Lady Tigers work out during summer months
Sunday, 08 July 2012 by David Tuma
Most of the summer attention in sports at the high school level deals with getting ready for football. Belton High School sports program is successful in virtually every sport and in several sports they are one of the top programs in Texas.
What isn't known as well is that this summer over 40-50 female athletes are going through the same rugged workouts the football players are. Conditioning and strength is needed to play at the 5A level and multiple girl athletes from BHS advance to the college level.
"The games in sports at the varsity level are very physical. We work on strength and conditioning to help prevent shoulder and knee injuries when they get in contact with another player," said BHS women's basketball coach Brenda Gomez.
"There are some great athletes in our district and we have to work on strength and conditioning. This summer we have incorporated a lot of the CrossFit Training techniques."
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program used across the world that is as much conditioning as it is strength training. It is an explosive workout that requires both strength and endurance.
The BHS girl athletes work out four days a week at 10 a.m. They start on the turf at Tiger Field in a series of workouts including sprints, jumping rope and footwork skills. Many days when they begin the temperature is well over 90 degrees. They work out for an hour and half on most days and jumping rope isn't something young kids or athletes do much anymore.
"It is amazing how many kids had to learn how to jump rope. The heat is a big help in getting them mentally tough. They see themselves improving in both conditioning and in overall strength. There is a lot of self-gratification in working out," said Gomez.
Around half their time working out is spent in the varsity weight room. They work out doing bench press, squats, power cleans and work at lot on the shoulders. The workouts are in a circuit and there isn't a lot of time wasted between lifts.
Lifting weights provides more than just strength. The ability to lift a set then move to the next set with little down time isn't easy. Belton's weight room has over 100 stations.
The athletes also do the grueling workouts in the sand and parallel bars just like the football players. The workouts are not the same each day. If they work out on legs or upper body the lifts are still different from day to day. Every sport at BHS is represented including some of the cheerleaders from BHS.
Middle school athletes to incoming seniors are working out at BHS. The biggest advantage for athletes is the getting a jump on a chance for a starting spot. The competition is fierce in every sport at BHS and they go into the fall in condition. "It is an opportunity the kids are taking advantage of. They will be in shape when school starts in the fall. Coach Rodney Southern has been great providing us with strength and conditioning. The girls have access to the weight room just as much as the boys," said Gomez.
"The girls notice the changes and you can tell they feel better about themselves. It surprises them how much they improve. Hydration is a big part of this and that is an all week thing. If you don't eat before you work out you see your energy level drop. We have water available on the field but the girls are encouraged to bring some. These work outs don't cost anything but a little bit of sweat."