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Certification, planning, promotion key for Central Georgia student athletes looking for trainers

Training doesn't slow down for Central Georgia's top student athletes in the summer. Here's what you should and should not be looking for when choosing a trainer.

BYRON, Ga. — School's finally out -- summer is here and our top recruits in Central Georgia are hitting the gym to put in that extra work, but looking for a trainer isn't always easy. What should you be looking for when it comes to choosing an athletic trainer?

At Game On Training in Byron, Lee Hughes has been training Central Georgia's athletes for about 15 to 17 years.

In that time, he's see a lot, but when it comes to finding a trainer yourself, he says one thing is for sure.

"There's a lot of smoke out there, and so you have to be really careful. Kids don't want their parents sitting down with them saying, 'I don't want you to see me training,' but as a parent, we have to turn into parents instead of their friends. You really need to sit down and talk to the trainers," Hughes said.

As you do your homework this summer, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly, make sure they're certified -- and certifications can come in many forms.

"International Sports Science Association, sports conditioning, certified fitness trainer, personal training, strength and conditioning. And some you have young adults -- they're certified for just young adults 12 and under," said Hughes.

Whether you're on the turf, hardwood, or the diamond, every sport has its own demands, and it's no different when it comes to training.

Also, make sure there's a personalized plan to help fit your needs as a student athlete.

"You sit down and talk, go through where they've been and where they're going. As a trainer, I should do my homework and say, 'What is the next level looking for?' Looking for speed, strength, power. 

"As a pitcher, I need to use my legs more, so we work a lot with legs, my arms, and back to keep myself strong," Shaniya Gibson said.

After you've put in the work, then it's time to show it off.

Choose a trainer that knows how to help showcase your talent on social media, especially if you're serious about college athletics, like the ACE Gryphons' Shaniya Gibson.

"I post a lot of my stuff on Twitter -- that's how softball players get seen," said Gibson.

"I tell all my clients to get a Twitter account. You need to post your strength training, your speed, agility, if you're benching, which schools have contacted you," Hughes said.

Being an athlete-in-training is a full-time job, but it's that work one day paying off that keeps Central Georgia's best going strong all summer long.    

"You need to stay focused. You don't need to get frustrated, especially if you don't get offers, and you need to work hard all the time because you never know who's watching," said Gibson.

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