Considerations For Fall Athletes During COVID-19
Justin: Good Morning everybody. So happy Saturday of Memorial day weekend. I don’t know if I hope I’m not alone in this cause then I’ll be embarrassed, but I completely did not realize that Monday was Memorial day. and then all of a sudden it sort of hit me that, that it was so hopefully, everyone is having a good start to their Memorial day weekend minus the really, really big rainstorms out there.
John: That’s all right. We can use it now.
Ashley: Yesterday. Justin was watering the lawn here, and I’m like, it’s gonna rain tomorrow.
John: I kinda just put your hand in like basically like the Christmas vacation outfit with like the bunny slippers in the robe and a hat, just like waving the hose on the Lake
Ashley: or on the tractor driving around the neighborhood.
John: Oh, okay. Yeah, that’ll do it.
Ashley: Oh man.
Justin: Watering the neighborhood or just.
Ashley: I mean, he’s doing everything around the neighborhood, so if anybody needs a tractor for hire, I’m pretty sure that we could do that.
Justin: I like it. Good. All right. Well we wanted to jump on really quick and talk this morning about some of the considerations that our fall athletes should rethinking about. John had written a blog post about this a couple of weeks ago and we’re going to have a follow up coming soon. but we wanted to chat a little bit about some of the things.
I know there’s a lot up in the air right now. Then there was an article the other day published about like what would have to happen if there was going to be false sports and, that was super entertaining. but I,
John: and I don’t even want to tell you what we’ve been hearing from some of the coaches from the colleges
Ashley: H remark, like, just the stuff that we’re hearing is remarkable.
Like. Screens in between lockers.
John: That was the big one. So the teams can practice together and they can tackle each other, but in the locker room, they have to have plexiglass screens in between
Ashley: players on a bench, even though they’re going on the field when they come off, the field has to be masked and sitting six feet apart.
Justin: I did see that one. Yeah, that was kind of interesting. I also saw something about, the people in the, Oh boy, what happened? Are we still good?
Ashley: Looks like we’re still good. Unless it cut off.
Justin: No. All right. I’m okay then. Okay. there we go. That’s better. The, yeah, some of the, you know, some of that stuff is crazy. And then some of the rules about like, you know, disinfecting a ball if more than one person are going to touch it. I think pretty much we determined that golf had the best chance of occurring like normal.
other than that, I don’t know. You know what, how they’re going to manage all that
John: stuff. Well, I know it obviously depends on, well the budgeting thing is going to be a nightmare, but like some of the German leagues for soccer, these things have been starting back up where they’re placing just like a plethora of balls around the field so that you know, a player doesn’t have to go into like, cause let’s be honest, in soccer, aside from using your hands to fake an injury.
you know, we have to throw the ball in. So I guess it gives them an opportunity if it goes out of bounds. I grab a freshly sanitized one, and the one that just went out, that has a better type of clearing. so who knows?
Justin: Yeah, it’s, it’s odd. But, you know, I think from our standpoint, right, the biggest thing that we, we want to be super concerned about is we are looking at, you know, as people get ready for this, right?
I think in the beginning, everyone kind of thought, all right, We’re definitely going to have a fall season. And then it was sorta like, Oh no, what if we don’t have a fall season? And so now, you know, I think what we want to get on and chat about today is, first of all, I think everyone needs to prepare as if there is going to be a fall season.
For a couple of reasons. One, I think, you know, from a competition standpoint and a injury prevention standpoint and all that, it’s really important that everyone’s prepared. also, no one’s doing anything else. So prepare like there’s going to be a fall season. you’ve got nothing to lose. Other than getting into better conditioning.
so, you know, that’s the big thing. But also, some people’s access to practice equipment teams, these things are going to be limited. And so thought this would be a good time to chat about that and give some advice on how people can handle that.
John: Yeah. I mean, you made a good point that, you know, people need to just act as if, no matter what.
