What I wish about training as a high school athlete

This week we have a special guest post from Dr. Samuel Kinney. Dr. Kinney is a performance physical therapist in our McLean location. In addition to being an amazing physical therapist and strength coach, Sam was a successful collegiate soccer player. Learn more about Dr. Sam here.

“Lifting weights will stunt your growth.” “Squatting heavy is the key to training.”

The advice that I received as a high school athlete was all over the place and as a physical therapist, I now roll my eyes.

I wanted to impress my high school coaches and be the best athlete that I could be, but weight training confused me, and I didn’t know where to start.

Weight training in high school often felt like a competition among my teammates.

I placed a large emphasis placed on how much weight was on the bar. This was a result of encouragement from my team and my internal motivation to lift the most weight I could.

There wasn’t much thought put into our weight training program besides that. I eventually had a back injury while attempting to power clean more weight than I was ready for.

Fortunately, I went to physical therapy, which sparked my interest in the sports physical therapy profession. Unfortunately, I had to take time off from the gym and lost a lot of the progress that I had worked so hard for. While back injuries are impossible to prevent, had I known what I know now, I could have greatly reduced my risk of having one.

Training for your sport off the court or field is an essential part of developing strength, speed, and overall athleticism. A more scientific approach to training helps you excel at your sport and keeps you in the game by reducing your risk of injury. But knowing where to start and what to do in the weight room is one of the greatest challenges for a young athlete.

If the weight being lifted is causing you to struggle to maintain form and you are unsure that you can control the weight, it is too much. The advice that I would give to my high school self would be to forget about how much weight is on the bar and instead focus on how well I can control the weight through the full range of motion of the lift. It is more important to progressively increase the weight on the bar over time rather than in one weight training session.

If you are a high school athlete or the parent of one, Dr. Sam Kinney is currently offering free performance assessments as part of our rising-star training program.

This assessment will show you and your athlete the secret to helping them avoid injury and take their performance to the next level.

Contact us for more information and to sign up.


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