Most athletes participating in competitive sports today have dreams of getting a scholarship to play in college. They practice day in and day out to earn that spot, but how prepared are they for the mental and physical demands of being a college athlete?
A recent study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research surveyed Division I strength and conditioning coaches about the physical and mental preparedness of their incoming freshman. These coaches agreed that the majority of incoming college freshman athletes lacked lower body strength, flexibility, core strength, Olympic lifting technique, mental toughness, and correct nutrition habits. College can be an exciting and scary transition, especially for athletes. Dealing with tough classes, large homework loads, new relationships, tons of activities, and high intensity training all at the same time can be very difficult if they are unprepared. Unfortunately most high school do not have a properly trained strength and conditioning coach who can, not only develop a program to prepare your athlete for college level training, but help them to mentally prepare for the whole college experience. This is why making sure that your athlete is working with a coach who is properly trained and has been through that same college experience is so important. The strength and conditioning coaches who were surveyed for the study were asked how they thought the incoming freshman could be more prepared. The major themes of their answers included instruction on Olympic lifting technique, doing more multijoint and core exercises, learning proper sprint and agility form, performing plyometric exercises, and implementing more flexibility and mobility into their program. They also stated that the athletes that come in prepared, having trained in all of these areas, are the exception rather than the rule. So what does that mean for your athlete? Are they going to be that exception or just the rule?
Wade, Susan M., Zachary C. Pope, and Shawn R. Simonson. “How Prepared Are College Freshman Athletes for the Rigors of College Strength and Conditioning? A Survey of College Strength and Conditioning Coaches.” The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 28.10 (2014): 2746-2752. Print.
Tagged: agility, Athlete Academy, athleticism, be recruited, Champion's QUEST, college athletics, College Bound, college prep, College Recruiting, Core Strength, Division I, Division II, Division III, Journal of Strength and Conditioning, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, NAIA, NCAA, NSCA, Olympic Lifting, speed, strength and conditioning, student athlete, training