Sunday, February 28, 2010

Baseball Speed Tip

I have seen many different ways to teach acceleration out of a base stealing stance. I am not really a "baseball guy" so I am sure that the stance can vary based on game situations. This video shows our way of turning and sprinting out of a still stance.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Proper shoes for training

Going out and buying the latest pair of "Lebrons" or "Under Armours" is obviously not going to magically transform your young athlete into a blue chip prospect. But, wearing the right kind of shoe and wearing it the right way could go a long way towards reducing the risk of serious injury. Improved footing and stability can also help with change of direction speed and overall athleticism. Here are a few tips if you are looking for new shoes to train in.

1. Kind of shoe - For the young, multi- sport athlete, I have found basketball shoes to be the best. They have great traction, ankle support and typically stay together for a while. Most kids seem to have a pair of basketball shoes anyways. For my more advanced clients, I recommend the new style training shoes that Nike and Under Armour have come out with. They are light, and have LATERAL support. Lateral support means that the side of the foot is supported by a sturdy material. They are also in the $50 - $80 range which I find reasonable these days.

The worst kind of shoe - running shoes. They are designed for running forward only, and slowly! You know you have a running shoe if the side of the foot is supported by mesh. I have actually seen kids' feet go right through the side of the shoe during multi - directional speed drills. Running shoes are great for every day activity and going out for a run, but not for high intensity training in all directions.

2. TIE YOUR SHOES EVERY TIME YOU PUT THEM ON! This one drives me nuts. If you can put your shoes on without untying them, then they can come off just as easily. Tie your shoes tight and double knot if necessary.

3. Shoe size. The unfortunate part of growing is that you grow out of your shoes and cloths. But, if you buy your shoes too big to account for growing, then the shoe is way too big initially. Here is a test......Have the athlete put the shoe on and stand up. If you can stick your entire finger between the heel and the back of the shoe all the way down to the sole, then they are too big. If the shoe is too big, then the foot slides in the shoe. Not only does this decrease the amount of force the athlete can put into the ground, it greatly increases the risk of serious ankle injury.

4. Bring your shoes to the gym in your hand or shoe bag. Basically, you training shoes should never touch the pavement, snow or grass. Use older pairs of shoes to walk outside. You will be amazed how much longer your shoes last.....and how much cleaner my floors will be in the winter!

Friday, February 5, 2010

National Signing Day

As any college football fan knows, this past Wednesday was National Signing Day for high school seniors. One of my long time clients, Alec Bartz, invited me to Orange High School to be there with him when he signed with Davidson. It was great to be there because in addition to Alec signing, two other SOAR clients were also signing. Corey Joe signed with Ashland University and Ross Smith, a client of Reggie Germany, signed with Holy Cross.

Even though signing at Davidson is not going to get the publicity that signing at Ohio State, Texas or Florida gets, it was still a very proud day for SOAR and an even prouder day for Alec's family. There are two very important lessons that can be learned from Alec's story.

1. When Alec started at SOAR in the summer of 2007, let's just keep it short and say the agility ladder was a sufficient workout for him. He was heavy on his feet, a little clumsy, and not the fastest kid I have ever seen.... As soon as his 07 season ended, Alec was right back in...for 8 months straight. He started to make great progress. He was a starter on his 08 varsity team at Orange. As soon as the 08 season ended, he was right back in. We realized his squat form was not very good and he took a step back to work on technique. Alec listened and his hard work started to pay off. He won the lineman MVP at the Schuman's Underclassman Combine. He was getting invited to college camps and then had another successful varsity season. The result was his signing on Wednesday. Three years ago, it didn't seem possible. But with consistency and dedication, it most definitely became a reality.

2. ACADEMICS. Alec is great student and to my knowledge a member of a few academic clubs at school. He is a student athlete in every way. The best way for the high school athlete who is not on the radar to get a scholarship it to have good grades.

Congratulations again to Alec, Ross and Corey.

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