This is a guest post from one of our personal training clients, Samantha Cloud.
It is no news to most high school coaches that the number of top-level high school athletes using personal trainers has surged in the past decade. This rise has many high school coaches questioning the need and the effectiveness of player’s personal trainers beyond their high school team’s strength and conditioning coaches. Another concern is that these personal trainers are simply using their connections with elite high school athletes to insert themselves into the recruiting process. Having had a personal training throughout my high school athletic career, this topic hits close to home.
Looking for a competitive edge
Personal performance-based trainers are most prevalent among high school football players. This is largely the result of the intense competition for Football Bowl Subdivision scholarships, which has encouraged athletes to specialize in sports much earlier. Many personal trainers argue that this specialization has created a need for performance-based training because athletes no longer get the balanced training of playing multiple sports. With this specialization, hiring a personal trainer to create year-round sport-specific customized workouts seems like the obvious next step.
Other athletes are turning to personal trainers for injury prevention and, when necessary, physical therapy. For highly competitive high school and college athletes, the risk of injury can be quite high. These injuries can occur from poor technique, insufficient warm ups, or improper training programs designed for large pools of athletes and not calibrated to an individual athlete’s needs. This is where personal trainers can come into play, designing specialized workouts calibrated to an individual athlete’s physical advantages and disadvantages, helping each athlete achieve that competitive edge.
The inevitable coaches conflict
Many high school coaches see a natural conflict with player’s having their own performance-based trainers. To many coaches, outside personal training is unnecessary for high school players and simply results in one more person coming between the high school athlete and the high school coach. For many players, however, their relationship with their personal trainer is more enduring than with their high school coaches. This was the case for me.
After suffering from a shoulder injury, I realized I needed a more personalized strength and conditioning program that I could work on outside of practice. I turned to Jeff Roux. After watching Jeff work with my parents for years, I figured I would give him a shot. First, he assessed my weaknesses and the extent of my injury. He worked with me to set goals, both long-term and short-term goals, and developed a specialized training program targeting specific areas I needed to improve in.
For me, my trainer was able to give me specific and personalized attention that my high school coaches were unable to provide. Without Jeff, I’m not sure how long, if ever, it would have taken to get my pre-injury performance and my pre-injury mindset back.
The controversial advantage of personal trainers outside of high school sports will continue to grow as more and more high school athletes look for this competitive advantage. In the end, it’s up to the athlete and his or her parents to decide if a personal trainer is worth the investment. If you ask me, it is.
Here’s a link to this article: http://www.triumphteambuilding.com/blog/personal-performance- trainers-and- high-school-athletes