Student-athletes shape up for school sports

Summer vacation might just mean summer boot camp for student athletes. As the new academic year approaches, students involved in school sports are confronting the summer heat to shape up their bodies and sharpen their skills.

“Even when I’m brushing my teeth, I do leg exercises to work out my body,” said Kiana Crom, who will be a sophomore volleyball player at McQueen High School this year.

Crom has been conditioning since summer began by doing 300 sit-ups every morning and night, 500 sets or passes to herself, 20 push-ups every day and exercises with a workout ball. She also has been training in volleyball camps in California and coaching volleyball for younger children.

“It gets you in shape, and it helps you keep up with your skills,” the 14-year-old athlete said. “You’ll be better for tryouts and more prepared than the people who just wait.”

Student athletes also seek out professional training to shape up for fall sports at gyms like Parisi Speed School in Double Diamond Athletic Club. There, they work with trainers and other athletes in an attempt to reach their potential.

“It’s like learning the ABCs and 123s of athletics,” manager Eric Waller said. “You have to learn the basic fundamentals of good body awareness and body mechanics to really sell to the next level.”

The school attracts athletes from a variety of sports, such as baseball, soccer, track, skiing and even bicycle motocross. Each program focuses on the strengthening of an athlete’s balance, coordination, range of motion and flexibility.

“To be a top athlete, there’s no such thing as an off-season,” said Davi Montoya, the manager of Double Diamond Athletic Club.

The summer heat, however, does not always create the safest workout environment.

Dr. Carol Scott, director of the University of Nevada Medical School’s sports medicine fellowship program in Reno, said that adjusting to heat might be the most important training for an athlete.

“It’s difficult to even be totally in shape and then to go into a hot environment and still do well,” she said. “Take 10 to 14 days to get used to the heat, and during that time exercise, during the cooler part of the day.”

Scott also suggests wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and to avoid sunburn because it decreases the body’s ability to tolerate heat.

“As a rule of thumb, less than 75 degrees you’re fine to exercise,” she said. “In the 75 to 78 range, you want to do it in the shade, and the 74 to 84 range you’ll want to limit it, particularly if you’re younger. If it’s over 85 degrees, and you’re not heat acclimated, just wait until it cools down.”

For Crom, the workouts during the summer are worth the many benefits seen once school starts.

“You can definitely tell who has improved in the fall. You, as a person, are so much more physically and mentally fit for the team,” she said.

Summer Conditioning

>> Stay hydrated, indoors and outdoors.

>> Wear light-colored clothing.

>> Avoid sunburns.

>> Focus on repetition while training.

>> If the temperature is above 85 degrees, wait until it’s cooler to exercise.

Source: Dr. Carol Scott and Parisi Speed School in Double Diamond Athletic Club

 Published in the Reno Gazette-Journal