Apr 17, 2018
Ready for the Next Level

The more prepared high school athletes are for the college setting, the better their chances for success. In an article on IYCA.org, Jordan Tingman, CSCS, Graduate Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Eastern Washington University, says she finds many female athletes are not prepared for weight room work. She explains that this can impact their confidence and initial success.

“More often than not, we see females who have very little training before getting to college,” writes Tingman. “Coming into collegiate athletics will be a complete reality check for most.”

To start, she says it’s important to address misconceptions they may have about training. According to Tingman, these include:

  • “I don’t want to get too bulky.”

  • “I’m good at my sport and play a lot, so I don’t need extra conditioning.”

  • “The weight room at my high school is only for the football players.”

It can also be helpful to explain the positives of working out.

“Training early can be very beneficial in the reduction of injuries, improving long-term athletic development, and improving performance, as well as having a positive impact on confidence and overall health,” she writes.

In order to ensure your female student-athlete is in the right mindset, Tingman suggests incorporating basic exercises.

“Often found by collegiate coaches, individuals lack the ability to do a proper pull-up, sit up, (and) full ROM bodyweight movements,” writes Tingman. “Implementing these movements into any training program is vital because it shows bodily control and strength.”

Among her various suggestions, Tingman highlighted the following exercises that she believes will prepare high school females for collegiate athletics:

  • Pull-ups: Tingman recommends “eccentric pull-ups,” which require a full range of motion and are key in building strength. To perform, jump up to grab the bar and control the body’s movement up and down in a slow manner. Start with three reps and only add more once the athlete improves.

  • Push-ups: Start in a “proper plank position” and keep the arms at a 45-degree angle to the rib cage. The goal is to demonstrate full body control and keep the core engaged by remaining in plank form as the arms move.

  • Body Weight Squat: To start, position the feet just outside shoulder with apart with the toes pointed slightly. With the arms at shoulder height or behind the head, “have the individual squat until the femur is at least parallel to the ground.”

From there, Tingman recommends teaching power cleans, bench presses, lunges, and squat variations. “Educating female athletes on these movements will be extremely helpful, not only for injury prevention but to cut the learning curve once they get to college,” she says.

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