In this issue’s column I want to share a recent article I received from Mike Boyle, owner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. He is one of the top Strength and Conditioning Coaches in the world and someone who has had a big impact over my career on how I train and prepare my athletes. This article has a very important message for parents and athletes trying to improve their chances for a college scholarship. He has helped and continues to help hundreds of high school, college and professional athletes succeed in their respective sports. — T.R.
• The Road to College
Parents are being misled.
Yes, all the tournament and camp organizers are deliberately misleading you. Parents shell out thousands of dollars for exposure camps and exposure tournaments for their sons or daughters. The organizers tell you that attending a certain camp or playing in a certain tournament will improve your chances of getting a scholarship.
The bottom line is it’s not true. If your child attends four days of camp it will not change him or her. Neither will weekend tournaments.
Unfortunately, parents make a critical error at the wrong time. The most critical time in a young athlete’s career is the summer prior to his or her senior season. This is when a young player needs to train to prepare to have a great senior year. However, instead of preparation, parents choose exposure.
The result is usually the same. The athlete goes to 5-6 exposure camps to be seen by college coaches. Instead of training and preparation, the summer is about travel and exposure. The final result is that the athlete is not physically prepared for the senior year and ends up either getting injured or having a sub-par year. Coaches that might have had interest suddenly disappear. Sure things turn into maybes. Suddenly all the time spent on exposure seems wasted as there is no product to expose.
The road to college sports should go right through a weight room. I know this sounds old fashioned, but it’s true. If your goal is to play college sports, then, get ready to play. Don’t spend all summer trying to convince coaches how good you are.
Spend the summer trying to get better so coaches will notice you. You can’t network your way into college sports, and even if you can, in these days of email etc., send a letter and a video.
In football it’s camps, in basketball and baseball it’s AAU, in hockey it’s tournaments. Every sport has entrepreneurs and organizers who swear they know the answer. The problem is they have a vested financial interest in you and your child. They need you to make money.
The reason we have had such great success is because we do it right. Our program is intentionally modeled on the programs that have helped high school, college and professional athletes succeed for decades. The programs are not flashy or sexy.
In fact they are difficult and demanding. However, they are designed around a successful formula, not a quick buck strategy. This summer you have a decision to make. You can try to show everyone how good you are in a few camps or tournaments, OR you can actually work at getting better and preparing for the seasons that really matter.
Tim Rudd is an International Youth Conditioning Association specialist in youth conditioning (level 3), speed and agility (level 2), and nutrition specialist (level 1). For more information on anything you read in Training Time, email him at Tim@Fit2TheCore.com.
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