T Nation

Did High School Sports Help You?

I played sports, but the sports were Tennis and Fencing. So unfortunately neither of those required strength training. However, I did start strength training with my dad when I was in 9th grade. Unfortunately I was not doing the core exercises like squats and deadlifts. Instead I was doing leg presses, bench press, and flyes and shit like that. I wish to hell that I had started lifting properly with good instruction at an early age, because it wasn’t until 2 years ago when I finally started lifting properly on a good routine. I think football would have helped get me on the right track, and I wish I had played it.

I played no sports in high school. From middle school on, I was a very good swimmer and also into biking. But my small-town schools didn’t have either as sports – they didn’t even have a pool.

I did not get into lifting until junior year in high school. At the time, I did not know better than to read M&F and Flex, plus all the bodybuilding books I could find. Of course, this was pre-Internet, so good info was not as widely available. Still, I feel like I wasted many good years when I could have been building a base of strength had I only had some real guidance.

It was good for me overall but not in terms of lifting weights. Our weight room sucked and I had no one to really get me into weights. I bought my own Joe Weider weight set, but my mom forbade me to use them by some crazy immigrant reasoning. When I have kids, I’ll definitely steer them toward ogranized sports.

[quote]gregron wrote:
basically what everyone else has already said… and people who didnt play sports in highschool were usually nerds lol. [/quote]

this

I played football, wrestling and lacrosse from grade 9-11 (didn’t do shit my senior year other than get into trouble). After prison I played rugby for more than ten years and what I did in HS was a good foundation for that.

In retrospect, I feel pretty lucky that I didn’t hurt myself in the weight room early on - the supervision was HORRIBLE. But we did the Bigger Stronger Faster program, so at least I was squatting (with bad form), dead lifting, benching and power cleaning…

I’d say it was helpful and laid a strong foundation, but again, I’m LUCKY I didn’t get injured - my form was pretty bad and I let my ego dictate the weight I used.

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
I bought my own Joe Weider weight set, but my mom forbade me to use them by some crazy immigrant reasoning. [/quote]

I’m curious what her reasoning was.

My own mom was also an immigrant, and I remember her arguing that bodybuilding was a strange sport, which she suspected was full of overly-vain men most of whom were probably gay. I was maybe 15 at the time and couldn’t believe my mom could be so clueless.

(LOL)

Sometimes I think that my athletic performance in high school sports was actually hindered by weightlifting. I think this had to do with the fact that I just did not have any clue as to how to lift with a specific sport-related goal in mind. I played football my first three years and the way we were instructed to lift really was pretty stupid, especially considering our coach was a star player at Washington State and probably should have had a better idea of how to lift for performance. We basically were lifting for size, which was fine (especially when I played JV) since we needed the extra “armor” to protect us in collisions. But the only sort of dynamic/speed work we performed were cleans. But we performed them for 4 sets of 8 and had to go to failure on the last set. Leg press seemed to be emphasized more than squats and I probably spent all of 30 seconds stretching before each workout.

I also played varsity soccer and we didn’t lift any weights at all for that sport. I think lifting SOME weights could have helped us, but we were actually encouraged NOT to lift at all by our coach.

For baseball, all I really knew was that I should do a lot of rotator cuff work (I was a pitcher) and that overhead pressing of any kind should be avoided. But I never really figured out that maybe heavy preacher curls and heavy skullcrushers weren’t the best exercises for building up throwing strength and our coach never encouraged us to lift at all. The only guys on the team who ever really lifted were guys who also played football and they basically just lifted the same way for baseball that they did for football. I think for high school sports kids should be encouraged to focus primarily on developing more flexibility and mobility. They’re going to probably go with some sort of bodybuilding-type split anyways since most of them just want to get bigger and blindly assume that getting bigger will make them stronger in a way that will translate well to their sport, which it won’t necessarily do. At least if they focus on mobility and flexibility they’ll be creating a better foundation when they finally do figure out how to perform sport-specific workouts. Speed work should also be drilled into their heads and lifting for size should really be de-emphasized as much as possible.

[quote]BobParr wrote:

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
I bought my own Joe Weider weight set, but my mom forbade me to use them by some crazy immigrant reasoning. [/quote]

I’m curious what her reasoning was.

My own mom was also an immigrant, and I remember her arguing that bodybuilding was a strange sport, which she suspected was full of overly-vain men most of whom were probably gay. I was maybe 15 at the time and couldn’t believe my mom could be so clueless.