I mean for a number of reasons. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t happen. We need to start getting active again. You know, everybody, not just athletes, but people need to, get active and get outdoors a little bit more. thankfully this is occurring year. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that it’s not the dead of winter, for us right now.
and so we can get out and be more active. But, you know, the biggest things that we’re seeing, that Ashley and I, you know, because, you know, soccer is one of our passions. you know, working with the fall athletes coming in with a lot of high school and college coaches. you know, statistics show that the most like, tragic and catastrophic injuries happened within the first two weeks of reporting back to mandatory training after a period of inactivity.
and I mean, I think every college coach will kind of attest to that. The first couple of weeks in the preseason is when you’re going to have some things kind of pop up and rear their ugly heads, and you’re always gonna have the athletes that are prepared well, and then you’re always going to have the ones that, you know, we’re kind of skirting by.
And then there may be a couple stragglers that really didn’t do anything, and they were just, you know, figured that they play catch up. And I think. That’s fine, you know, and we can kind of deal with the normal statistics there if they’ve been playing. But nobody’s been playing for months now. So that’s going to kind of be the followup to the first blog post that I kind of put out an Ashland, add the tag team this and talking with a lot of strength coaches.
and you know, actual team coaches to try and figure this out. And the nice thing is the NSCA, the national strength and conditioning association. Has guidelines strictly for this, for re-introducing athletes. So for this a climatization period after a long period of inactivity. And so we’ve been able to put together some formulas and figure out exactly how to put objective criteria into this.
How long should the players be playing for week one, week two, week three, week four? How many days off should they be given? What kind of intensity. and there’s something that completely threw me for a loop, but it makes complete sense about the fitness testing. And, I definitely want to get into that later, but I’ll let, kind of actually talk a little bit before I keep
I mean, I think one of the big things that we should really take into account is how much time we have right now. And in regards to athletes preparing for sport. We’re all kind of, some of us are sitting around, some athletes are going out. And I think there’s another aspect that we should talk about too.
Cause there’s some athletes out there who right now are busting their butt 100%. Every day. And you know, parents are calling and they’re concerned and they’re saying, Hey, you know what? You know, my kid is out there and they are just going gung ho on the field or in my yard. They’re out there for an hour and a half a day, and that’s also something in this time that we need to examine.
in regards to preparedness for the fall, because we don’t want athletes to go in over-trained, and over fatigued. So aside from just saying, Hey, you know what? We’re worried about them being prepared. There’s also going to be those people who are out there that are doing just that little bit too much.
So looking at it from a little bit of a different spectrum. That’s just, that’s one of the other things that we really have to look at and observe. Going into the fall, we have what probably like, what do we say, 1213 weeks and time to prepare. So we don’t need to be going all out right now. You know, we should be doing a gradual build, and that’s where, you know, all of the statistics and stuff that we’ll talk about.
you know, John was talking about this. This period of time where we can kind of draw up and start increasing time. You know, we should use that to our advantage. and you know what? Not everybody knows how to do that, but that’s our goal is to kind of say, Hey, you know what? This is what we think should be going on.
how we should be implementing these training plans and what should be a part of these training plans because it shouldn’t just be running. It shouldn’t just be weightlifting. It shouldn’t just be a whole bunch of plyometrics. We have to kind of go through and look at it little by little as to what it should be for athletes to stay healthy.
Justin: No good. Yeah. I was, you know, I was gonna say, I think that, you know, you see these, these athletes are losing access a little bit to their coaches. they’re losing access to facilities, right? So a lot of, you know, especially you look at these high school athletes and you look at different fields being closed, different club teams being being off for the spring.
and so everybody’s going to be coming into this fall season in a significantly different position than they were before. and probably with different resources at their disposal to work through it. and I think there’s different, you know, we, we could sort of look at this from a bunch of different perspectives.
but you’ve got, you know, you’ve got the, high school athletes returning to high school. the other thing to look at is the like middle school athletes going to high school. and then you also have the high school athletes. Going to college for their freshman year. lots of changes, right? lots of differences as far as when will preseason start?
