PITSBURG – Franklin Monroe started its annual F.A.S.T. Camp on Monday morning, which the Jets credit with helping them reduce injuries during the soccer season.
Franklin Monroe varsity boys soccer coach Danny Diceanu and Snap Fitness personal trainer B.J. Paulus are leading the camp, which will be held three days a week for the next six weeks.
“Certainly been a good thing that we’ve been doing and it’s helped cut injuries and come in better shape and ready,” Diceanu said. “When I start in August I don’t have to condition. We can go right into soccer stuff.”
Almost 30 kids attended the camp opener on Monday morning including the Jets’ boys soccer players, girls soccer players and some junior high athletes.
The training focuses on conditioning and flexibility with running and various forms of jumping, stretching and core work. There’s no weight lifting other than the players’ own body weight.
“It’s been tremendous as far as preventing injuries,” Diceanu said. “We’ve cut down injuries quite a bit. In a couple years we had ACL tears, but that’s just a freak, just happens during the course of play. But as far as muscle tears or muscle pulls, sprained ankles, it’s helped, conditioning, flexibility. These are all things that always go wrong when you come in out of shape and then you start pushing your bodies to the limits doing two-a-days in August. It’s not easy on the body, and if you’re not used to it it’s easy to injure a player.”
The Jets have had the camp for almost 10 years. While there was some initial resistance, the athletes have warmed up to the camp, Diceanu said.
“They were very against it in the beginning,” he said. “They didn’t like it, but then they started seeing the benefits.”