgot high school and college wasn’t a thought. Now I can catch them playing for free at any local 7 on 7 local flag football tournament.
College athletes schedules are broken up into three parts. Training in the morning, class, then practice in the evening. By the time their head hits the pillow they had just finished a minimum 2 hrs of homework. How do they have time to play Duty Calls online with their friends? They don’t. Their focus and drive are wired differently because they have an academic scholarship agreement. Though the sport is the highest priority on their list, they’re obligation to the school outweighs any personal time wasted.
The same shall apply to high school athletes. If they have their brain wired into thinking they have an obligation to keep their scholarship, they’re going to put their training first before personal interests. The short pain, long pleasure analogy applies. The short pain for the time invested in high school that only comes once, to the long pleasure of a career molded in that short time invested.
I have coached several players in my program that went on to start at Division 1 universities. All had different personalities and abilities, yet they all shared a similar attribute, a relentless amount of determination. Here is how their schedule looked.
Offseason: consisted of four plus speed and strength conditioning sessions a week;
Pre-season: consisted of energy system conditioning, high- velocity speed and mechanic work, and sport specific multi-directional movement at no less than 3 days per week.
During In-Season: of there specific sport, they kept a 2 to 3 days a week schedule (core strength, flexibility, balance and structure, and athletic movement training, as well as regenerative exercise, myo-fascial release & active recovery), along with a strength and conditioning program that their respective teams all follow.
That is the focus on the sport side, mind you all of them had to maintain a required grade point average academically to even qualify for eligibility at the college level. Each one had a sense of valued time, to them time was invested and not wasted.
I read a quote the other day that stated if you were deposited $86,400 into your bank account each day that does not carry over to the next but simply resets every night and is deposited again in the morning, what would you do with it and how would you spend it?
The $86,400 was actually seconds there are in a day. How you spend those 86,400 seconds are crucial because they are reset every night when you go to bed and cannot get them back.
Training is applied the same way. That is the difference between the 1% that earn a D1 athletic scholarships and those who don’t. Do not let the numbers scare you, like I said most of the athletes are online right now updating there statuses and are not worrying about my rant I threw on you here.
The message is clear for those who really want it and those who really need it!
It is for this reason there are some drastic changes coming to how programs are scheduled, planned executed and inevitably billed here at S8. The changes I feel are a necessary evolution in my journey to truly make youth performance development BOTH in sport AND in LIFE, the quality that i envision.
Like I tell all my athletes “do not look for the short pleasure route, you know what comes next…”