Will there be a preseason? We’ll be on camp, we be on campus in the fall. We’ll be home. Where’s that going to be? and so I think the first thing needs to just be developing an open line of communication with the coaches. And I think whether, you know, most of the time, and especially when I was, you know, coaching, rowing, I used to really have this idea that like, I was dealing with kids who were licensed to drive a vehicle and if they were licensed to drive a vehicle, I did not want to hear from their parents.
because I used to tell the parents before the season that like, your child has permission from the state to go out and accidentally kill somebody. The first thing we can do is try and let them handle this. On their own. And so, but now I think in this situation I would like to see some parents maybe get a little bit more involved, because I think that some of the kids might not necessarily know what’s going on.
And so from a coaching standpoint, this is where I would like to have a little bit more communication with the parents and have the parents reach out with different concerns that they might be having. Cause everyone’s family is in a different spot with different
Justin: and so I think the first thing just needs to be a really good open line of communication.
John: Yeah. No.
Ashley: I’ve been talking to a lot of coaches about communication and how this is a time where a lot of us do have some more spare time where creating that, like you’ve been talking about that open line of communication or just those paths of communications with players is of utmost importance. And we do have coaches who are hosting zoom sessions and they’re doing different training protocols and they’re trying to stay in contact with their athletes, but that’s where.
The parental kind of communication comes into play as well, because kids may not know how to use, utilize these devices. a lot of them do. But the other thing is, is just making sure that athletes, feel comfortable talking to whomever they need to talk to. And sometimes the parents have been that mode of communication for so long between the player and the coach.
The athletes aren’t going to necessarily know how to contact or communicate with the coach. and staying, staying up and staying up to date with your athletes is probably one of the most important things, just to make sure, Hey, you know, what, what’s going on? are there other things going on right now?
How are you feeling? and making sure they’re training appropriately. Like I talked about, we want to make sure that the training loads aren’t too high or too low. this is a time where you can really say to your player, you know what? This is what you should be doing. and if you don’t know what to do, then you know, that’s where resources externally, like whether you communicate with someone like us, whether it’s a strength and conditioning coach, something of that sort to say, Hey, you know, what, what should my players be doing a little bit right now?
So communication not only amongst parents and athletes, but also external sources that may benefit your program in the long run.
John: Yeah, I think thankfully right now a lot of college coaches are willing. To be open to new ideas because everybody’s like, okay, what am I doing? And even the coaches are pre-seasoned as being pushed back because.
Potential start dates for NCAA competitions aren’t being sanctioned until the second week into September. So we’re really playing with their timeline and you know, a lot of them are more open to talking with, you know, their, their staff, their sports med staff, you know, their strength coaches, things like that.
So I think it’s, again, I’m a, I’m a, I’m an optimistic guy and I’m also realistic. And I think the silver lining here is that it’s giving people an opportunity to really utilize that. Team framework. and the strength coaches get a chance to shine. I’ll still never forget I had this one, one soccer player that, you know, it was a good group of kids that I was training and I was introducing front squats to them and he was gone off to a division one to go play to college.
I’m not going to throw the coach on the bus as much as I would love to. And he was front squatting as a freshman coming in, you know, so trying to increase his training age, you know, getting into college and like going into the season, the coach was like, you need to stop, you know, lifting and squatting so much.
You’re, you’re just going to slow yourself down and beat up. And I remember him calling me so frustrated and I spoke to the strength coach and he’s like, yeah, I’d rather bang my head against the wall and try and, you know, deal with this coach. So like, these are the kinds of things where you need to have, not so much communication, but you guys.
Realize the coach is supposed to coach. The strength coach is supposed to prioritize a strengthening, conditioning and injury prevention. and the sports med staff is supposed to manage injuries, right? Acute management. So, that being said, you know, it, it’s a chance for us to kind of get into the nitty gritty.
And if you guys want to go right into like talking about some of the. Specific measures that coaches can be taking. I think people are probably interested in that. Yeah, let’s go for it. Alright, so one thing that we found is, so again, going back to the NSCA has guidelines for re climatization, you know, from inactivity, right?
