Starting with the end In mind

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer

High school has always been a time to treasure.  What could be better than meeting new friends, attending dances and parties, and cheering at football games?  Along with the intensive studying that goes hand-in-hand with high school/college prep coursework, many students have an opportunity to try a variety of sports that are offered at this level.

Most high school athletes are recreational participants, preferring simply to engage in their chosen endeavor and perhaps even become involved in some friendly competition.  For a few gifted students, however, natural abilities may propel them to consider a collegiate career, and their parents often see this as an opportunity to garner a scholarship to a particular university.

To be among the best, one has to invest.  Talents, time and dedication will only take a high-school athlete so far. Although the costs can certainly add up, using the services of a sports-specific training program with certified specialists can make the difference between catching a scout’s eye versus simply blending in with the team.  This is the time to keep the end goal in mind as you embark upon a search process for additional/advanced sports-related coaching.

While training with wind sprints will make a football player faster on the field, this form of training will do little if anything to enhance the talents of a diver.  Optimal exercises are those that mimic the most commonly used moves performed while engaging in the sport. Box jumps, for example, can be of tremendous help to a basketball player.  Intensive ballet and balance training are a necessity for a gymnast performing on the balance beam.  Shoulder presses and lateral raises are better suited to a gymnast who is looking to improve his Iron Cross move on the rings.

If you are the parent of a budding athlete, take the time to honestly assess whether talents and desires seem to be propelling him toward a collegiate or highly competitive career in his sport of choice. If the motivation is true, and your finances allow, sports-specific training just might be the way to go.