Dear Patriot Parents,
For the better part of the UIL’s existence, summer was off limits as far as what coaches could do with their athletes. Basically, open weight room and open gym were about all that was allowed. A little over fifteen years ago the UIL began to allow high school coaches to hold a summer strength and conditioning camp for all athletes grades 7 through 12. At first, only a few schools participated but what coaches quickly found out was that those schools who were participating in the summer conditioning camp saw a dramatic increase in the overall success of their boys’ and girls’ athletic programs. Ten years ago, summer conditioning camps became the norm and those schools who did not participate quickly began to get out-competed for district championships and playoff spots. Simply put, those athletes who were not participating in summer strength and conditioning camps held at their high schools were at a physical disadvantage against those athletes who had participated whether they were from a different school or their own school.
As a coaching staff, we have noticed that our participation numbers in our summer conditioning camps on the average have been relatively low. We believe that the lack of attendance during the summer is having a major impact on our programs, for some just the ability to compete and for other programs, the ability to break through that next level whether it be a district championship or getting past the second round of the playoffs. This past summer we offered two sessions for grades 8th through 12th, one in the morning and one in the evening in order to try and eliminate conflicts with summer jobs but our numbers still remained low. We did have a few athletes that went to “private coaches or trainers” and some that worked out on their own at various gyms but when those athletes re-entered our strength and conditioning program and were tested, we found that they were weaker or their strength had not increased and they were more physically out of shape than the athletes who remained in our program throughout the summer. Plus, research from the collegiate level has shown that working out with your teammates, not the actual practice of a sport but working out whether it be in the weight room, conditioning, or agility work increases team chemistry and the cohesiveness of the team’s play when their season starts. We do understand that summer is a time for vacations and summer jobs and we encourage our athletes to take time off but we also understand that too much time off can have a negative impact on their athletic success.
In order to better understand the needs of our athletes and when we should offer summer conditioning, I am asking you to take a short survey on the computer or your phone to give us as a coaching staff information needed to help increase our participation numbers. Please go to the website https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q7FWQKW to complete the survey.