Greensboro, N.C. -- Sprinting, squatting, lunging and pressing could be considered routine exercises of just about any football team. What might surprise some people is that these exercises are also used by the Southwest Guilford High School swim team during their preseason workouts.
To prepare for their time in the water, these young athletes train out of the water to increase their strength and cardio vascular endurance. That is where Sgt. Justin Lail, a Marine Corps recruiter with Recruiting Sub Station Greensboro, comes in.
Lail, a native of Catawba, N.C., has been working with the swim team for more than three weeks using Marine Corps physical fitness techniques to improve their overall conditioning for their upcoming season.
On any given training day the team could expect to do something different and new to them just like the kind of workout they did at their school on Oct. 23.
Lail started the workout on Oct. 23 with 30-pound ammo-can lifts. They picked up the cans, pressed them above their heads 40 times and then sprinted 40 yards. This continued for 30 minutes, with various exercises in between the lifting and sprinting.
“I knew it was going to be hard, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that hard,” said Vicky Tsakas, a senior at Southwest Guilford High School and swim-team captain. “The team did a good job and took it seriously.”
Lail does not get much time with the team, 30 minutes is the average, so his workouts must be intense and must keep the team moving. His goal is to test the student’s drive and ability to push each other past their limits.
“These workouts have been great,” said Sarah Corriher, the assistant coach and teacher for Southwest Guilford High School, which is located in Greensboro, N.C. “They’ve really helped our team bond and get strong. It has helped our team in ways we couldn’t have just done as coaches.”
Corriher added that Lail’s workouts give the students something to look forward to. The variety keeps the students interested and involved.
“I always try to go in there and change it up,” said Lail. “I don’t want them to think we just do the same exercises and the same conditioning because we don’t. We switch it up, because that’s how you make your body stronger.”
Next week, the swim team will be moving into the water, and Lail will begin working with the school’s basketball team.
Corriher added that she would like to have Lail back for every preseason.
“It’s been a lot of fun working with them,” said Lail. “They make the job fun. Seeing the kids progress makes it all worth it.”