As a former active Marine and a trainer with experience preparing dozens of recruits for boot camp, I’ve seen recruits make the same mistakes over and over as they get ready for basic training. The same errors show up when athletes don’t prepare the right way for their season. Whether you’re getting ready for boot camp or your pre-season, you can accomplish more by avoiding these three mistakes.
Whether you're preparing for two-a-days or boot camp, it’s important to arrive at 100 percent. Get at least eight hours of sleep for several weeks before your training, and don’t stay out late on your last night of freedom. Also, don’t try to “cram” all of your physical training into a month. Plan your workouts so you have plenty of time to recover before the real fun starts.
Relying on Running
If you don’t prepare your entire body, you will risk an injury that will keep you off the playing field or trap you in basic training longer than you want to stay. Hitting the treadmill will prepare you for the runs, but it won’t do much for your overall fitness. Instead, head to the weight room and work out like an athlete, not a bodybuilder. Focus on multi-joint exercises and work your core to build total-body fitness. You can also practice hiking with a weighted pack. Start with 40 pounds and work your way up without exceeding 80 pounds or eight miles.
Ignoring the Basics
As an athlete, you should know that you’re asking for trouble if you get to practice without knowing the playbook. Before basic training, memorize "The 11 General Orders," your service's rank structure and the history of your service. This will save you valuable sleeping time. Learn how to march, and be ready to lead from the front when it comes time to drill.
Photo: U.S. Navy