June 2020 - 10

POWERLINE stre ng th and conditioning
august has been the
MOST DANGEROUS
MONTH FOR ATHLETES
By Boyd Epley, Founder National Strength Coaches Association
As I'm writing this column for the June publication, no
one is sure when training athletes will resume at colleges
and high schools. When schools take the locks off weight
rooms and training does resume, strength coaches need
to be especially careful to bring the students along at a
safe pace and not force them to over train. When an athlete
takes time off from training they can expect to become
detrained. A decrease in performance is directly related to
the inactivity of the muscles that have been atrophied from
nonuse. All across the world student-athletes haven't been
able to train properly the past several months due to schools
shutting down and closing facilities. Social distancing and
other recommendations have been required.
When and if training resumes, strength coaches need
to be sure they are familiar with recognizing signs and
symptoms of heat-related illness that may lead to sudden
death. For example, college football has experienced more
than 20 indirect sudden deaths with 55 percent occurring
on the first or second day of a new practice period. That's
even when the athletes had the opportunity to train properly
leading up to these first practices. Many heat strokes have
occurred in weather between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit
and mostly due to the high intensity of the exercise. The
first two weeks of practice are some of the most dangerous
times for athletes as they are performing new exercises and
adjusting to new environmental conditions. Be careful not to
10 JUNE 2020
allow your sports coaches to demand more than the athletes
can handle. I would suggest having a water-filled tub at
every conditioning session. Experts recommend lowering
the body temperature in a water tub quickly can help save
a life.
It is also important to consider if your athletes have been
training in the correct energy system for their sport. Because
of a lack of available facilities football athletes may have
chosen aerobic exercises (distance running) which is not
the correct energy system they should be training in. Too
much endurance training interferes with the development of
fast-twitch muscle fibers. If fast-twitch fibers are not activated
with proper training, the athlete's quickness will suffer first,
then their speed, power, and strength.
Also be aware when athletes are allowed to return to
conditioning the baseline level of your group will not all be
the same. Some will not have missed a workout and some
will barely have done anything at all. Avoid throwing your
athletes into an advanced conditioning program until they
can catch up to the demands.
Strength coaches must ensure that appropriate
intensity, duration, hydration, and rest protocols are
followed. Review the standards and guidelines for your
facility, program, and supervision. All emergency action
plans should be communicated to and practiced by the
entire strength and conditioning staff and presented in

June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2020

June 2020 - 1
June 2020 - 2
June 2020 - 3
June 2020 - 4
June 2020 - 5
June 2020 - 6
June 2020 - 7
June 2020 - 8
June 2020 - 9
June 2020 - 10
June 2020 - 11
June 2020 - 12
June 2020 - 13
June 2020 - 14
June 2020 - 15
June 2020 - 16
June 2020 - 17
June 2020 - 18
June 2020 - 19
June 2020 - 20
June 2020 - 21
June 2020 - 22
June 2020 - 23
June 2020 - 24
June 2020 - 25
June 2020 - 26
June 2020 - 27
June 2020 - 28
June 2020 - 29
June 2020 - 30
June 2020 - 31
June 2020 - 32
June 2020 - 33
June 2020 - 34
June 2020 - 35
June 2020 - 36
June 2020 - 37
June 2020 - 38
June 2020 - 39
June 2020 - 40
June 2020 - 41
June 2020 - 42
June 2020 - 43
June 2020 - 44
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