I just got back from vacation down at the beautiful New Jersey Shore. No, not the Jersey Shore you see on MTV, but the real New Jersey Shore. The only thing worse than the seeing Snookie in person was the presence of what I call “Painful Joggers” wearing team sport apparel from colleges and high schools for a wide variety of sports.

Attention all team sport athletes! Stop jogging, stop slogging, stop trudging along the two-mile boardwalks and beachfronts all across this country, and all around the world. Jogging does not help an athlete regardless of the sport that they play. If you are a lacrosse player tell me if there is ever a time during a game or practice when you look like or feel like what you look or feel like when you jog. The same goes for basketball players, wrestlers, soccer players, and the rest.

Now I am shining the light on the athletes here, but I know ultimately there are coaches to blame for this situation. Coaches need to understand that jogging/distance running is to be avoided, and need to stop prescribing this form of exercise. I ask the coaches to think about what their players look like when they are playing their sport – when they are being athletic – versus what they look like running slowly, incomplete range of motion step after incomplete range of motion step, lap after lap, minute after minute.

When you think of it this way, it’s athleticism versus anti-athleticism. Clearly. There are dozens and dozens and hundreds and hundreds of people who can jog. Hell, everyone can jog. But there are only a relative select few people who can dribble the length of the court, beat a defense and score a lay-up; perfectly place a corner kick in front of the goal so it can be headed or kicked for a score; sprint down the field at top speed and catch a pass all while dealing with the threat of getting a shot to the chops; stick their head into the nasty, grunting, sweating organism known as a Rugby Scrum.

Coaches, don’t make athletes be less than they are and ask them to jog. Jogging looks nothing like anything any athlete does at any time. So don’t do it and coaches have to ask athletes to stop doing it.

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