With summer just around the corner, many fall athletes and coaches are beginning to prepare themselves for three months of summer training. To get our fall teams geared up for the competition, coaches such as Dale Bahr (cross country) are creating training schedules for their athletes.
“We give our athletes a summer mileage progression and they get to determine what they will be doing for summer training. There are many factors that go into summer training— high mileage runner versus low mileage runner, how many miles have they done in the previous summers, how much training is their summer schedule going to allow, injuries or setbacks,” Bahr said.
Mike Middleton, the men’s soccer coach, does things a bit differently.
“For the summer months we have training programs set up for the players that are available on our own soccer website—the information they receive is pretty comprehensive, and as such, is a good educational tool for the players. We are in the business of selling them what they need rather than trying to command. Everyone has different commitments, game and opportunities in the summer months. It’s tough to use a one-size-fits-all system,” Middleton said.
Approaches such as these are common among fall sports teams. Coaches generally try to make their training schedules available to all the athletes and let them tailor their training around their summer jobs/internships and physical abilities.
Another bonus that comes with summer training is the ability for many athletes to do a lot of cross training or compete in a more relaxed setting to get them excited and refreshed for the upcoming season.
“The local racing circuit is extensive enough and easy enough to get involved in that I can get that feeling of running against other people every so often and be reminded of how much I love it, of why I compete at the college level. Aside from the simple feeling, though, it’s good to get in some competition during the summer to get an idea of how much progress you’re making or whether you need to scale back or anything like that,” Cross Country Runner Caitlin Skvorc said.
“Well, some ways I make summer training fun is incorporating a swim workout. It’s a fun way to work the whole body and enjoy the summer sun. I also cross train and play other sports and roller blade around my lake,”Soccer Player Nicole Ektnitphong said.
Along with the many benefits that come with summer training are the negative aspects that all fall athletes must deal with. When it comes to summer workouts, many athletes must get used to training without the constant support of their teammates.
Another drawback, according to Coach Bahr includes “not being able to monitor what they are doing. Without us being there, it is very easy for an athlete to over train and burn themselves out. Along with the over training comes the injuries.”
Fortunately for Gustavus, we have a great support system ranging from fellow student athletes to dedicated coaches.
“I will often watch them play myself in the summer (most play in summer leagues). They know that we are here to support them and I love to travel to watch the lads play if I can,” Middleton said.