Rugby Tip of the Month – Summertime Strength & Conditioning recommendations for HS athlet

Guest Post, Justin Goonan, Spring Hill College Head Coach


Here are a few things to consider, regardless of your practice or competition level, when thinking about a summer workout routine:

  1. Schedule Any S&C training should prepare you for, and work within, your sports practice or competition. Be careful not to overload your body on same or consecutive days. Taking a day for rest and recovery could be a better decision, long-term, than squeezing in one more workout.

  2. Goal A summer football 4-day workout routine may not be the best option if you attend rugby training 2-3 nights each week plus tournaments on weekends. As competitors, we want to continue improving. However, trying to make gains at the wrong time of year could leave your body vulnerable to overreaching (short term) or overtraining (long term). Be sure the program you use aligns with your immediate, and long term, goals.

  3. Accuracy There is no “one size fits all” program. Workout routines need to be adjusted based on your experience level, health (have you been injured recently?) and technique.  The weight room should be used to reduce, not increase, your risk of injury. Ask a certified strength and conditioning specialist to walk you through some basic movements that are safe and effective for you, personally.

  4. Adaptability Great workouts can be done without the use of any weight room or gym equipment, so going on vacation or working a summer job is no excuse. Modifying simple bodyweight exercises (squats, push-ups, pull-ups) is a great way to increase or decrease workout intensity based on different training goals. Plus, it is much easier to gather family members, friends or teammates who can motivate and challenge you to work harder.

  5. Best practices Young athletes are easy targets for social media and marketing advertisements because they can be attracted to new, cool looking ideas. The pressure of being “top lifter” leads individuals to believe they must lift the most weight or reach a PR. But, just like with rugby skills, your long term potential can be restricted if your technical foundation is not established properly. Programs such as yoga or pilates once or twice per week to improve your body’s mobility and flexibility.  Use swimming or other cross-training activities to prevent overuse injuries, as well as mental burnout.

Justin Goonan, Spring Hill College Head Coach

Justin Goonan, Spring Hill College Head Coach

These key details, along with proper nutrition and recovery, can protect you from major injuries while allowing your body to perform at its best.”

Justin Goonan serves as the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the USA Rugby Men’s Junior All-Americans where he recently traveled to Zimbabwe for the Junior World Trophy. Additionally, Coach Goonan is the Strength & Conditioning Coach for Spring Hill College Athletics varsity sports teams and is Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Rugby programs.

Want to play for Coach Goonan at Spring Hill College? Men and Women

Learn more: The Rugger’s Edge College Program Highlight on Spring Hill College

Rugby Tip of the Month Brought to you by IMPACT MOUTHGUARDS

Impact Player of the Month


Garrett is a standout player for Jesuit High School in Sacramento, CA and has also represented the US as a U-17 Boys High School All American. Along with being an exceptional rugby player, Garrett also maintains an outstanding work ethic in the classroom, volunteers at The Upper Room Dining Hall and participates in his high school’s Young Entrepreneur’s club. He hopes to study Business or Economics in college.

“My team’s Impact Mouthguards created an entirely new team chemistry for the National Invitational Tournament. That continuity resulted in the best rugby we have played all season, ultimately leading us to the national championship. The bonds I created on the 2016 Jesuit First XV will last a lifetime, and it all originated from our matching Impact Mouthguards which will always be an object of memory connected with an amazing team and a great season. I played comfortably, and did not think about the position of my Mouthguard. Therefore, I was totally focused on the game.”

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