Archive for June, 2010



Sport: Softball Position: Pitcher Height: 5’11” Class: 2011 School: University City High School San Diego, CA

The Centurion pitcher, junior Amanda Hansen, led her team to their second straight CIF San Diego Section Division III Title this past month. Hansen pitched a two hit shutout against Santana High School narrowly beating them 1-0 to take the championship game. Hansen was also named to the first team for the All San Diego Section team for softball and was named Pitcher of the Year for the Western League.
To view Amanda’s complete SportsForce profile click here – http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/amanda-hansen-softball-2011

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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Coach Brett Klika is the Director of Athletic Performance at Todd Durkin’s Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA. He specializes in youth fitness and athletic performance, overseeing a staff of 8 strength coaches developing programs for over 300 youth per week, both athletes and non-athletes. In addition to coaching, Brett currently authors for a variety of publications, produces DVD’s on fitness and athletic performance and presents around the world on topics in fitness, wellness, and sports performance. Brett can be reached at brett@fitnessquest10.com

If you’re involved in female athletics, you may have heard of the alarming rate at which women are getting injured.  Of particular concern is the disproportionate number of knee injuries in women versus men.

Current statistics indicate that women tear their Anterior Cruciate Ligament 8 times more often than men do. This is the dreaded “ACL” injury we often hear about.  The post-injury process for this involves surgery and a slow, painful six to nine month rehab period, which can be both mentally and physically difficult for the athlete. Research has indicated that those who have an ACL injury are statistically more likely to do it again, as well as have problems with pain and limited mobility later in life.  All of the above make a strong case for creating and implementing an effective strategy for prevention.

In order to create a prevention program, however, you must find out the cause of the problem.  Aye, there’s the rub.  The theories as to why women get this injury more than men are varied and numerous, so much so that the attempt to create a prevention strategy has become diluted.  While women continue to get hurt at an alarming rate, coaches, parents, and trainers do very little in regards to specific prevention strategies.  It’s time to get our heads out of the sand, review the facts, quit clutching to cultural epithets, and stop our girls from getting hurt.  The problem with prevention is not an inability of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament; it’s our inability in Applying Credible Logic.  To prevent Dr. Andrews from Alabama, we need Dr. Spock from Vulcan (homage to pro-sports insiders and Star Trek fans.  An unlikely pairing, I know).

Here are a few prevalent theories in regards to the increased propensity in ACL injuries amongst women (trust me, there are MANY more related to female anatomy and physiology, but these are some of the more popular):

  • Women’s ACLs are smaller.
  • The connective tissue softens in relation to a female’s menstrual cycle.
  • An increased “Q” angle creates greater force at the knees.
  • Many females lack development of the VMO muscle.
  • Because of biomechanical differences in ankle, hip, and spine orientation, females tend to be quad dominant.
  • Females tend to decelerate movement in a more risk-oriented manner.
  • Females do not have the same lean muscle mass and strength as males.
  • Overtraining causes mental and physical fatigue, reducing the neuromuscular system’s ability to control the body.

While researchers can argue about which of the above contributes to an ACL injury, it is clear that all of these factors contribute.  The only speculation is to what degree each contributes to the injury.  Some can be modified, some cannot.  Females are different from males.Let’s apply some credible logic here.  If I were 5’4” and wanted to play in the NBA, I wouldn’t spend my time trying to figure out why my chances of success are slimmer.  I already know that.  Nor would I spend time hanging upside down trying to get taller.  I would address every logical thing I knew I could do to increase my likelihood for success.  It’s the same for females and ACL injuries.  A different biomechanical structure is going to create a different foundation for function.  It’s not fair, I know.  While you can’t change bones, you can change things like strength, coordination, fitness, balance, and neuromuscular movement patterns.  If these are optimal, it is possible to minimize risk.  If we could cut down the propensity of female ACL injuries to even that of two times the rate of men, that would be quite a few more girls finishing seasons and growing up to be happy, healthy, pain-free adults.

Due to our refusal to admit that women are different than men, coaches continue to train the girls like they would the boys.  Even though certain biomechanical propensities create an increased risk of injury for women, they continue to reinforce these propensities through hours and hours of practice.   Applying credible logic once again, if it has been found that the way women tend to decelerate increases likelihood for injury, wouldn’t you want to address this movement pattern from a biomechanical proficiency standpoint?  You could, maybe, practice doing it correctly and improve the various components of the movement related to stability such as strength, coordination, balance, and power.  This would suggest that a woman’s practice may have a specific component of injury prevention different from that of a manA famous study out of the Santa Monica Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Research Foundation found that with a specific protocol designed to address biomechanical and neuromuscular deficiencies in female soccer players, they were able to observe an overall injury reduction of 88%.  When you work on the things that are weak, you decrease injury.  I would say that’s pretty credible logic.