So, we’re looking at it in a neat four week cycles. So week one, week two, week three, week four, and basically approaching it from the first thing you have to understand is what you want your maximum practice to be. So, in an ideal setting. How long has your like ultimate practice? So is it, do you want your practices to last two hours, three hours, you know, hour and a half.
So you have to come up with that number first. And the number of of that, you know, I kind of went over with one of my old strength coaches is two hours. So let’s use two hours. The first week the goal is going to be, so if you’re going to practice six out of seven days, which is what NCAA allows, which is what I think high school regulations allow.
Also six days at two hours is 12 hours for that week, right? Or 12 hours a week. So the first week you’re starting at 50% of that total volume. At week two. Week two, you’re going to 70%. Week three is 80% and then week four, you’re at full volume practice. Okay? So that full 12 hours, so it’s 50, 70 80, and then a hundred percent full, a full workload.
So you’re basically taking like, let’s use that first week. So, 50% of 12 hours is six. So you’re able to practice six hours through that first week. You basically just break down five of those, sorry, six of those days. you know, some practices are going to be a little more than an hour. Some practices are going to be a little less.
but that’s basically how, how are you looking at, and again, this, you won’t get any more specific than that because we could say that in so many different directions. But the idea is week one is 50% total time on feet. That doesn’t include film sessions, team gatherings, things like that. But just time on your feet, time with the ball.
And then we two 70 week three, 80 and then getting into more full, full volume. And again, that’s just an attempt to mitigate the risk of injury as much as possible.
Ashley: yeah. Yeah. I think it’s a special consideration. Just random aside. when we look at like. Two day practices. and when we look at the intense practices and stuff of that sort, it’s just something to think about, especially going into preseason.
You know, if there is going to be a preseason that may have to decrease the workload, we may not be able to overreach. We may not be able to make athletes, you know, strive a little bit harder, push them psychologically because. There’s been a lot of stressors on their system recently. they’re going to need to recover.
They’re going to need to feel comfortable with their team. They’re gonna need to feel comfortable with their coach. And over the past several months, there’s been so much thrown at them that this is why these guidelines that John’s talking about are going to be of utmost importance. It’s going to be don’t overstress not only the body of this athlete, but like the psycho, psychological and mental status of this athlete.
Because there’s a lot that’s been. There’s a lot that’s been stressful. and it’s really important to think about
Justin: if you like, you know, one of the things just from like having dealt with a lot of coaches, right, is they’re always worried about this. you know, they never want to be, be behind the other guys.
They want an advantage over their, you know, counterparts. and whatever rules are put in place. And whenever people are allowed to start practicing and allowed to start doing things, they’re going to be there for everybody.
Justin: So I think it’s important to remember that that now more than ever.
Everybody’s playing with an even deck. you know, sometimes, you know, people might say like, alright, well, you know, that coaches, they’ve got a club team and it’s really the entire high school team. And so they’re not really allowed to be practicing, but they are practicing. And the coach isn’t supposed to be at the captain’s practice, but clearly you can’t have a bunch of high school kids running around by themselves.
So there’s a coach there. So the kids are worried about performing in front of the coach. Well, now everybody’s. You know, starting from the exact same spot. And so more than ever, you know, in reality, the team with the best advantage is the team that gets to the first game with all their players healthy.
John: and not only that, but the team that can keep those players healthy. Midway through the season, you start to throw too much on, I mean, we are dealing with young athletes here who are pretty resilient, but they still break down, but they just don’t break down as quickly as us weekend warriors. Dude, they’re going to break down this big fish.
Justin: We’re not all weekend warriors
John: here. and I can’t get away without throwing myself under the bus. And, but we were talking to one division, one coach, and he’s like, we’re towing around with the idea of only stopped playing our starters 60 minutes the first few weeks. The first, you know, maybe month of competition.
You know, that’s, thankfully it’s non-conference play. but that’s in an attempt to save them, you know, save some energy in the tank. because, let’s be honest, when it comes to preventing these injuries. The reason we do stranded conditioning is so that athletes can repeat efforts and they can repeat efforts without sustaining injuries.
