Let’s Get Physical: A Guide to Summer Training

By Audrey Wheeler

Conditioning through the searing summer is the perfect opportunity to build stamina and support the sunscreen industry! With most players outside of MLQ and QPL taking a hiatus during the off-season, there are about three months for players to beat the heat and improve where they stand on roster. Aside from personal workouts, summer remains an ideal time to run small, concentrated practices, although either form of conditioning requires a strong commitment from the individual.

Does running out of pizza count as cardio? No, but running in general does. Quidditch remains one of the more cardio-heavy sports to play, and highintensity interval training (HIIT) is built specifically to increase cardiovascular fitness. With HIIT, essentially a cardio routine is followed, but rest times are instead replaced with a lowimpact, highintensity workout. With modified HIIT, quidditch players can follow a typical weight routine, but rather than allowing for rest time, the space between sets can be replaced with jumping rope, burpees, sprints, and so on.

“The goal is to maintain an increased heart rate while not impeding growth; the interval exercise shouldn’t exert force on the muscle you are targeting but keep the heart rate accelerated,” said Jack Starr, a chaser of Florida’s Finest and former coach for Florida State. “By replacing the highintensity periods of traditional HIIT with resistance training and the rest periods with cardio, it allows for muscle growth while simultaneously burning more calories than traditional cardio or weight training can.”

Starr during his own HIIT routine. | Photo Credit: Jack Starr

Although HIIT is great for the individual or tag-team duo, there is nothing better than a classic outdoor practice for teams that continue through the summer. Warm-ups can be followed by drills and half-pitch plays that allow coaches often ones newly chosen for the next season to closely watch and correct players’ mistakes that would otherwise be overlooked during a full-roster practice in the regular season.

“Just mix up game events and scenarios that could happen,” said Flying Panthers, Orlando Sirens, and Team Spain beater Steven Paisley. “It’s just things that you come up with in your head from experiences. As long as you’re confident and believe the drill will improve everyone, then you’re doing your job as coach or captain.”

Not surprisingly, the biggest obstacle summer practices must contend with is individual player commitment.

“People tend to eat a lot during the summer,” said Paisley. Adding in the Florida heat, it just makes people not want to run/practice.

The Flying Panthers getting ready to practice. | Photo Credit: Jules Pomeroy

Extra fries may sound better than exercise, but the effort put into HIIT and team practices vanishes without a well-rounded dedication to physical conditioning. A regular cardio schedule combined with the basics of a healthy lifestyle will keep the average player in great shape and anything beyond that will show clear results on pitch. Jobs, classes, and travel can prevent players from achieving their ideal routine, but working around these deterrents toward a specific goal say, the first full practice of a season or even a certain fantasy tournament provides a tangible reason to continue conditioning through the heat of summer.

Do You Want to Be a Starr?

Follow this killer core plan from Jack Starr for a great round of personal conditioning.