I’ve worked with thousands of young female athletes and have seen the knocked knees, “straight up” running posture, tight ankles, interiorly tilted pelvis, inability to use glute muscles, and straight legged stopping technique.   I once worked with a soccer team in which less than half the girls couldn’t do a bodyweight lunge.  Logic would dictate that a problem would arise when you throw those girls onto a field with varied playing surface, running at full speed against an unpredictable opponent.  They can’t even demonstrate appropriate mastery over their body weight in a completely inert, predictable environment!  Using logic as my guide, I created a program for our young female athletes that helps “un-knock” their knees, maintain a lower running stance, increase glute strength, and improve the movement pattern of deceleration.  In addition, by improving their general coordination, strength, and, we decrease the likelihood that they will encounter a force that is either too great a magnitude or too high in frequency for them to control.

Even with this carefully designed program, I have seen ACL injuries.  Applying it to thousands of athletes over 10 years however, I can count the number of injured girls on one hand; there have been two.  One of them had a girl land on her leg while she was on the ground; the other was playing field hockey in mud and slipped. Had the thousands of girls mentioned just gone on with no logical intervention, who knows how many of them would be hobbled on crutches on the sidelines.

As you can see, due to a variety of factors, females are at greater risk for ACL injuries than men.  We need to accept that fact and apply some “A.C.L.” to minimize these injuries. Coaches, parents, and trainers need to take the facts and work them.  Assess what has worked for others and apply it. Address the differences in male and female athletes, don’t ignore them.   Let’s make sure our female athletes can play hard, live long, and prosper!


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Sport: Boys Volleyball Position: Setter Height: 6’4″ Class: 2010 School: Mt. Carmel High School San Diego, CA

Mount Carmel captain Connor Mortland was named the CIF San Diego Section Athlete of the Year for Boys Volleyball. Connor won three consecutive CIF San Diego Section Division II Championships with the Sun Devils and helped them advance to the Southern Section Finals this season, but Mount Carmel was ultimately defeated by Manhattan Beach Mira Costa. The Sun Devils finished 32-4 this season under the lead of the stand out setter. Connor will continue his volleyball career at NYU.
To view Connor’s complete SportsForce profile click here –http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/CMortland

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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Over the past few months, SportsForce has been conducting free seminars to help educate athletes and their families on the road ahead and what to expect. SportsForce team members cover a variety of subjects at every seminar , but also share one constant message: it is never too late to work towards that roster spot. Team members highlight an entire time line of preparing for college sports, but are sure to remind young athletes never to get discouraged. Never give up at the high school level, the college level and beyond. Persistence pays, and there has been no greater recent example than Daniel Nava. As a Boston-girl myself, I was instantly aware of Nava’s great start for the Red Sox. If you didn’t get a chance to read the headlines, Nava became the fourth player in history to hit a grand slam in his first at bat in the majors, and just the second player to do so on the first pitch he saw.

At first wind of this story, you may think that Nava is a golden child of baseball who has been barreling towards the majors since high school. Not so. Nava is a great example of pursuing your dreams until you get there, and never letting “no’s” get the best of you. Fox Sports shared some of Nava’s story:

Nava, 27, was 4 feet 8 and 70 pounds when he entered high school, took growth hormone — prescribed by a doctor, not some major-league enabler — but didn’t have a growth spurt until his sophomore year in college.

He was cut by Santa Clara his freshman year and ended up team manager, washing uniforms. He then left the school because his family couldn’t afford the tuition, played two years at junior college, only to return to Santa Clara — on scholarship — for his senior year.

No major-league team drafted him. The Chico Outlaws of the Independent Golden League cut him. Nava took a year off, thinking — again — that his career might be over. But the Outlaws gave him another shot.

Then, in fall 2007, the Red Sox signed Nava, paying the Outlaws the princely sum of $1 — yes, $1 — for his rights, with an additional $1,499 to follow if he made a minor-league team out of spring training.

Now here was Nava less than three years later, replacing Josh Reddick on the major-league roster and filling in for the injured Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida, playing left field at Fenway on the same ground once treaded by Red Sox greats Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice and Manny Ramirez.

Good thing they got there when they did — Daniel hit his grand slam off Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton with none out in the bottom of the second inning, and later added a lead-off double off reliever Chad Durbin in the fifth.