So you look at like male soccer statistics, right? A lot of injuries, a lot of multiples happen late in the game because it’s just the repeatability of efforts is diminished. The more you get peripheral fatigue, the more you get muscular fatigue. So central fatigue comes into where your nervous system fatigues.
You’re not as quick to respond. And that’s where you can get a lot of non-contact injuries like ACL, ankle sprains, things like that. So both of these types of injuries are, a product of fatigue and the lack of repeatability of efforts. And so I think if, you know, Justin have coaches, don’t heed what you just said, where they don’t take this as an opportunity to create, you know, well-rounded players and they just pile on too much, too quick to try and get ahead of the next guy.
they’re gonna crash and burn really quickly. I think they’re going to lose a lot of starters, and that’s where the communication comes in because that, you know, it may not be a fault of the players. I think the coaches, you know. We’re friendly with everybody, but we’re also not afraid to say what we mean.
Especially in healthcare. A lot of onus falls on the coaches to put in the work to make sure that they’re setting up good training sessions also, and that’s where the communication part from us comes in to try and educate everybody and do our part. We’re not trying to tell them how to run a training session as far as tactics and technical work.
We’re just trying to say, Hey, listen, this is how you get them strong. This is how you keep them healthy so you can make it to the postseason.
Ashley: And a lot of athletes from, they’ll come into preseason, there’ll be roaring, there’ll be ready to go, and then all of a sudden we see this mid-season collapse. And a lot of the time what we can say is, yes, that person might’ve come in under prepared, but they were great, good enough to go for preseason.
But when we find out as we go, as they really weren’t, weren’t in shape, they weren’t doing their job or. It’s a, you know, it comes from and stems from early season, overreaching of goals, overtraining that then causes this great climb and then this great collapse and that’s what I feel like we might see a lot this year because people are going to come in.
Yes, they’re gonna probably have been working, at least we hope in the off season. And then all of a sudden we come in and people seem prepared and we really push really, really hard. Then all of a sudden. We see a big drop in performance and that’s what we don’t want to see, and we don’t want to set people up for that.
and that’s why, you know, really implementing a good plan that doesn’t necessarily incorporate too much too fast. especially when you get back into the season is going to be extremely important to see, to see athletes just continue to grow and not necessarily fall to the bottom.
Justin: The other thing that’s really important to remember is, Yeah. Like you haven’t had the off season. You’re used to. Right. And you maybe you’re not going to get the same pre season. but don’t forget that you also didn’t have a spray. and so, you know, especially just if we use like cross-country athletes as an example, you know, running is like a one sport where it’s super easy to calculate volume, right?
And you look at, you know, volume over time and all this stuff. Well, you know, there was no track season. There was no spring track season. and yeah, you know, you figure you get a bunch of high school kids and you give them some workouts to do and you’re probably going to get somewhere between, like.
40 and 60% compliance. you know, and you’ll probably get closer to 40, and they’ll probably tell you at somewhere around 50. but then you start to get those guys into the, you know, some sort of summer training plan and then you start to get them into something going on in the fall. Cause, you know, you know, if we’re really super honest, like cross country is probably one of the easier sports to get going in the fall.
you know, there’s not a lot of. you know, common items that are going to be touched. The fans aren’t very close. but, you know, I guess they, they might be close together while they’re running, but they could, you know, there could be some spreading apart there, but then, you start to get that. And then you also might have, athletes playing different sports.
and so the other thing to look at is if you’ve got athletes who are. Coming into your sport as a coach and they maybe are doing that because their sports not able to compete. Right. Then, you might have a super great natural athlete that looks amazing on day one, but you got to remember that if their body’s not used to the demands of your sport, they’re going to break down.
John: Yup. Yup. I mean, that’s also, that’s a great point. I don’t even think about that. Justin. Yeah. You may have a lot. You may see cross country rosters going up a lot, especially with, you know, with a lot of the field athletes looking at Ron because that’s what they can do is wrong. But I’ll tell you what, I can play soccer my whole life, man.
I didn’t ever want to run longer than a mile before I got to grad school. So
Ashley: I think it’s a norm amongst soccer players.
