Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Off- Season Football Training

Football season will be over soon for most kids except for the high school players who will be participating in the playoffs. A lot of my football clients will be itching to get back to training - some of them have already started.

For my youth - junior high players, we just continue to build on the foundation that was established in prior programs. We take a look at any nagging injuries and aches and pains and try to eliminate them with corrective exercises. Other than that, the goal is pretty simple - develop proper technique and progress from there. Since most of these kids play basketball, baseball, hockey, ect., I may only see them for a short period of time and then they are right back to a season.

It seems that most of my high school football players do not play another sport - if they play basketball or wrestle I don't see them till spring. Taken that into consideration, there is no hurry to get into intense speed training, plyometrics and conditioning. We have 7 months before summer training starts and 9 month until 2 a days. We are going to take the first month to re-establish proper techniques, correct weaknesses, improve flexibility and improve work capacity. In the strength and conditioning world, this phase is called General Preparation.

For the kids who I know will eventually have to work out with their team, we work on the lifts that will be performed at school. A lot of high school kids have trouble with back squats and power cleans, so my goal is to teach them these lifts to greatly reduce the risk of injury from doing them incorrectly. As I teach them, I look for the reason WHY they are not doing them correctly. Is it poor flexibility? Lack of core strength? Weak hips and glutes? I then assign exercises that will correct the weakness and allow them to perform the squat better. As the off- season moves into the new year, we will continue to check on technique even though they are still doing the lifts at school. It's simple - If you are not lifting correctly, you are not getting stronger!

Stay tuned to the blog and I will be posting video clips of the common exercises we use at SOAR for our football players.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Beginner Power Training

Increasing vertical leap (lower body power) is one of the most desired training outcomes of the youth athletes I train. I have said before in a few newsletters that rushing into a poorly designed "jump program" is always a bad idea for youth athletes. Most young athletes are not strong enough to handle the impact that repetitive high intensity jumping places on the body. The outcome is usually knee and shin pain.

At SOAR, we use a progression of basic jumping and landing exercises for our beginner clients. As they become stronger, we begin to introduce more intense forms of plyometrics (jump training) and Olympic lifts. Below is a short video clip showing our most basic exercise for lower body power.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Faster or Stronger?

I get calls and emails every week from people who want information about our speed and agility classes. Many of them are surprised to hear that age appropriate strength training is also a mandatory part of the program. Some people even say "No, we just want the speed and agility." After providing some information about what our strength training program entails for youth, almost every person becomes interested.

Yes, the speed and agility instruction we provide goes a long way toward helping our young athletes improve their speed on the field and court. But the improved level of strength, power and flexibility they gain is just as important. For instance, have you ever been to a 6th grade girls basketball game? Have you seen numerous girls jumping and landing with their knees touching together? It does not look like a very powerful jump and it also looks like an injury waiting to happen! This is an exact example of why the strength training is as important as the speed training. For one, it will help decrease the risk of injury to the knees and other joints. For two, a stronger athlete is always a better athlete.

I will be providing youth training information weekly on this blog. If you are a youth coach or parent, spread the word.

You can go to http://www.soarofcolumbus.com for more information about our youth training.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tour of SOAR

Here is a short video clip about SOAR Fitness.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Welcome to Soar's Blog

SOAR Fitness strives to offer the most effective strength and conditioning programs to athletes of all levels and ages. For youth athletes ages 8 - 14, our focus is developing a sound foundation of speed, agility and strength technique. All sessions involve expert coaching and age appropriate drills and exercises. For high school to pro - level athletes, we use the most effective training protocols to have you in peak condition for your upcoming season. For more information, check out http://www.soarofcolumbus.com. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest information on youth training.

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