Mike Coval on Developing a Complete High School Athlete

It can be challenging to coach a high school athlete. Caught between training and studying, these young athletes have a lot of things going on in their lives and can be prone to fatigue and exhaustion. Especially during the COVID-era.

Former IFAST intern Mike Coval knows this all too well.

Mike is the owner of COVAL Fitness, a personal training studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over the last 10 years, Mike has worked with countless high school athletes to improve their physical fitness and performance.

Though Mike has observed that more and more kids take ownership of the training process despite its challenges, he suggests that coaches can still take their support for young, high school athletes to the next level by adapting their program to an athlete’s progress and lifestyle outside of the gym to develop a complete athlete.

Mike joins me today to share his philosophy in training and developing high school athletes. and illustrates the role of mindset and sense of ownership in a high school athlete’s training.

He explains what his “Big Body Challenge” is and describes how he uses it to help his high school athletes improve their nutrition.

And last but not least, he highlights the importance of focusing on movements when training a new athlete and underscores how a coach can support their recovery.


The kids who take ownership of their training are the ones who get the best results. – Mike Coval


This week on the Physical Preparation Podcast:

  • Mike’s background and how COVID impacted his company
  • Trends Mike sees when it comes to training high-school-age athletes
  • The importance of ownership and responsibility
  • How coaches assess a high school athlete’s nutrition
  • Mike’s Big Body Challenge and his process for educating high school athletes on the importance of nutrition
  • Sleep debt and how the pandemic affects the sleep hygiene of high school athletes
  • How Mike coaches high school athletes on sleeping habits
  • Why Mike focuses on refining movements when coaching new high school athletes
  • The role of traditional strength and weight training in contemporary high school athletic programs
  • Coaching movement, speed, and agility and the power of building trust
  • Helping athletes manage fatigue and balance between training and personal life
  • Mike’s advice to young coaches


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