John: Yeah. It’s, why don’t we bitch and moan so much about doing fitness? It’s like we chose a sport where you literally sprint for a living
Ashley: all day, every day, and look how much distance is covered.
You know, it’s, yeah. It’s interesting.
John: One other thing is, you know, for, for sports, like running, so for cross country probably has the best chance of success, not only at getting off the ground, but also at staying safe because we’re looking at. Efforts that are at sustained intensity. They’re not changing insensitive, like we were talking one of the athletes or the coaches yesterday, the starting and stopping, accelerating and decelerating is where you’re going to see a lot of increased issues in the, in the injury area because that’s where you’re putting the most amount of stress on the connected tissue.
And that’s what the athletes aren’t getting by not having a spring, a summer season, and a very truncated preseason. So that’s where it’s important now to create proper strength training programs to also implement. Plyometrics. So I know a lot of people have said, but my kids don’t have access to a facility and you know, a gym.
And to be honest, that’s okay because when we’re dealing with most field athletes and we say most, there is no extrinsic load. There’s no external load. All they have to do is handle their body weight. So body weight plyometrics is actually probably the best chance of success they have at getting fit and ready for pre-seed.
And so you don’t have to have a fancy facility. You don’t have to have a lot of extra weight at home. we’re working on creating some awesome programs to send out for people and, and we’ll definitely put them up as well. So, you know, that’s something that people need to start implementing. Now let’s talk about our 14 week timeline, and that’s plenty of time.
High school kids actually have a better chance at success, even if hopefully, fingers crossed, gyms do open up in like mid-July. They may have access to a facility for four to six weeks, whereas a lot of college athletes may not have that because they’re reporting sooner. But then there’ll be back at their own college and they may have a facility.
so that’s something to keep in mind is plyometrics need to be prioritized now. And I think that’s what most kids with a young training age don’t do a whole lot of is they’re great with squatting. You know, we’re happy that social media has brought about this interest in strength training for the younger athletes, but still the one thing they’re missing, they’re great with like strength training and resistance, but not so much for climb metrics.
and, I think that’s something good that we can talk about in the future is how to implement those biometrics and what kinds,
Ashley: Yeah. You literally took the words out of my mouth, John. one of the big, one of the big things to think about. Yeah. Well, and we share a lot of the same knowledge. when we, when we look at, you know, plyometrics and those movements, you know, those are some of the best ways as youth athletes to develop more neuromuscular control to develop.
As a player and develop it as an athlete to just have that person move better over time. you know, a lot of the time what we realize is that, especially with female athletes, is that that’s what they’re lacking as they go through. they’re lacking that neuromuscular control. And if it’s, whether their bodies just don’t.
Develop as much. their basic systems don’t have as much time as a male to say, adjust to their growth patterns. Cause females like pubertal spurt is so much shorter than a males. you know, it’s just important for injury prevention to, as these kids get older and move through sports and move through stuff of that sort.
but also with, with kind of looking at that acceleration and deceleration, another thing to think about is. They’re not doing this right now. Most people are not going out and doing sprints in their front yard. they’re not jumping regularly. They’re not having the demand of score. And that’s why we’re talking about, it’s so important to do some of this stuff, to decrease or to actually improve their capacity, improve their tolerance to load as they start to slowly play.
and ball skills are great. And doing stuff with the ball at the feet, at their fee, or in our hands, or as they’re swinging. It’s all great stuff. You know, we have a, you know, predisposition to always go to the ball at the feet because that’s what we’re used to. but. They have to think outside the box.
What other types of things do these athletes need to do? They need to run, they need to jump. They need to pivot, and just keep moving them in ways that are gonna make it better for them as they go to return to sport. you know, some, some States are opening back up and they’re starting to play again, and I think it’s going to be a while until we’re able to do that in the Northeast, in this general vicinity.
But. Once, even small sessions are able to start, and even if it’s, you know, are apart, spread and wide. I have a feeling that if we don’t start implementing some of these changes, as soon as those small sessions start, we’re going to see muscle poles. We’re going to see these kinds of tendinitis type things pop up.
