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San Angelo Standard-Times (Texas)
It's been 15 years since the University Interscholastic League began allowing its schools to conduct summer strength and conditioning programs.
Prior to 2003, the governing body of public school athletics in Texas did not allow school coaches to do any training of their athletes during the summer.
Since then, schools have been able to host and its coaches have been allowed to run these programs for all incoming high school athletes in their school attendance zone. In 2010, incoming seventh and eighth-graders were allowed to participate.
"School administrators, coaches and UIL staff all agree that the summer strength and conditioning program has been very successful," the UIL stated in 2009. "This additional summer instructional time has helped prepare students for the physical demands of participating in all athletic programs."
While the UIL has loosened its restrictions over the last 15 years, there are still guidelines to which all programs must adhere.
According to the UIL website, summer strength and conditioning programs may operate for six weeks during the summer, cannot begin until after the last official day of school and can go no longer than the second Monday in August.
In addition, a daily session can be no more than two consecutive hours per day, Monday through Thursday, and a student can attend just one session of supervised instruction per day for a total of six weeks.
These activities are never to be grouped according to sports or positions on sports teams. They can include just strength and conditioning and exercises. No specific sports skills may be taught and no specific sports equipment, such as balls, dummies, sleds or contact equipment, may be used.
School athletic attire may be provided by the school, but it is a local school option.
Attendance in a maximum of one session per day is voluntary and not required to be allowed to try out for participation in any UIL activity. However, coaches may keep attendance records. Students are not required or allowed to make up any missed daily sessions.
Students may attend an open gym or weight room — where no additional instruction is provided by a school coach — before or after a supervised session
The UIL states that schools must take administrative care to prohibit an athlete from working with one school coach for two hours and a separate school coach for another two hours.
The six-week sessions are not required to be conducted consecutively. For example, a school could decide to work out for two weeks, take off the week of July 4, and then resume workouts for a total of six weeks.
For more information or to see frequently asked questions about summer strength and conditioning programs, go to Summer Strength and Conditioning FAQs on the UIL website.
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