Training Tips for High School and Club Athletes During COVID-19

Now that practices are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes are having to rely on home training to keep in shape while social distancing. Here are some things you can do to keep in shape while waiting for your organized workouts to resume. 

How Should I Focus My Training While Social Distancing?

Now isn’t the time to step up your training. Instead, focus on maintaining your current levels of fitness with exercises like planks, push-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, and mobility drills. These are all good body weight drills that provide variation from normal training. Even though your workouts may be less intense than normal workouts, your body will actually use this time to recuperate, which is beneficial. Here are some other things you can do to improve your conditioning:

  • Do some cross training. Mix it up. Do some yoga or go on a bike ride. Doing things you don’t normally do while training can be a welcome change.
  • Focus on flexibility. Take some time to work on range of motion by including exercises such as foam rolling and static stretching.

“This is an opportunity to focus on deficiencies that can be sports specific such as free throw shooting or to try different sports or training regimens,” said Kristopher Abeln, MD,  a Baptist Health Medical Group orthopedics and sports medicine physician. “Alternating sports and regimens utilizes different muscle groups and can be effective in injury prevention when competition resumes.”

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How Often Should I Work Out?

Staying in shape is important, but so is keeping your immune system strong, especially during COVID-19. Excessive exercise can actually weaken your immune system and make you more at risk for infection. Moderate exercise, on the other hand, has been shown to boost immune function and lower your risk of colds and viruses. 

Training three times a week for 30-45 minutes should be enough to help you stay fit while also boosting your immune system. In addition to training, going on daily walks or jogs is also good for both mental and physical health.

How Can I Stay Mentally Prepared for My Sport?

The mental aspect of any sport is just as important as the physical one, so make sure to stay focused by:

  • Watching old game films. If possible, review old game or practice films to see where you can improve your game with respect to positioning or other situations. 
  • Watching old professional games. No matter what sport you play, watching the pros can be both inspiring and helpful. Watch how players who play the same position as you react to situations you face and see how they react and position themselves.
  • Performing meditation or breathing exercises. We’re all living in stressful times and it can be hard to focus on what’s important to become a better athlete. Taking time out of your day to meditate and visualize success in your sport can be very beneficial. Same with breathing exercises, which are great ways to reduce stress and improve focus. 
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