Just these overuse injuries, because kids aren’t ready and they’re not being exposed to different types of stimuli that they need to be.
John: Yep. Yeah.
I’d say the last thing I want, I’d want to say is with regards to something. So I alluded to it earlier. and if you would ask me maybe about a month ago, I would’ve said the complete opposite. But, right now when it comes to fitness testing, which is something that a lot of coaches are out there, there are benchmarks and there are no shortage of fitness tests, but out there for, for athletes, you know, whereas a month ago I would have said, we need to do it and we need to do it early.
I now I’ve kind of changed my thinking. We need to get away from any kind of fitness testing, early on. And in fact, like for a good seven to 10 days, you’re just doing non-prescribed fitness with them. You’re, you’re just letting them get used to, so there’s four, regardless of what sport it is, and you’re not adding any kind of extra stress on them for the first seven to 10 days.
and, and that’s basically because. Everybody, so we’re going to call it a sympathetic state. So it’s basically your sympathetic nervous system is a heightened response, heightened stress on the body, and there’s stress enough here with the return to activity and trying to, you know, come back and gain some success from this whole situation that there’s no need to throw any other stress on them.
You don’t want to put the athletes in any other kind of sympathetic state where their nervous system might be experiencing excess stress. Cause again, that’s just again, increased risk of injury right there. we also don’t want to give any kind of, you know, catastrophic stress. listen, you know, heart stress in young athletes is, is a real thing.
It does happen. People panic. when you test, they’re not only thinking about passing, but they’re also trying to solidify their spot in the roster, in the pecking order. And. It really does. If nobody has been there before, it creates such an element of stress on the body. The data fitness test, you could be the fittest person out there and it’s still, it’s the nerves are right there.
I’m getting goosebumps thinking about my fitness test in
Ashley: college, so it gets these bumps.
John: It’s no fun for the first seven to 10 days. just kind of let them be, and then when you do implement something. We recommend a self-limiting, fitness test. again, I don’t want to ramble. I’ll let Ashley talk about that part because we were talking about that the other day.
Ashley: So some of, some of the fitness tests that we see are like the yoyo intermittent tests. That’s a self limiting test tests where people can basically say, I’ve had enough. This is all I’m doing. And they’re not forced to necessarily, you know, finish something because we have the standard of two miles or three miles or et cetera.
It’s something like that. something that the athlete can choose when they’re done. so the yoyo, they’re basically, you know, doing intervals at different, you know, like a beep test. they run to cone to cone and basically have a say as to when they’re done. so that’s what we mean by self limiting.
It’s not that you’re forcing them to do something for a prolonged period of time. it is a short repeated interval that they can say, I’ve had enough. But when we look at that, it’s extremely important to say also at this point in time that we need to look at healthy, you know, healthy lifestyle. So John’s talking about heart stress, and we’re talking about just stress in general.
I think one thing that’s probably being overlooked during all of this is. Kids don’t have schedules. Sleeping schedules are off kilter. athletes with sleep are off kilter, and we all know how important sleep is for performance and also for kind of decreasing stress levels. so I guess that’s just a little random tangent, is that.
On the side, make sure that even though we’re in different times, making sure athletes are getting enough rest, getting enough hydration, nutrition, sleep, and we can stress sleep all day. just because we know everything that comes with it. So really thinking about that as we get closer to season and even now start keeping things on a schedule, don’t necessarily get it to inter or let it get to interrupt it over time so that we still have enough rest.
and kind of restful practices built into a day.
Justin: Yeah. I think that’s, that’s big. I also think, you know, even you talk about that, but like you look at like some of the college coaches, you know, as these kids are now like, you know, hopefully getting to go back to campus in the fall, that’s going to be an awkward, stressful environment for everybody.
It’s going to be uncomfortable. there’s going to be weird rules. They might not feel great leaving their family there. You know, there’s a lot that sort of is going to be, especially, you’ll get these, like a college freshmen that’s going to be a. It’s going to be a lot on them as they go into there.
