This article is authored by Doug Scott. Opinions expressed may not be that of SMARTER Team Training, STT sponsors or constituents. Coach Scott has been a member of the Pingry faculty since 1999 and has served as a Physical Education teacher and Strength and Conditioning coach since that time. Doug designs workouts for both male and female student athletes competing on a variety of Varsity and Junior Varsity athletic teams, including many county, state, and conference championship teams. Listen to Doug’s podcast on iTunes by clicking here.

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Summer vacation; the time of year when you can relax and forget about the rigors of academia for a while. Although I am all for having fun and “recharging your batteries”, lets not forget about one important fact; many of you play a fall sport. Whether it’s Football, Soccer, Tennis, Field Hockey, Water Polo or XC, they all will require a high level of fitness in order to be competitive. Now surfing, swimming, hiking, bike riding and any other “activities” are great, but they do not prepare you for athletics. Do not be one of those people who wake up on August 1st and realize that preseason is just 2 weeks away and starts running sprints to get ready.

Each year athletes try this method and end up with moderate cases of shin, ankle and knee pain. Furthermore, they are not prepared for preseason and spend the first few weeks “playing themselves into shape”. This is not the way to go if you want to excel at your sport. So here are some tips to maintain a high level of physical fitness while still having a fun and restful summer.

1. Figure out how many weeks until preseason starts and make a schedule for training. For most sports it’s 6-8 weeks.
2. Make a commitment to perform exercise everyday for 30-40 minutes and make sure you include both strength training, running and stretching.
3. Train hard and make sure to give your best effort.
4. Have back up plans. If you are traveling, have bodyweight workouts ready to go.
5. Start your program early and progress all summer. Do not wait until August, by then it’s too late!

Doug Scott believes that strength training is a “means to and end” and should be a part of every athlete’s lifestyle; and it’s the coaches job to facilitate learning and put the athlete in the best position to get the most out of themselves and ultimately succeed. Mr. Scott has also worked as a personal trainer and has written a number of fitness-related articles and chapters. Coach Scott is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and hold the title of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. You can contact him at