(LOL)[/quote]

It had nothing to do with looking like a bodybuilder. I was 14 and a skinny 6’ 145 lbs. She thought the “metals” were so heavy they’d break my bones. The Weider weight gainer I put in the blender was drugs. Also, we very were poor and the 5 of us lived in a 3 room apartment. The bench and weights were in the kitchen so that pissed her off too. She ended up using it as laundry rack haha (and I stayed scrawny).

I played soccer, was the sub GK of my team on championships, it was a good time indeed, i forged many friendships that last till today due to that team and school.

How i miss those times…

I am in high school currently. I play football, but the strength training programming is god awful. While football inspired me to start lifting, the workouts they have us do are only conducive to strength imbalances and injuries. i.e. Heavy bench varieties 3 days per week with very little back work, Heavy 1/4 squatting 3 days per week, Terrible power clean form, etc.

Each training session we have a list of completely random assistance exercises, all for 2 sets of 10. The coaches usually get mad if anyone tries to do anything that isn’t on the list. I would probably make a whole lot more progress lifting if I weren’t playing football.

Just wanted to throw it out there too, despite how shitty our weight room was (and how shitty my HS in general was), we had 3 guys go to the NFL since I graduated. Wayne Chrebet , Luis Castillo and Miles Austin.

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
Just wanted to throw it out there too, despite how shitty our weight room was (and how shitty my HS in general was), we had 3 guys go to the NFL since I graduated. Wayne Chrebet , Luis Castillo and Miles Austin. [/quote]

No shit that is cool Sam.

[quote]I AM INVINCIBLE wrote:
I am in high school currently. I play football, but the strength training programming is god awful. While football inspired me to start lifting, the workouts they have us do are only conducive to strength imbalances and injuries. i.e. Heavy bench varieties 3 days per week with very little back work, Heavy 1/4 squatting 3 days per week, Terrible power clean form, etc.

Each training session we have a list of completely random assistance exercises, all for 2 sets of 10. The coaches usually get mad if anyone tries to do anything that isn’t on the list. I would probably make a whole lot more progress lifting if I weren’t playing football.[/quote]

Wait so they MAKE you 1/4 squat? MAKE you have terrible PC form?

They don’t coach the lifts properly, so most of the players don’t know proper clean form. When we max out on squats, the coaches will pass anything, no matter how high. While they don’t force the players to lift like this, they don’t teach them to do otherwise.

[quote]I AM INVINCIBLE wrote:
They don’t coach the lifts properly, so most of the players don’t know proper clean form. When we max out on squats, the coaches will pass anything, no matter how high. While they don’t force the players to lift like this, they don’t teach them to do otherwise.[/quote]

Sorry that sucks. What grade are you in?

Set the bar yourself, be a leader, bring in stuff from Elite or other good websites. Inspire your fellow teammates to not settle for bad form. Maybe you are not the best football player, but you can damn well be the best weight room guy. Stop blaming the coaches is what I am saying they may limit what you can lift but you can get all your team to damn well do it right.

[quote]DJHT wrote:

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
Just wanted to throw it out there too, despite how shitty our weight room was (and how shitty my HS in general was), we had 3 guys go to the NFL since I graduated. Wayne Chrebet , Luis Castillo and Miles Austin. [/quote]

No shit that is cool Sam. [/quote]

Yeah, Chrebet was a seniot when I was a freshman so I played b-ball with him a few times since we were both on the team (I didn’t make varsity though). He was quick as hell but no one ever thought he’d be in the pro’s one day in any of 3 sports he played. I never met the other 2 though since they’re alot younger than me but they always come back in give to the community. They’re both class acts.

Everything I learned while training for HS sports turned out to be wrong. It did help orient me with the training world and allow me to understand how the world works.

[quote]DJHT wrote:

[quote]I AM INVINCIBLE wrote:
They don’t coach the lifts properly, so most of the players don’t know proper clean form. When we max out on squats, the coaches will pass anything, no matter how high. While they don’t force the players to lift like this, they don’t teach them to do otherwise.[/quote]

Sorry that sucks. What grade are you in?

Set the bar yourself, be a leader, bring in stuff from Elite or other good websites. Inspire your fellow teammates to not settle for bad form. Maybe you are not the best football player, but you can damn well be the best weight room guy. Stop blaming the coaches is what I am saying they may limit what you can lift but you can get all your team to damn well do it right. [/quote]

Thanks for the advice. I will be a junior this year. I do try to get my teammates to use correct technique, but only a few actually listen to me. The good news is now that the season’s starting, most players aren’t going as heavy on squats, so their depth is actually improving.