At 27, Nava’s debut is no miracle, but the result of hard work and persistence; the kind of hard work that can earn a college roster spot and beyond. To read the full Fox Sports article visit: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Daniel-Navas-parents-watch-a-milestone-moment-for-their-son

For video of the grand slam visit: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=8987563

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Sport: Track and Field Event: Pole Vault Height: 6’0″ Class: 2010 School: Westview High School San Diego, CA

Westview senior, Kortney Ross took top honors in the pole vault at the CIF Track and Field State Championship by clearing 13’-6”. Ross set the San Diego Section record with the 13’-6” mark and had a very close miss at 13’-9” as she made her return from injury. Ross took second place the State Championship last year with a mark of 13’-4”, which set the San Diego Section record she broke this past weekend. Ross is committed to the University of Oregon.

To view Kortney’s complete SportsForce profile click here – http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/KRoss

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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The SportsForce blog reported on a story like this back in February, which you can see here, and SportsForce would to share an earlier article that extolled the virtues of athletics for girls. Bringham Young University concluded a study in 2007 that stated that playing high schools sports increase the chance of a woman graduating from college by 41 percent.

Playing on a high school team increases young women’s odds of graduating from college by 41 percent, according to recent BYU grad Kelly Troutman and her mentor, sociology professor Mikaela Dufur, who report their research in the new issue of the journal Youth & Society.

“If the goal is for girls to get a higher education, our findings favor the idea of girls playing high school sports,” said Dufur, who played in the marching band but did not play on any sports teams in high school. “Not only are girls good for sports, sports are good for girls.”

Beckett Broh, a sociologist at Wittenberg University in Ohio who is not affiliated with the BYU research, concluded in a 2002 study that athletics help students’ academic performance during high school more than any other extracurricular activity. Broh said school administrators facing tight budgets should take the new BYU study into consideration before putting an athletic program on the chopping block for the sake of cutting costs.

“This is pretty powerful evidence that interscholastic sports are worthy of our education dollars,” said Broh. “This is one of the first few studies that have done a really careful look at long-term benefits of sports.”

Troutman and Dufur analyzed a sample of 5,000 female students from the high school class of 1992 who were randomly selected to participate in the National Education Longitudinal Study. Those students, both athletes and non-athletes, completed surveys in 8th grade, 10th grade and 12th grade. Six years after finishing high school, the participants completed a final survey that included questions about post-high school education.

Visit the BYU website for the full article and browse all of our Girls Sports pages at SportsForceonline.com

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Many of the top players and teams in the baseball-rich state of California gathered at San Diego State’s Tony Gwynn Stadium last Saturday for the San Diego Section High School Baseball Championships. Four teams were able to walk away from the day with the title “San Diego Section Champions.” Major-league scouts, college coaches, recruiters, and media members were littered throughout the stands, as some of the best high school talent in the country showcased themselves in America’s Finest City.

Division IV: Coronado 7 Madison 6

The seventh seeded Islanders finished off their miracle run to the championship in stunning fashion, rallying from a five-run deficit to beat the heavily favored Warhawks. Coronado sophomore pitcher Jake Meloche overcame his team’s early defensive miscues and pitched a complete game while being charged for only two earned runs. Seven of the eight hits he allowed were singles, and the underclassman lefty showed incredible poise while holding Madison to only one run in the final six innings, allowing his team to come back. At the plate, the Islanders were paced by senior right fielder Zack Wheeler, who went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.

Division III: El Capitan 4 Cathedral Catholic 2

As, expected, the DIII Championship was dominated by a left-handed starter. But it wasn’t the left-handed started everyone thought it would be. Cathedral Catholic junior Daniel Camarena, who is expected to be selected for the Aflac All-America game, was solid, holding the Vaqueros scoreless on four hits through the first five innings. But in the fifth inning, it was evident that Camarena was wearing down and balls were being hit hard, and in the sixth inning those hard hit balls found some holes. El Capitan junior Josh Tulledge capped the four run sixth inning rally with a 2-run single that put the Vaqueros up for good.

As good as Camarena was through the first five innings, showcasing a nasty curveball and great athleticism while fielding his position, his lefty counterpart Troy Conyers was even better, going 5 1/3 innings while allowing only four hits and two runs. He allowed only one extra-base hit, a triple by Camarena in the sixth.

San Diego State commit, El Capitan shortstop Tyrone Wiggins went 1-for-4, but was robbed of a base hit twice and showed good range at short. El Capitan sophomore catcher Chuck Moormon went 2-for-3 with a powerful double and had great receiving and blocking skills behind the plate. For Cathedral, Oklahoma State-bound left fielder Casey Munoz had a rough day, going 0-for-2 and misplaying multiple balls in left field.

Division II Championship: Grossmont 8 Helix 0

This was the Joe Musgrove show, plain and simple. The junior right-hander simply overpowered Helix, pitching 2-hit shutout and needing only 68 pitches to finish off the Highlanders. The 6-foot-4 Musgrove showcased a low-90’s fastball and killer curveball along with pinpoint control and impressive mound presence. He finished with six K’s and walked three.

