“I’m not going to play this spring (or winter)(or summer) because I’m gonna lift.”
This phrase, when spoken from a high school athlete makes me cringe. I know what it means, I’ve been there. I used this excuse myself as a senior in high school and didn’t go out for wrestling. Here is the interpretation that enters my brain through the coach translation area of my cerebral cortex when I hear that phrase from a high school kid.
“I don’t want to play __________ because I really don’t want to work that hard.”
95% of the kids I’ve heard the “I’m going to lift” mantra from fail at this goal miserably. Sure, they show up in the weight room, but very little work gets done.
I admit I’m not a fan of the recent rise in the high school sport of powerlifting. Sure, it’s all pretty cool, but is it doing justice to our athletes? Are we pushing kids into powerlifting participation (even though it’s not a sanctioned competitive sport by the state athletic association) at the expense of other sports they could, and should, be participating in? Is powerlifting becoming the focus over the actual sports a high school offers?
Truth is you get better at sports by playing sports. The training component is vital, but it is still just a component. Playing multiple sports gives one an edge in physicality, in conditioning, and in competitiveness, which is such an important component, yet so overlooked. Give me eleven young, high school men who know how to compete and I will knock the mother-loving socks off your 300 lb. bench pressers who spend 8 months of their year lifting.
Explosive power development requires speed, agility, quickness, and strength. That strength is a certain type of strength—an explosive strength derived from a specific technical approach. Like I’ve said many times before, I want to develop bullets rather than bowling balls. Powerlifting as the primary focus does not build athletes. Period.
Moral of the story…play a sport whenever you can. It is the best “big picture” thing you can do. Don’t get stuck on the one particular tree and forget all about the forest.
- The first step is to compete.
- The second step is to practice with an approach to improve.
- The third step is to attack a well-rounded physical training program to develop physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- The fourth step…enjoy the ride.
- The fifth step is to repeat steps one through four as often as possible.
Time is precious. Make the most of every tick of the clock and work to be the best you that you can be.
Hard work is the magic.
Rant over. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.