Jonathan Luders

[Jonathan is a sophomore at Lynnfield High School.]

GTD: Jonathan, how many summers have you trained in Coach Braz’s program? What got you started doing it?
Jonathan: I have trained in Coach Braz’s program for 2 years. A friend told me about the camp. I thought it sounded pretty cool. I looked at some of the pictures on the website of athletes doing hills, sprints, and tough core exercises and I said “that looks cool!” And signed up.

GTD: The coaches encourage all the athletes to move up to an older age group if they want more of a challenge. A 12 year-old may move to the 13-15 group, and a 14-year-old may move to the 16+ group. You’ve moved up each year. How has this worked for you?
Jonathan: Even though it is not required to move up, moving up provides more of a challenge. Training with older athletes provides new opportunities. This challenged me and pushed me to keep up with them during the workout.

GTD: You’re a soccer player in the fall and a baseball player in the spring. How does the program address your conditioning needs for those sports?
Jonathan: Everything that Coach Braz incorporates in the workout each day has a purpose to make you better. For soccer, the workout is perfect because it really helps with endurance, speed (sprinting), and core. Even for baseball, which doesn’t require as much running in the game, having good endurance helps with the energy level that is needed for a long game. And the different sprint workouts during Braz camp can really help on the basepaths.

GTD: What are your favorite drills at Braz camp?
Jonathan: Sprinting up a hill with a parachute on would have to be my favorite drill. In a close second would have to be fireworks, when you sprint 10 meters then jog 10 meters for about 100 meters on a track or on the field.

GTD: We spend a lot of time on core conditioning. How does that work for you?
Jonathan: Having a strong core is very important when it comes to playing sports because it helps almost every aspect of your game. Coach Braz has multiple core exercises, some that I had never seen/heard before, that are very effective. In soccer especially, your core helps with your balance and with making quick cuts. Strong core is essential. In baseball, having a strong core helps with strong throws and a quick and efficient swing.

GTD: How did you handle nutrition on the morning of Braz camp? With the program starting at 9am in the heat of summer, what do you do for food/drink BEFORE 9am?
Jonathan: I am a HUGE eater. I usually eat the same breakfast everyday: 6-7 scrambled eggs, a yogurt, and a banana. I know it sounds like a lot but I have been eating like that for a while and I have just gotten used to it. But before Coach Braz’s camp, I try to eat a little extra and drink extra water before I leave. Drinking water is one of the most important things before and during camp. I bring electrolyte water and a one gallon Gatorade cooler filled with ice and water so that I have enough water to stay hydrated throughout the workout.

GTD: How did your fall soccer season go?
Jonathan: The fall season went well. Our team went 10-6-2 and qualified for the state tournament, which is always one of our main team goals. My winter athletic plan included getting ready for baseball in the spring and working out to get stronger as well.

I just want to say that the Going the Distance camp is amazing. I do not know how else to put it. The athletes that you meet become your really good friends. You train beside them. They push you to work harder and you push them, which makes the workouts more fun and more competitive. The coaches are awesome. They have fun just like the athletes do (even though we are the ones going through tough workouts). The coaches take very good care of you if you have an injury. I could go on and on about how great this camp is. But you have to experience the camp to really appreciate how great it really is. No matter what sports you do in any season, fall, winter, or spring, the workouts you do at Coach Braz’s camp will benefit you. It is a tough workout, but when you have other athletes pushing you on and tremendous coaches it brings out the best in you.

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