With diligent preparation, all of our players should be able to meet the new, Tomball Kings fitness standards. But, many players will lack experience in at least some of the events, and have questions about how best to prepare. For all such players, we offer this guide.
Take full advantage of this guide, including the videos below, as well as our training resources:
- High school players: Baseball Performance Program
- Junior high and elementary school: Athletic Performance Program
Ask our coaches for help:
- Philip Wilkins: 713-412-9961
- Corey Goodie: 832-259-4286
- John Harris: 512-470-0915
We will test the players in each of seven events:
- Sixty-yard dash
- Standing broad jump
- Strict-form push-ups
- Elbow planks
- 300-yard shuttle run (12 repetitions x 25 yards)
- Mile run
- Seated heel reach
Training for each of these will help players meet the standards in all of the other events, but within the group of seven events are three pairs of events that will be strongly reinforcing of one another. That is, training for one will be strongly beneficial for the other.
These mutually-reinforcing pairs are:
- Sixty-yard dash / Standing broad jump
- Strict-form push-ups / Elbow planks
- 300-yard shuttle run / Mile run
Work toward the seated heel reach will be helpful for performance in all of the other events.
Training by actually doing the events
In selecting from many possible events that offered potential competitive benefit, we gave preference to those for which (i) everyone could train without the need for coaching and (ii) slow, steady, progressive improvement over a period of six to twelve weeks would yield success.
For example, merely by starting from an initial level of maximum push-up repetitions, players could add one push-up per day until they meet or exceed the standard.
There are many ways to train for each event, but the simplest is merely to do the event repetitively over time, adding a small increment of progress each time, until the standard is met.
Establish a baseline
Our recommendation is that each player self-test in each event to establish a baseline standard. Do this within the next couple of days, if you have not already done so. Parents will need to assist younger players with most of these events, and all players will need a helper to time them in the sixty-yard dash. Spreading the baseline testing over two days would be helpful, as we will be spreading the actual fitness testing over two or more days.
Calculate your gap
After you have established your baseline, calculate your shortfall—if any—in relation to the actual standard for your age.
Measure the gaps as follows:
- Sixty-yard dash: hundredths of a second
- Standing broad jump: inches
- Strict-form push-ups: repetitions
- Elbow planks: seconds
- 300-yard shuttle run (12 repetitions x 25 yards): seconds
- Mile run: seconds
- Seated heel reach: inches
Calculate your incremental progression requirement
After you have measured your gap in each event, divide that gap by the number of available training weeks, assuming a January 12 test date. The result shows you how much you must improve each week in order to meet or exceed the standard.
In reality only high school and junior high will test that soon. All other players will have more time, based upon when their practices start.
For example, if you need to reach sixty-five inches in the standing broad jump and are currently six inches short of that goal, you would need to improve your jumping distance by about three-quarters of an inch per week to reach your goal by January 12.
Subdivide your weekly progression requirement into individual workouts
After you have determined, for each event, how much you need to progress each week, divide that amount into an actual workout plan that you gear toward that minimum amount of progressive improvement. We offer suggested training frequencies and rotations, below.
For example, if you will be running a mile three times per week and need to improve by fifteen seconds per week in order to reach your goal, then you will want to improve by five seconds every time you run the mile. In fact, almost everyone will be able to progress much faster than that, except for those who are already competitive milers.
Training frequencies and rotations
The following schedule should be effective for most players:
- Sixty-yard dash: do ten repetitions, three times weekly, with one or two days of rest in between. This will work well in combination with the mile run. Avoid doing these in combination with the 300-yard shuttle run.
- Standing broad jump: do six to ten repetitions, three to seven times per week. Work on technique.
- Strict-form push-ups: These can be done daily—even several times per day—but should at least be done three times per week. Dividing your goal in half and doing two sets will work well, but test your overall progress from time to time. If you cannot do a single push-up, start by leaning against wall or countertop, and then doing a chest press.
- Elbow planks: do three repetitions in a day at least three times per week. If you have never done them before you will have some soreness, but it passes within a few days.
- 300-yard shuttle run (12 repetitions x 25 yards): these are taxing and you will be hard-pressed to do more than two in a day. Do these two or three times per week. They will be very helpful to your mile-run training, and your mile-run training will be very helpful to your shuttle time.
- Mile run: do one repetition, three times per week, or substitute interval training as desired. The 300-yard shuttle run is an example of interval training. Other possibilities are 400-meter repeats, 300-meter repeats, 200-meter repeats, or a combination of the above. Alternating fast and slow running over a sustained period, e.g., six to ten minutes, will also be effective. If you rely on intervals, test your progress in the full, mile distance once per week or so.
- Seated heel reach: Work on this daily, even twice daily.
You may find the following video guides helpful:
Standing broad jump
300-yard shuttle run
Seated heel reach
Train with joy in your heart
All athletic progress requires biological adaptation, and only stress yields biological adaptation. Creating stress, in turn, requires "progressive overload." That is, to improve as an athlete, you have to suffer, your body adapts to minimize the suffering, and then you have to work even harder to induce more suffering, which leads to more adaptation (muscle growth, cardio-respiratory fitness, bone mineral density, resistance to soft-tissue injuries, etc.). You repeat this process over and over, ideally for the remainder of your life.
But who wants to suffer mentally? No one! Your mind is the key to being able to put your body through the physical suffering that is a necessary part of the training/stress-induction/adaptation cycle. You can quickly learn to make this process enjoyable by training with joy in your heart. Consciously fix in your mind the amazing wonders of the world and our bodies that God has given us. Take joy in those gifts and hold that joy in your hearts. If you learn to do so, you will be able to smile even on the last segment of a 300-yard shuttle run.
Have questions or need training advice?
Please call us. We will be glad to help.