3 Keys to Improve Speed and Agility in Young Athletes

2019-09-10T01:16:02+00:00September 10th, 2019|

Speed and agility are game-changers. Whether on the court, field or ice, we all want our athletes to be faster, quicker and more agile.The key to improving speed and agility in young athletes is to adopt the right strategy and mindset.Train kids like you would an adult, and your program will fail for most.Drill them incessantly without time to play, and you will burn them out.Make it fun while making it challenging, and you’ll not only develop a better young athlete but also a motivated one.Back to BasicsAs a young athlete—whether they are the fastest player on the field or [...]

Eccentric Training: Debunking its 3 Biggest Myths

2019-08-12T22:03:33+00:00August 12th, 2019|

The conventional wisdom regarding the perils of eccentric training has been around since the days' strength and conditioning was primarily influenced by the body-building culture. “I’ll get sore,” or, “I’ll get slower and tighter”. These myths are largely due to a fundamental misunderstanding of what eccentric training is and its benefits.What is Eccentric Training?Eccentric training is simply the focus on the lengthening of a muscle during the negative phase of the movement. The idea of it and its application needs to be updated and stay in sync with the current research.Before, eccentric training was primarily viewed in gym terms and [...]

Dynamic Balance to Improve Sports Performance

2019-06-19T16:18:52+00:00June 10th, 2019|

How well an athlete can react to changes on the field and control their body, as a result, is based on dynamic balance. You may think it’s just a fancy term for athleticism or agility – improved just by playing or getting in their “reps.” But just spending a minimal amount of time training balance, an athlete can supercharge their improvement in sports skills and performance.The Role of Balance in SportsBetter balance means more efficient use of strength, says Louis Stack, a Canadian national speed skiing team member, and balance training expert. “Balance conditioning is a way to train the [...]

Keys to Improve First-Step Quickness

2019-05-09T01:48:45+00:00May 7th, 2019|

First-Step and Quickness are two important elements of speed development and are vital to all athletes, no matter what sport they play. First-Step can be defined as the first 2-5 steps of an athlete in any direction (Linear forward, linear backward, lateral sprint, lateral shuffle, diagonals).By our definition, the first-step not only includes movements from a standstill but also from moving and changing directions. Quickness is simply rapidity of movement and is also necessary for athletes. Being able to train the muscles to fire quickly will help make any athlete more explosive and ultimately faster.Most court and field sports involve [...]

Five Tips to Improve Athletic Performance On Off Days

2019-04-26T02:22:17+00:00April 16th, 2019|

The idea to train, train and train has been ingrained in athletes from the moment they put on their first uniform. More is better – too many athletes believe. If my competitor is training five hours a day, I must train six. But most athletic trainers today know there is a threshold. Too much training can hurt performance in the long run. Some trainers will even say that the off day is the most important day of the week. The problem is convincing athletes of the same. And even those who buy into the importance of rest or off-training days struggle [...]

3 Keys to Improve Sports Movements Skills

2019-04-17T02:16:06+00:00March 29th, 2019|

We take for granted the skill of movement, specifically athletic movement. We too often assume we or the athletes we coach know how to properly sprint forward, backpedal, shuffle side to side or change direction. We too often forget these movements are skills that need to be trained like anything else for top athletic performance. But what makes these skills so important is that together, these fundamental movements form the foundation of just about every sport we train for. Neglect this foundation and talent, as well as hard work, will only take you so far. Strengthen Your Springs If you [...]

Deceleration Training – Vital For Sports Performance

2019-02-27T19:12:33+00:00February 14th, 2019|

Get Faster by Improving Your Ability to Slow DownYou read it right the first time – one way to get faster is to improve your ability to slow down or stop altogether. Unless you’re strictly a track and field athlete, chances are you play or coach a sport that involves some form of cutting and juking. The faster you can cut or juke, the faster you’ll get to where you need to be, and that often involves slowing down or stopping to change direction.Why Deceleration Should be Part of Your ProgramWhile it might sound counterintuitive to train to slow down [...]

Plyometric Jumps for Athletic Performance: Does Box Height Matter?

2019-01-24T18:25:30+00:00January 24th, 2019|

Social media is a great tool, but can often mislead the masses, especially when it comes to training. You see a picture or video and assume the person posting the content has mastered a training principle or philosophy.One of the biggest examples is the Box Jump. There are countless videos where people are box jumping upwards of 60 inches! These posts look great but what do they really accomplish other than showing a personal best and garnering a lot of views. It’s great that they got a PR, but what do box jumps accomplish as a training tool and assessment, [...]

Sport Specific vs. Athlete Specific Training

2019-01-10T01:06:00+00:00January 9th, 2019|

Sport-specific training. Athlete-specific training. Today, these terms too often are thrown around as if they mean the same thing. But lately, “sport-specific training” has turned into a marketing term that applies to drills and movements performed in the gym that mimic skills of a particular sport, promising to improve performance on the field.Unfortunately, the wrong kind of sports-specific training can do more harm than good. Instead, we lay out why a proper athlete-specific training program is more beneficial.What is sport-specific and athlete-specific training?The law of specificity states: "To become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that [...]

Benefits of Hill Training

2018-12-06T19:21:23+00:00December 6th, 2018|

For centuries, athletes have suffered while running hill sprints. Not because their athletic trainers were sadistic (although you know some are), but because they’re tried-and-true effective. All you need is a steep enough hill (6% grade or over) or access to stairs or bleachers and you can perform a workout that will improve endurance as well as build muscle and power.Easier on Your JointsRunning uphill produces less force on your ankles, knees, and hips. Although your heart is pounding, take some solace that your joints are not. This is mostly because running uphill places your body in a better position [...]