COACH columnist

“For Nate: What are a few things you’d like to see people working with high school athletes do better to prepare them for collegiate-level strength training?”

Nate Harvey hears a lot of people say kids are lazy — but whose fault is that? Who’s their mentor? Who’s their coach? If you’re sitting around and complaining about your team being lazy, maybe you’re the lazy one.

Instead of being lazy, teach kids what hard work looks like. If they know what that looks like, that will help them a lot in the college setting. If you know where they’re going to attend, get a jump-start on teaching them techniques used at that college. Still, that might not be entirely feasible or realistic, but it’s a good start and gives them a realistic expectation.

“I used to work with the swimmers, and the one kid on the team was kind of from the country and grew up on a farm and woke up at 4 a.m. every day and had to do chores before he went to school, and he’s like, ‘All my teammates complain about how hard these workouts are... The stuff’s easy. It’s easy, going to practice.’”

Train them hard — do that, and they’ll be ahead of most people.

Dave Tate agrees and emphasizes the importance of showing these kids what hard work looks like by example. It also helps if there’s at least one kid in the group who’s mature and willing to lead by example, but that’s not a guarantee.

“I do find it funny that, and I’ve said this for a long time, that all the people who are complaining about how lazy everyone is — they’re your kids, dude... It’s like, look in the mirror. This work ethic thing you’re talking about should have been ingrained a long time ago.”

Given the opportunity, anyone can be lazy. But if one person steps up, a few more might step up along with them.

If you’re not at that point, you’re going to have to find other ways to build trust. Having kids run down the field until they’re puking is not going to be a trust-building exercise — it’ll definitely make them less likely to want to work with you.

Lead by example. Show them and teach them to work hard. That’s really all it takes.

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