How to Prepare to Play College Sports
It’s easy for high school athletes to picture themselves at their dream school, competing at a prestigious university and playing against the best of the best. But it’s harder to grasp just how rigorous training programs are at the college level. If you’re serious about playing college sports, here are a few ways to make sure you’re prepared for the next level.
Gauge your talent level
It can be difficult to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses aside from your family members’ and coaches’ opinions. Having a professional performance coach evaluate you to see how you stack up against other recruits can help you zero in on your skills.
One way we gauge talent at Accel Performance and Wellness is through movement assessments. Before any member is allowed to train with our performance coaches, they must complete an athletic movement assessment. These assessments give you a full picture of how you’re moving and help you understand where you can improve.
The Fusionetics® movement assessment gives us a baseline movement pattern for each athlete and provides data regarding flexibility, mobility, and stability. It tells us which body parts are over- or under-compensating during movement, and it helps us create a personalized corrective exercise program to improve movement. This assessment tool is used by Division I college sports teams across the country. Completing regular assessments throughout high school can give you a leg up on the competition.
Sign up for sport-specific training sessions
Attending agility training sessions and other boot camps can increase your chance of getting noticed by recruiting coaches. These intensive training camps are usually held for a few weeks at a time and focus on improving biomechanical fundamentals – speed, strength, flexibility, and endurance. Having a good foundation for movement also helps you avoid injury.
Training over the summer will help you stay at the top of your game. Go to a summer sports camp at a college that you would like to attend. Proving what you’re capable of before the recruiting season starts can show college sports coaches that you’re serious and dedicated to your sport.
One-on-one performance training sessions and small group performance classes also allow you to improve your skills in a more intimate and personal setting. While you’re plenty capable of completing a workout by yourself, the eyes of a professional performance coach can point out areas of improvement you might not catch.
Learn proper recovery methods
College sports coaches expect you to move faster, better, and stronger than you did in high school. These coaches are looking for healthy athletes. They don’t want to recruit someone, only to have them facing a sprained ankle or torn ACL in the first week of practice. Showing that you know the importance of recovery proves you can handle any game-day situation.
At Accel, we offer a wide variety of recovery modalities. Our hot and cold tubs help your muscles “warm up” before a workout and help you “cool down” at the end of one. These recovery techniques help reduce muscle soreness, inflammation, and damage. We also keep our members healthy with our NormaTec recovery boots, manual therapy and massage therapy, personalized blood flow restriction therapy, and more.
Eating a well-balanced diet and understanding nutrition education is also important to proper recovery. When you match your fueling with your training, you’re able to achieve your performance and wellness goals.
We get that training for college sports can be overwhelming. Knowing where to start and what to focus on is where many students struggle. Our coaches use a pro-level approach to help future college athletes meet their goals. If you’re ready to lift harder, run faster, and compete at the top of your game, reach out to our team today.