Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Sports may be on pause but that just means athletes should take advantage of this important break to focus on important matters and improve themselves. The Zone Sports recently interviewed Michael Petrina, leading practitioner of professional MLB, NFL, & NHL athletes and owner of Prime Performance & Development, to discuss how athletes can utilize this time optimally.
TZ: As a fitness professional consulting with top athletes in major sports league, what is your advice for athletes that are home and don’t know what to do during this time? MP: Some athletes are deep into the season and others are prepping for the season, so this time is perfect for recovery and correctives...Meaning, now is the time to take care of those aches and neurologically prepare the system. Focus on mobility work, flexibility work, proprioception, and neuro-strengthening (it’s what I think of as building strength through your ability to use the body correctly). Athletes should contact their coaches, strength coaches, and therapists (they should have an idea of individual's areas of concern and help create a mini-program to work on it!). Also, athletes should research as much as they can about the craft of exercise and treatment. You can learn a lot and then start to find the best people for you.
TZ: Are there programs, specific weights, or exercises that should be done for specific muscle groups? MP: The beauty is in the details and the same goes for muscle groups. The smaller stabilizing muscles will most likely need the most work. Afterwards, incorporate the larger groups and try to create longer workout sessions, with time under tension being key (so you can maintain your musculature).
TZ: How have you been advising your athletes through this time and what are some things that are out of their control versus what is in their control?
MP: I have told all my guys to take the responsibility of being prepared when this is all over. Create a life cycle. So much of the day is already prepped for them. Walkthroughs, treatment, games, etc. Therefore, I recommended that they replace those events with activities at home. They can begin learning how to prep their own meals, maintaining proper nutrition, scheduling workouts twice daily, scheduling treatments ( such as mobility/flexibility), and scheduling time to talk to family and teammates, as mental health is super important. TZ: Great advice! Thank you very much for joining us. Any last words for athletes? MP: Guys, take my advice seriously. Look at everything in life as an opportunity. Use this time wisely. Research all aspects of the things you are not well-versed on, everything I mentioned, and financially. You’ll be better for it.