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Athletes: Get off the couch, hit the gym

Tips for athletes to stay active during summer

Courtesy Michelle Hart-Miller

Courtesy Michelle Hart-Miller

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As the 16’-17’ school year comes to an end and the spring sports season finishes strong, high school athletes get ready to hang up their cleats and hit the showers for the summer and not come out until fall.

However, if athletes at LHS want to stay ahead of their competition, they need to take the summer to keep their bodies in shape. No matter what sport you play, off-season training is vital to an athlete’s success when next season arrives. According to HealthyChildren.org, your goal should be to do some type of exercise every day. It is best to do some kind of aerobic activity without stopping for at least 20 to 30 minutes each time.

There are many ways to keep conditioned during the summer. If you do any or all of the following, you should be in good shape come fall:

Get to a gym
If you want the best results for your body, go to a local gym.  And what could get more local than the weight room right here at LHS. For more information about the summer lifting program here at LHS click here. Working out at a gym is a great way to build muscle and become an overall better athlete.  Stronger muscles means hitting an Astro lineman harder or pinning an opponent more quickly or being able to hit a ball farther.

Play with friends
Summer is a great time to get outside and practice, as the sun is shining and your schedule seems to be more flexible. Get together with some of your teammates and throw a ball or practice your shot. At the very least, try to build up team chemistry so you will be a tightly meshed group by the start of the season.

Practice your specific sport often
For anyone playing a fall sport, summer is your pre-season, so make sure you’re ready when the school bells start ringing this fall.

If you don’t believe me, take it from a varsity soccer star, junior Josh Rutina.

“The main objective of Lancer soccer tryouts are to go into the tryouts as fit as possible,” Rutina said. “I plan to wake up early every morning to go for two mile runs.”

There are many drills you can practice for your specific sport. Some general basic drills that work for most sports are throwing or kicking a ball around and/or repeatedly shooting at a net.

While athletes that play soccer focus on improving their stamina and footwork by going for runs, other athletes that play a sport where running is not so dominant will focus on their finesse and core strength.

Sophomore wrestler Vincent Del Signore weighs in on what he has done to keep his body in shape in the off-season.

“I’ve wrestled for a club in Nashua called Gate City and also went to several tournaments with them,” Del Signore said. “I’ve also been hitting the gym often and running about 15-20 miles a week.”

Check out what coaches offer during the summer
Many sports will have off-season workouts or practices that are mandatory for every athlete on the team. All coaches are unique on how they want their athletes keeping their bodies in shape throughout the offseason, but one thing remains true for all sports: If you’re not working on your craft, you are taking a step in the wrong direction.

“Three days a week we will have soccer training sessions all together as a team,” Rutina said. “We will condition for two hours of each other three days. The other days we don’t have training I’ll be conditioning and playing on my own, preparing for the biggest season of my life.”

Even though Rutina and Del Signore play different sports, they both have the same work ethic that it takes to raise their game to the next level.

So athletes of LHS: Before you peel off those sweaty socks and get comfortable on the couch this summer, don’t forget to set up an off-season plan, so you can become the best athlete you can be.

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Athletes: Get off the couch, hit the gym