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  • LTAD - Part 2

    LTAD - Part 2

    Parents, coaches and trainers want to see their kids succeed. In 20+ years of coaching I don't think I've ever run across one that hasn't. So why do we have such a screwed up athletic development model which is churning out too many injured kids, and too many who lose their passion for the sport they once loved at such young ages? Once you open the box of year-round competitive schedules in sports, as it is now, it becomes very hard to close it. This is unlikely to change. And the reality that only so many kids can play at once means some will get left behind at times. But there are real, practical solutions to improving the system for our kids in just about every sport out there ....

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  • Long Term Athletic Development-Part 1

    Long Term Athletic Development-Part 1

    More time and money is spent in the U.S. on youth sports today than at any other point in our history. All in the hope that we can develop better athletes. For you personally, it means seeing your child maximizing their untapped potential. And yet for all the resources that are being poured into youth sports, we have yet to implement a clear blueprint on how to best develop a young athlete's physical abilities. Sports organizations and even entire countries have done extensive research on the topic, however, and there are some excellent answers out there. At the end of this month-long article series, it is my hope that you will:
    Know exactly what Long Term Athletic Development ....

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  • Breakfast Veggies = Better Health & Grades?

    Breakfast Veggies = Better Health & Grades?

    Working primarily with middle and high school athletes, it is sometimes fun to quiz the group about what they had for breakfast. Overwhelmingly I've found the most common answers over the years to be - nothing, cereal, or something in the bagel/muffin/waffle/pancake/toast spectrum. Either eating nothing or eating only sugar-based products is not optimal. In fact you actually might be better skipping the meal altogether instead of starting the day on a blood sugar rollercoaster. More and more research is coming out that promotes adding protein-rich foods to your breakfast, something we've advocated in our blog posts many times before. But what about vegetables at breakfast?
    Added ....

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  • The Anatomy of a Rep

    The Anatomy of a Rep

    Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, winner of 10 National Championships in 12 seasons, famously started his first practice each year by teaching college-age kids how to properly put on socks. As the fitness world continues to move towards trying to come up with more sophisticated exercises and routines, one thing that is getting overlooked today is a focus on the fundamentals. Just like Coach Wooden spent valuable practice time on a seemingly trivial topic, this article will break down how to execute a single repetition for greater success. In strength training every repetition of an exercise has 3 phases - eccentric, isometric, and concentric. The eccentric is the lowering ....

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  • The Checklist vs Opportunity Mindset

    The Checklist vs Opportunity Mindset

    In an era where we always seem to have too much to do and not enough time to do it, the satisfaction of getting things done in and of itself can feel like a great accomplishment. This is what I'd call the 'Checklist Mindset'. So long as that task is complete, and it wasn't done in a clearly unsatisfactory way, it gets checked off and we move on to the next task on the list. This works fine for some tasks, like filling your car with gas, mowing the lawn, or brushing your teeth. For those tasks that may require more focus or effort, falling into the trap of a checklist mindset can hinder your development. Studying for a test, completing a project at work, and training for your sport are ....

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  • Transferable Strength Training for Athletes

    Transferable Strength Training for Athletes

    Strength training exercises can be classified into two categories for athletes - those that transfer to better performance in your sport, and those that do not. Athletes, quite obviously, want to focus on the first group. So how do we classify which exercises belong in each category? This is a critical question for athletes training to improve in their sport, because you want the time and energy you devote working out to actually, you know, help you play better. Too often training programs focus on weight room performance or conditioning only while losing track of the main goal of sport performance enhancement. It can be quite seductive to chase bigger numbers, bigger muscles or a ....

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  • The Best Way To Train For Your Upcoming Season

    The Best Way To Train For Your Upcoming Season

    With fall sports season rapidly approaching, many athletes are now working to prepare for that first August practice. There are so many elements of being 'in shape' for your sport that a workout can take many different forms. You could be focusing on any one or more of the following: - Speed - Strength - Mobility - Balance/Coordination/Athleticism - Conditioning - Core Stability - Explosive Power Although it would be wonderful to train for excellence in all those areas, the reality is we have limited time and energy to devote to our workouts. Especially since this list does not include sport skill development, jobs, academic demands, and all the other things that ....

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  • 3 Strength Training Mistakes For Athletes To Avoid

    3 Strength Training Mistakes For Athletes To Avoid

    In the past, strength training was something that was mostly used by football players as a development tool. Today, parents and coaches in every sport recognize its benefit in developing more successful athletes. The workout programs themselves come from a combination of different specialties - bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic lifting and functional athletic training are the four most common. Depending on who is designing the workout program, the strength training you do comes from one or more of these areas. With the understanding that no one workout program is perfect, there are many ways to properly develop an athlete's useful strength for their sport. And, of course, there are ....

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  • What Causes Knee Injuries?

    What Causes Knee Injuries?

    Knee injury rates for youth sports continue to rise, according to a 2018 study . The rehabilitation can take up to a year in some cases, leading to lost playing time and endless frustration for kids whose positive self-image may be strongly tied to their athletic performance. About half of these injuries occur due to contact (tackling, being bumped by another player, etc) and are very hard to avoid. Sometimes you just get hit the wrong way at the wrong time. However, more than half of the severe knee injuries reported came from non-contact events. An athlete simply lands the wrong way after jumping, or makes a cut and their knee buckles. It is those non-contact injuries that we ....

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  • Speed Training Blueprint - Part 4 of 4

    Speed Training Blueprint - Part 4 of 4

    In the final part of our Speed Training Blueprint, we touch on the four most critical technique areas for a young athlete to master. For anyone who wants to read Parts 1 - 3, you can go back and check them out here: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - A quick Google search of 'speed drills' or 'agility drills' reveals a very wide range of ideas that you could use to do technical work. How are you to make sense of all this information, or any others in a speed and ....

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