So, you know, I think that’s an important thing for the coaches to, to sort of know, let’s do this. So we’ve been going for a little over 30 minutes here, and that’s about the timeline that I think people get pretty bored about hearing us ramble. so let’s go around here and, we’ll let Ashley go first and then I’ll go last.
So that if I had it, so that I. I’ll get stuck having to pick the bottom of the barrel, but give a, let’s hear, I’m interested to hear what you guys have. If you could have one piece of advice for an athlete and one piece of advice for a coach, just like what the number one thing would be and you can’t repeat something someone else says.
Ashley: Okay. number one, number one piece of advice for a coach. I think I’ve been saying this over and over again, and talking to test of this is open lines of communication. make sure that you are talking to your athletes regularly. You’re talking to their parents or talking to your external sources. you know, I think that’s huge for an athlete right now.
you know what, it’s not the end of the world. We’re going to get through this. You can get through this and make sure that you are doing the best you can to make sure that you feel prepared. you know, feeling prepared for some people is getting enough sleep and adequate nutrition and going out on a run for other people.
It’s going out and sprinting all out and doing your whole thing. but just making sure that you feel confident in what you’re doing. and if you don’t reach out for help.
John: all right. So I think my advice for an athlete might be a little unconventional here. As I was thinking about it, I’m going to go the opposite way and just say. You gotta be optimistic here. You’ve got plenty of time. You’ve got 14 weeks to prepare. So honestly, there’s really no reason I’d give you any other advice.
but I will say, if it doesn’t happen, it’s okay. I mean, this is coming from a guy who literally. Felt like a God in his high school. That was some of my favorite memories was playing in the fall season and going to win the first world championship in school history, things like that. I literally lived for it.
and I can remember when nine 11 happened, there was the fear that we may not have seasons, and I was way too young and inexperienced to understand the ramifications of what actually happened globally. All I could think about driving home, I still remember that ride home where I was really scared that we might not have a season again, it’s all about priorities, right?
A young kid books. It’s okay, guys. things are going to be changing. you’ve still got your teammates. So my, my one piece of advice for you is talk to each other and start getting your team dynamic. Now. you know, with all the technology you guys can sit, we can stay in touch, push each other. For coaches, my advice is less is more.
This is never more important than now. To understand that you, we can go ahead and just push people. We can’t make up for lost time when it comes to fitness. It just doesn’t happen again. Everybody’s in the same boat. Less is more. Think about the longterm. Don’t compromise the short term for the long term.
And that’s the same piece of advice I give to all my athletes that asked me that infamous question, when do you think I’ll be ready again? And just don’t compromise the short term, but the long term for the short term.
Justin: Nice. All right. So you definitely stole both buying in one way or another. So,
Ashley: all right.
Justin: So I would say my advice for coaches would be, I think most coaches are guilty of this and they, they keep so much information from year to year to year, as far as what they did on. Training day one in 2006 or depending on their age, 1985 and, I would say throw all that away. Don’t even look at it, because if you’re looking at it, you’re going to compare this year to years past.
Just don’t even look at it. it’s probably mostly in your head. Try and ignore it. this year is going to be completely different and don’t, don’t try to, don’t try to go with percentages and scale things around and worry about how it compares to prior seasons. you know, you’ll, you’ll do better by just focusing on what’s going on in front of you.
And I think my advice for athletes would be to lean on your friends, and make sure that. you know, somebody on the team and it doesn’t necessarily need to be like the, you know, the so called captain of the team or whatever. but somebody should take charge and making sure that, that everybody’s okay.
and that everybody’s talking about what’s going on because there might be things people don’t necessarily want to say to the codes. People might not like something. And so, someone on your team wants, you know, should be stepping up and. Sort of making sure that everyone’s leaning on each other and, and being good teammates that way.
Cause I think this year more than ever, it’ll be be super important.
Justin: All right. Well with that everybody go have a great Memorial day weekend. enjoy. I think I’m going to go join the kids and jumping in puddles outside. cause I don’t hear them upstairs, which means they must be outside.
Justin: All right. Have a great weekend.