Steamboat Springs Mike McCannon was working out at Howelsen Hill early Monday when a softball team caught his eye.
"A girls softball team was down there, practicing, and they started by doing a lot of the same type of stuff that we will do," said McCannon, a personal trainer with Forever Fit of Steamboat Springs.
McCannon is holding a summer-long Sports Enhancement Program for athletes of all ages. He will emphasize, among other things, the flexibility and stretching programs he watched the softball team go through.
Holding the clinic should improve athleticism while reducing the potential for injury during these summer months and in the months ahead, McCan--non said.
"We work a lot of speed, agility, quickness, balance, flexibility and strength," McCannon said. "I told some people my new purpose in life is to get this information out to youth sports coaches to include in the warm-ups. You see it a lot at the higher levels."
McCannon places himself in the group of youth coaches who sometimes count on young athletes to stretch before practice or games because of time constraints. Often, children don't warm up properly.
"Flexibility definitely gets overlooked," McCannon said. "As boys grow rapidly, their flexibility goes out the window. A lot of times, the coaches, myself included, don't think they have enough time to work flexibility and strength. They count on them to do it on their own, and they don't do anything organized. One of the things I really like to do is work on all that stuff."
Flexibility and strength red--uce the risk of injury.
The agility, speed and balance work also improves athletic performace. McCannon, an American Sports Education Program certified coach, is confident that athletes who enroll in this summer program will notice a change in conditioning levels, body awareness and control.
"Usually, I would go for an hour. This year, I'm going to go for an hour and a half. The last half hour, we'll do some fun games that incorporate all the things we've worked on," he added. "If I was going to play high school or middle school sports, this is my summer get-in shape program."
Clinic participants will meet at Forever Fit and then go from there. McCannon likely will spend the days outside, working with youth and adults of all ages.
The clinics begin Monday and run on Mondays and Wednesdays through July 26. The cost is $40 for four June dates and $70 for seven July dates. Drop-ins also are welcome for $12 per session.
Registration is being taken at Forever Fit at 345 Lincoln Ave., Suite 205.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org