Fairfax wide receiver Jason Lewis Jr. is a California kid, so training at the beach is a must. Photo by Jason Lewis
Oakland Raiders tight end David Ausberry runs a ladder drill on the beach as Jason Lewis Jr., Keino Mitchell, and Earnest Pettway wait for their turn. Photo by Jason Lewis
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
There are several great things about living in Southern California. For local athletes, one of those great things is being able to train at the beach. This past Saturday, athletic trainer Jeff Johnson took four local football players, tight end David Ausberry (USC, Oakland Raiders), tight end Earnest Pettway (Long Beach Poly High School, Villanova), wide receiver Jason Lewis Jr. (Fairfax High School), and wide receiver Keino Mitchell (Venice High School) to a training session in Playa Del Rey.
Johnson usually trains athletes on a football field or basketball courts, but he likes to change the pace by taking athletes to run hills or workout at the beach.
“Changing scenery and changing the actual surface plays a major role,” Johnson said. “Here we’re training with our shoes off, socks off. Now we’re training the smaller muscles in our feet, in our toes. That’s how we jump, that’s how we run, that’s how we get in and out of our breaks. So why not strengthen our toes? Many people strengthen their calves, but it is more to it. Your toes are similar to your core. Without your toes, or your ankles, you cannot do anything.”
Many athletes like to get on a different surface than what they usually play on.
“It is great to get out of your element, and get off the field and get on the sand,” Ausberry said. “It takes the pressure off of your shins, and it makes you work other muscles that you’re not really accustomed to working on. It makes you uncomfortable in some drills, but that is how it is supposed to be.”
Because the sand has a lot of give to it, athletes have to push harder to take a step, which works the muscles harder.
“It makes your legs a lot stronger, so when you get out on the field, you feel a lot lighter and a lot faster,” Pettway said. “It gives you more stamina, more explosion, quickness.”
Mitchell has had a similar experience as Pettway.
“It’s different,” Mitchell said. “It’s harder to run in, so it’s getting your legs stronger. So when you get on the field, it’s like a breeze.
For Lewis, he sees the value in the training, and he really enjoys the environment.
“It feels weird because your body is not used to it,” Lewis said. “The sand gives you a whole lot of resistance. It’s really helpful, and at the same time it’s really fun. It’s just a different way of working out, and after you can take a dip in the water or just lay out on the beach. It’s pretty great.”
For training, contact Johnson at 323-243-0466.