Lakeside athletes got a taste of a professional sports workout this past week with a weeklong speed camp by professional sports trainer Chip Smith.
Smith, who runs Competitive Edge Sports, based in Duluth, Ga., serves as a personal trainer for many professional athletes, including Brian Urlacher (Chicago Bears), Jason Varitek (Boston Red Sox) and Antwaan Randle El (Washington Redskins).
Smith's trip to Lakeside was the second in two years and offered Panther athletes a chance to improve their speed.
"We train overspeed, resistance and reaction," Smith said during the final day of the camp Thursday. "This is general speed development. We're teaching the kids proper technique. These things are the same drills you'll see Brian Urlacher do."
Smith said he developed his speed program while studying in Russia in 1987. He'll run his high school camps all over the country throughout the summer.
Among the 70-80 athletes attending the camp Thursday, Lakeside junior Kyle Tau was on hand to prepare for football season. He said the drills brought a change of pace from the ordinary workout.
"It was a little bit more intense. We already lift weights and do running, but this was more tiring," Tau said. "It really helped my agility and acceleration."
Smith said the key to an effective workout is keeping it fun. Throughout the camp, athletes were split into groups and sent to different stations. Most drills pitted the athletes against each other in a test of strength, speed and agility.
"It is hard work, but it's fun because you compete against others," Tau said.
Smith said the speed development camp translates to all sports. Among the football players, there were also cheerleaders and girl's soccer players participating.
"It doesn't have to be drudgery to be a good workout," Smith said. "It's new, and it's fun, so they work hard."
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