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  • Why Stopwatch Speed Doesn't Always Show Up In Games

    If you give a team sport coach a few minutes to think about it, they can probably list their players in order from fastest to slowest just by what they see them do in games. Performance coaches have a much easier time ranking players by speed, because we simply time our kids using laser gates or something similar. The thing is, these two lists will almost never be identical. Why would that be? According to National Hockey League strength & conditioning coach Matt Price, the biggest differentiating factor is an individual's sport IQ. He defines sport IQ as your ability to quickly and accurately make the right decision in competition. Being a faster player requires making faster ....

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  • Coordination's Huge Role In Achieving Elite Athletic Success

    Coordination's Huge Role In Achieving Elite Athletic Success

    When watching a sporting event at any age level, it is easy to spot the more coordinated players from the less coordinated ones. Uncoordinated athletes move rigidly, almost robot-like. Coordinated ones move fluidly, oftentimes using this skill to make winning plays that most others cannot. Wouldn't it be nice to see your kids be the ones who can make those winning plays on a regular basis? Dr Rob Gray, professor at Arizona State and a Skill Acquisition Specialist for the Boston Red Sox, believes an athlete's coordination grows when they become better at syncing movement across multiple joints. Consider Dr. Gray's example of a volleyball serve. A novice is likely to serve underhand at ....

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  • Do You Want To Know Why Some Athletes Get Faster From Strength Training?

    Athletes in all sports need to be fast, strong and powerful to succeed at the highest levels. We tend to think of developing each of these skills separately - lift to get strong, run to get fast - but that isn't always how it works. For example, some athletes get faster by lifting weights. Not all of them do, however. So how do you know who should strength train to get faster, and who shouldn't? Let's bring a little science into this :) The graph below comes from one of our fastest athletes, who got that way by spending a lot of time in weight rooms over the years. Note that both of his first 2 strides registered at 45 Newtons of force pushing into the ground. That ....

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  • The Part Of Injury Rehabilitation No One Talks About

    Strange as this may sound, there's never been a better time in history to get injured. The medical profession truly works wonders today compared to even just a couple of decades ago. In most cases, no matter what the injury, the steps are the same. If surgery is needed that comes first, then rehab, then a gradual return to full activities. Anyone involved in athletics has almost certainly seen this process play out, perhaps more than once. And if you have seen it enough, you probably have noticed something very few people tend to discuss. Athletes who suffer a severe injury are likely to get injured again. Consider that just for those who tear their ....

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  • Why Adaptability Is The Secret To Elite Athletic Performance

    Wayne Gretzky, Mia Hamm, Barry Sanders, and many other all-time great athletes seemed to possess a sixth sense out on their respective playing fields. We think of their electrifying abilities as an innate skill that only a select few will ever have, something the rest of us can only dream of. Maybe it is, or maybe it simply requires a different approach to athletic development. And that approach can be summed up nicely by this ancient quote: "No man stands in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." - Heraclitus The idea that we are constantly changing, as is the environment around us, is central to developing incredible ....

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  • How To Balance Busy Sports Schedules With Training

    During the late 1990's, when I began working with the St Bernard's football program, having time to train in the off-season was never a problem. Football lasted 3 1/2 months, and even with many playing other sports we always seemed to have plenty of time to get our development work in. Youth sports certainly have changed a lot since then. Today, nearly every sport is year-round. "Development" training is done more often now, but usually with little regard as to whether the workouts are actually making anyone a better athlete ( keep in mind that bigger doesn't necessarily make you better ). Having seen a full generation of athletes' careers play out to a wide ....

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  • Useful Tips To Determine The Ideal Workout Length For Athletes

    Useful Tips To Determine The Ideal Workout Length For Athletes

    Generally speaking, physical activity does not need to have time limits. Kids can play basketball, pond hockey, or snowboard seemingly for an entire day without and adverse side affects. When it comes to higher intensity workouts and sport practices, however, the criteria is a little different. The trend in pro sports towards shorter, more intensive practices is not happening by chance. As we now offer the option at our gym of doing both one and two hour workouts for athletes, the question of how much training should be done at once has come up a lot here lately. Different situations warrant a different response to that question, based on the following factors. Age & ....

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  • Are You Running On Carbs Or Fats?

    One of the keys to maximizing your energy levels through your diet is to identify what your primary fuel source is. The two main ones are carbohydrates and fats. Though we all process both to some extent, as the years go by our digestive systems become more efficient at using one over the other for energy. The one it picks is the one you feed it more often. All of us can function well off of either primary energy source, but there are definite differences between the two. Carb burners need to eat more often. These foods do not provide the same feeling of fullness, and since your body cannot store them in the same form you must have a constant supply. If you live an ....

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  • Faster Athletes Use This Better Than Everyone Else

    If you've ever jumped into a pool off of a diving board, you know that the board works much better when you jump off the front end of it. I don't think anyone jumps off the back end, although it definitely would be interesting to watch! And if you can picture how a diving board works, you've already got a great understanding of how your foot should strike the ground when you sprint. Athletes who land on the front half of their foot when sprinting are taking advantage of the incredible energy-storing capability in their Achilles tendons. When used properly, they allow us to bounce out further in each stride as if we have two mini-diving boards in our sneakers. ....

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  • Why Athletes Today Need Physical Literacy More Than Ever

    It's funny how in our earlier years we tend to roll our eyes at an adult using some variation of the phrase "In my day, we used to...." But then as we get older, we sometimes slip into that exact same mindset. One of those the things that seems to have been far better years ago is the way our predecessors developed physical literacy. Physical literacy refers to the basic movement skills we need to perform fluid, athletic movement. Think of things like skipping, jumping rope, climbing, and so on. Most of them are not specific sport skills, they are more general in nature. But mastery of these skills has a profound effect on our ability to move and play sports with ....

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