Championships are often won in the off-season. Preparation for any season always begins when the last season ended. The West Linn football team won the state championship this year and their off-season preparation played a very significant role in that title run. Working with several of the teams key players I was able to see first hand why they were the dominant team in Oregon HS football this year – they committed to the grind.

Nutrition is important at every age as it dictates what we physically become, literally. As a strength and conditioning coach, nutrition is a vital part of the equation when trying to help athletes improve. It is one of the “3 pillars” necessary to improve physically. These 3 pillars are training, sleeping and eating. Just like any tripod, if one of the legs is missing it all comes crashing down.

School sports are back in session. During the course of a season, 90 percent of student-athletes will report some type of injury. Is there a way to make sports safer? Yes, there is. There is a member of the athletic team that is a great resource for the injured athlete – the Athletic Trainer. The Athletic Trainer (AT) is a medical professional trained as a first responder, educated in the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of sports related injuries and concussions. They are the first resource for the athlete and parent to gain information about their injury.

Football and other fall sports in August and early September can bring temperatures in the 80s, 90s and even 100s. These conditions bring a greater chance for heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Unfortunately, there have also been cases of heat related deaths during summer practices.