Help Student-athletes Prepare for Winter Sports


Winter sports season is wildly popular.  Sports such as basketball, hockey, swimming, and track and field attract talented student-athletes each winter, making the season one of the most fun times of year for kids, their families and their classmates.

As the winter sports season approaches and begins, student-athletes can take various steps to ensure they’re ready to compete.

• Ensure your academics are in order.  Students must maintain a minimum grade point average to be eligible to compete.  The winter sports season tends to overlap semesters in many school districts, so students preparing for the coming season must make sure their grades are good enough to allow them to compete, even if their sport begins mid- to late-semester.  Students can work with teachers, coaches and academic advisors to ensure their grades won’t compromise their eligibility.

• Schedule your physical.  A preseason physical exam is mandatory to compete in many scholastic sports, so student-athletes or their parents should schedule their exams early so they can compete for a spot on the team and, if they make the team, play once the season begins.  Physical exams also can shed light on any issues that may require medical treatment prior to the start of the season, so the earlier students get their exams, the more quickly they can address any issues that may compromise their ability to compete.

• Speak with the coaching staff.  Coaches may or may not conduct exit interviews upon the completion of a season.  Such interviews can be a great chance for student-athletes to learn about what they can do to improve during the offseason.  Student-athletes who didn’t get an exit interview or those who simply want a refresher can contact their coaches in advance of the season to discuss what they need to do to make the team and/or improve on last season’s performance.

• Get in shape.  Multi-sport athletes may already be in shape to compete, which can ensure the transition from fall to winter sports season goes smoothly.  Student-athletes who don’t compete in fall sports can use fall as a time to get back in game shape.  Start gradually to reduce your risk of injury, ramping up as the body reacclimates itself to physical activity.

Winter sports season is a fun time of year for student-athletes.  Preparing before the season begins can ensure student-athletes compete at their highest level in the months ahead.

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