Area kids get fit for fall sports season

While the speed training camp at Marysville-Pilchuck High School is open to all students, many participants have shirts bearing the name of their sport of choice. -
While the speed training camp at Marysville-Pilchuck High School is open to all students, many participants have shirts bearing the name of their sport of choice.
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MARYSVILLE Although the beginning of the fall sports season is still about two weeks away, many area high school athletes have been organizing to stay in shape.
With many specialized sports on the calendar this fall, the opportunities for students to stay active are numerous. In Marysville alone, students can choose to go out for football, volleyball, cross country, swimming, soccer or tennis.
Marysville athletic director Greg Erickson said that while summer is a time for kids to be kids and the school district does not track student participation in area activities, he estimates about 40 percent to 50 percent of high school athletes have been taking part in organized activities to prepare for the fall season.
New football head coach Brandon Carson has organized several camps and the team keeps track of which players come through the weight room in the summer, Erickson said.
Its a barometer, in some ways, of these kids commitment to the team, he said.
A lot of football athletes can be spotted at the speed training program offered at M-P High School as well. The program meets on the football field Mondays and Thursdays when the weight room is closed, and is organized by Brad Sim, an exercise specialist at Summit Rehabilitation.
According to Sim, who took over the camp this summer, the speed training program helps athletes work on the details.
Well work on acceleration, so kids work on taking off fast and correct steps. We do some strength training, Sim said. Well work on running form quite a bit, running properly and taking good steps. We also just condition, keeping their pace up.
He added that the program can be especially helpful for high-school-aged female athletes, who can be more vulnerable to injury as their bodies change.
Women, especially, have a hard time with knees. So to teach women how to absorb their body weight correctly and how to slow down and change directions. Its been pretty beneficial, Sim explained.
Jaci Legore-Hodgins, who coaches the girls swim and dive team, said her athletes will often opt to join the Mighty Marlins, a local parent-organized swim club, to clock extra hours in the pool.
The Marysville cross country team runs together most mornings, departing from Jennings Park, while the Lakewood team has a regular jog scheduled weeknights at 6 p.m. departing from the high school, according to coach Jon Murray.
Many kids are members of the Y or Golds Gym. Coaches tell them, When you come into the season, you have to be ready. Yeah, we work to get you in shape, but we get into it right off the bat, Erickson said. Our first football game is Labor Day weekend. And the rest of them get into it right after that. Kids have to be ready, he said.

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