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  • 5 Ways To Improve Your Vertical Jump

    5 Ways To Improve Your Vertical Jump

    Although basketball and volleyball players are typically the ones most interested in developing a better vertical jump, this skill is applicable to athletes in all team sports. Your vertical jump tests how much force you can drive into the ground. This is something you need to maximize both your speed and agility along with a bunch of sport skills like kicking, throwing, hitting, shooting and so on. Just about every young athlete would see an increase in their athletic performance when their vertical jump improves. So how do you improve it? It isn't quite as simple as just going out and jumping. Although that does help, to see the greatest improvements you'd want to focus on ....

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  • Which Sports Should Be Weight Training?

    Which Sports Should Be Weight Training?

    Decades ago the only sport that truly committed to off-season weight training was football. Weights were, generally speaking, the primary domain of bodybuilders and football players only. Today that dynamic has shifted, with weight training used for just about every sport. Should that be the case? To fully understand the answer to this question, there has to be a realization that weight training leads to two different adaptations to the body - increased muscle mass and increased strength. You may be asking yourself, "Aren't these the same thing?" They're not. And though lifting weights is how you best increase both, they are not necessarily built the same way. ....

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  • The Other 165

    As performance coaches we are tasked with the responsibility to improve athletic performance. Within each 168 hour week we get, if we're lucky, 3 of those hours in which to make meaningful changes. This leaves at least 165 other hours each week where a young athlete can do things to either build up or break down the work they do in training. Ideally everyone would be doing things to enhance their athletic profile. As youth sports appear to soon be coming out of the restricted environment of the last 12 months, this is a critical time for parents to be mindful of the workload your kids are about to be placed under in order to chart a best path for their future. Rest & ....

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  • Your Questions Answered

    Last week we reached out to you to answer any training, sport or nutrition-related questions that may have been on your mind. We've got some good ones to go over below! Although we won't do this every week, please feel free to continue shooting over questions like this in the future. We can answer them on a monthly or quarterly basis if they keep rolling in. How can I improve my reaction time to get to the puck quicker in hockey? Great question. First off, reaction time is not entirely a physical skill. It is just as much about your ability to focus on what is going on around you, along with how well you anticipate what's to come. Wayne Gretzky used to say ....

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  • One Supplement All Athletes (over age 16) Should Consider

    For decades, creatine has been the most widely used and most heavily researched sports performance supplement. It is actually present in the foods you eat, with red meats and seafood having the highest concentrations. Additionally, your body produces it on its own in smaller doses. Far from a foreign substance, you are already experiencing some level of creatine use in your body already. Its job is to raise your work capacity, since it is an energy source. It is touted to allow users to train deeper into workouts without fatigue. This in turn can build higher amounts of strength, muscle and power, provided you are training properly. Does Creatine Work? The short answer is ....

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  • What If...

    What you eat and drink plays such a huge role over time in how you develop as an athlete it cannot be overstated. Yet in each brief moment when we decide what to eat, it can be hard to realize the long-term implications of our nutrition choices. For athletes who struggle to eat healthier, even when they know they should, maybe it would help to see daily nutrition decisions in the context of their long-term goals. What if making healthier food choices was the difference between you having a great season, or a poor one? What if it was the difference between getting lots of playing time next season, or sitting on the bench? What if it was the difference between you ....

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  • The Bamboo Tree

    Training done properly is hard, grueling work. It is an investment in future success, and it comes with no immediate guarantees. In fact, training is much like growing a bamboo tree. To grow one, you must of course start by planting a seed, then watering and fertilizing it regularly. Despite all the time and effort put in, after a year the bamboo tree does not grow at all. Even with continued, persistent effort it won't grow in the second year either. Or the third, or the fourth. For those who stay committed and put in their work, in the fifth year that bamboo seed will sprout into a roughly 90 foot tall tree in a matter of weeks. Like many successful athletes, we see ....

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  • New Year, New Class Format

    To truly get strong you need to put time in the weight room. There are no shortcuts, no easy ways out. Busy schedules can make that a challenge for some athletes. In that light, we are testing out a new, quicker class format to kick off 2021 at select times - an Express Strength & Power class. The idea is to get a structured, challenging workout under the supervision of a qualified strength coach who can guide your training to be both safe and effective. The format will be as follows: Athletes should arrive 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start time to complete a quick 5 minute dynamic warm up and then receive instructions on the lifts the group will complete ....

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  • Pay Off Your Sleep Debt

    In 2002, Stanford University conducted a sleep study on undergraduates to determine how sleep affects academic performance. At the same time, many of the school's swimmers were setting personal best times. The connection? The athletes on the school's swim team who were setting PR's were all involved in the academic sleep study. Intrigued by the athletic impact, lead researcher Cheri Mah then turned her attention towards the mens' basketball team. She asked the players to sleep 10 hours per night for the next 5-7 weeks. At the beginning and end of the study, players were tested in speed, free throw percentage, 3 point shooting percentage, and conditioning. The research showed ....

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  • Strength Training Tweak To Lower Injury Risk

    Safely executed strength training in almost any form has been proven in study after study to lower injury risk. That's not exactly breaking news at this point However, there is a specific aspect within your strength workouts that has the greatest impact on protecting you from injury. It happens during what is called the eccentric part of your lifts. What is that, exactly? Each repetition can be broken down into 3 phases - concentric, isometric and eccentric. The concentric phase is the actual lift part where you move an object (a weight, band, or even yourself). There's also an isometric phase, which is basically the time when you change directions from lowering a ....

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