By Teachers, For Teachers
During the summer months, while most kids spend their time relaxing and catching up with friends, student athletes spend their summers conditioning, training, and preparing for the upcoming season. In fact, summertime for student athletes can be quiet grueling. If you want to make sure your athletes are at the top of their game and prepared for next season, then follow these summer workout tips.
As a coach, you must keep in mind that it’s the summertime. Students may have a part-time job or other responsibilities including summer classes. Create a schedule that works for your athletes. Remember to include post-workout recovery when creating your schedule, to ensure your student athletes are not getting injured. Try getting their input before creating the team schedule so you can ensure that all athletes can easily stick to it.
Working out in the summer months in hot temperatures means your student athletes will need to replace their electrolytes. Whether your students are at the high school level or the college level, staying hydrated during practice is a must. According to research, student athletes should load up on fluids up to 2-4 hours before their workouts, then continue to hydrate during and after the workout. Hydration is vital to keeping your athletes bodies in tip-top shape.
Are you looking for a way to keep your workout interesting during the summer? Try changing up the location, incorporate a swimming pool, play upbeat music, or invite a semi-pro or pro athlete to instruct and motivate a workout. Competitions are also known to keep the workouts interesting. Try keeping a record board, or start a competition like the strongman competition. Athletes want to compete, that is what they do. So, as the coach, channel your student athletes’ inner desire to win, and incorporate a few competitions into the mix.
As they say, “You are what you eat.” If you want your student athletes to maintain their energy levels, then eating properly is only way to go. In order to help students maintain these healthy eating habits and to help them with recovery so that they can maximize the effects of their workouts, post healthy recipes and cooking videos to your social media channels or team websites, and give students nutritional literature to read. Small amounts of caffeine is effective in improving exercise performance, while eggs provide a steady source of energy. Some smart options for fat burning include nuts, low-fat dairy, and tea, while the best options for muscle recovery are starchy vegetables and dark-colored fruit. Be sure to encourage athletes to eat multiple healthy meals throughout the day.
The majority of the time coaches spend is on their athletes’ weaknesses, trying to get them up to par. While it’s good to set your athletes up to achieve their goals, it’s also wise to spend some time working on their strengths. When you take the time to work on what the athlete does well, you are making them even stronger. Try spending more time on what they are really good at, and you will see even better results in the upcoming season.
Summer means heat, and if you want to help build endurance in the hot weather, then you must slowly add more activity or gear to your workouts. Build tolerance in the summer warmth by having students walk or work out during the day when it’s hot. The heat will help prepare the athlete’s body for the upcoming season.
While it’s important to keep your workouts in check during the summer months, it’s equally important for your athletes’ bodies to rest and recover between rigorous workouts. Their mental well-being is just as important as their physical well-being.
Summertime should not be all work and no play. Don’t forget that your athletes are still students. Let them have some free time -- they need a break just like every other student.
Do you have any summer workout tips for coaches that you would like to add? Please share with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear what you do with your student athletes.
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Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds masters of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.