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4 Keys to Prepare for Winter Sports

Here is a question we get a lot:

“My athlete wants to be better than they were last season, can you help?"

It's inherent for us to want to grow and improve, so this is the most natural and important thing to focus on-- getting better.

Here are the 4 keys to prepare for the next level:

1. Over-prepare

There is such a thing as under-preparing, but not over-preparing.

At the varsity level, coaches want you to be physically fit.

Strength and size are most important, as is overall athleticism.

You need to be in the weight room 3-4 hours a week. Some sport specific coaches and club coaches may say otherwise, but the best ones will tell you to get in the weight room and work through a customized, progressive workout program.

Trying to improve your size and speed by playing more of your sport is like trying to make your car faster by painting it and decorating the interior.

Size and speed have nothing to do with sport skills. The two are completely independent and unrelated.

With that said, you still need to be out working on your sport skills 2-3 days per week.

Speed Conditioning

For most sports, speed conditioning is critical. Being able to run fast, for long periods of time. Starting 8-10 weeks before the season, you should begin your speed-conditioning program.

Sprint intervals 2 days per week, progressing to 3 or 4 as you get closer to tryouts.

2. Set up a time to talk with the varsity coach

Don’t think, “He’s probably too busy”.

That is an excuse. Coaches will make time if you ask them, and keep asking until they do.

This yields a couple of benefits:

1. You find out what the coach thinks you need to work on. It may be different than what YOU think you need to work on.

2. It shows you are coachable. The most important quality coaches look for.

3. You show your face to the coach. The more you show your face, the more the coach has you on their mind. This is key.

3. Find an older, better player and ask them for HELP

I challenge all of our athletes to do this. Asking for help is simple. You just need to DO IT!

Varsity veterans are humbled and honored when someone asks for their help.

Can you imagine how much further along you will be if you spend 6+ weeks before the season starts, working out and training alongside a current varsity player?

Most will not take this action step, but the ones who do are happy they did. Not only for the physical preparation, but more importantly for the mental preparation. The veterans can tell you what to expect, what to do, what not to do, etc.

4. Don't give up what you want MOST just because you didn't get what you wanted NOW. Focus on the journey to becoming the best you that you can be

Do not let your CURRENT circumstances negatively affect your LONG-TERM goals

The reality is that you cannot control what coaches say or do. Do NOT let your confidence or self-esteem drop if things do not work out the way you planned. That is NOT ok. You are better than that.

You might work your tail off and still get benched. You might even get cut.

But that does not matter.

What is more important? Reaching your full potential, or getting exactly what you want RIGHT NOW?

It takes EFFORT to stay positive if you get cut or if you thought you would start and end up not being a starter.

But remember, every failure you experience gets you one step closer to reaching your full potential.

It will still stink if you do not get the results you want right now. You might feel embarrassed or disappointed in yourself. But remember that you are on a long-term journey to be the best you you can be. Put the blinders on and keep moving forward.

Plan and prepare for success, but know that challenges will arise. Just promise me to keep working hard and do not give up, no matter what.

Andrew Simpson

Chief Vision Officer
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