The Foothillers jumped on top early, scoring seven runs and sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, giving Musgrove all the lead he would need, and then some. For good measure, Musgrove also had the hardest hit ball of the day, a line drive that thundered off the left-field wall.

Grossmont shortstop Evan Potter, a San Diego State commit, went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored. Senior left fielder Steven Brault was the offensive star of the day, going 3-for-4, finishing a home run shy of the cycle and two RBI.

Division I: Rancho Bernardo 9 Poway 5

The day’s premier event, featuring two of the most prominent and historic high school baseball programs in the nation, did not disappoint, as probable draftees and college commits galore put on quite a show for the sold out crowd. The long-time rivals each got on the board in the first inning, RB getting one in the top half on a Brandon Berry RBI double and Poway touching up Arizona State commit Trevor Williams for three runs courtesy of back-to-back-to-back doubles and a single by the first four batters. But Williams showed why he is one of the top prospects in the nation, setting down 14 of the next 17 Poway hitters he faced after those first four batters. He also was mostly a two-pitch pitcher, using a low-90’s fastball and a power curve with good break to thwart Poway for the remainder of the game. Williams, who is expected to be drafted in the top 10 rounds of the MLB Draft, went the distance, allowing five runs on ten hits while striking out five and walking none. He allowed six hits and two runs over his final six innings. Leading the way at-bat for RB was Berry, who hit the only home run in the four games today, with a 370-foot blast to left-center along with a double.

Poway’s Evan Thomas lacked the mound presence of his counterpart Williams, visibly showing his frustration and struggling mightily with his control. He would finish with four earned runs on six hits and three walks in five innings of work, and threw at least two balls to almost every batter faced.

The teams entered the seventh inning with RB up 5-3, but the Broncos rocked Titans reliever Keegan Yuhl for four runs in the top half of the inning, with the big blow coming on a two-run double by center fielder Anthony Vanroy.

Poway tried to stage a comeback in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs off Williams, but in the end it was too little too late for the Titans, as RB wrapped up its fifth section crown since 1999.

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Sport: Baseball  Positions: Shortstop  Height: 5’10”  Class: 2011 School: El Capitan Lakeside, CA

While only a junior, Tyrone Wiggins played a huge role in propelling his El Capitan Vaqueros to a  29-8 win over Mission Bay High School in the San Diego Section Division III Playoffs. Wiggins had three homeruns against Mission Bay, two of which were grand slams added to his already impressive 9 RBIs in the game. Wiggins also had a double and a three run homer as the Vaqueros defeated University City to take them to the division title game.
To view Tyrone’s complete SportsForce profile click here –http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/twiggins

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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Hopefully you had a chance to read Part I of this article, which highlighted two critical questions to ask yourself as a student-athlete.

1. What type of college experience are you looking for as a student-athlete?

2. What are your key college decision factors?

Here’s the link to Part I in case you missed it.

In Part II you will take steps to realistically evaluate yourself as a student-athlete.

Student-athletes:

Have you ever asked yourself what level of athletics is right for you?

Parents:

Have you ever wondered what level of athletics would be the right fit for your son or daughter? Have you said to yourself “my son / daughter is definitely a DI or DII / DIII athlete?”

Here are some simple ACTION ITEMS you can execute to get a realistic idea of what level of athletics and academics is appropriate for you or your student-athlete.

3. Student-athlete evaluation

A. Talk to your coaches: As a student-athlete, you need to talk to your high school and/or club team coach to express a desire to play college sports and also ask them for an HONEST evaluation of your potential to play at the college level. Also ask what areas need improvement to reach your full potential on and off the field.

B. Talk to your academic counselor: Ask them for an HONEST evaluation of your academic standing and make sure you are on track to play college sports. Also go over the academic guidelines that different colleges are looking for including GPA, SAT and ACT scores.

C. Get tested / evaluated: Attend a combine, camp, showcase or training facility where you will be objectively tested so you can compare your athletic ability and skill level with other athletes and get a clear understanding and measure of your current ability.

D. Get a highlight video: College coaches don’t have the time or budget to travel to many games and evaluate athletes in person. If you provide college coaches a 3 – 5 minute highlight video and resume with all of your athletic and academic information, they can evaluate you quickly and easily. We recommend getting your video and resume online so you can easily email coaches.

Visit the SportsForce website (www.sportsforceonline.com) to view some online profile and highlight video examples from more than 10 different sports including:

football, basketball, softball, baseball, lacrosse, soccer, water polo, field hockey and more.

E. Evaluate & research college athletes / teams: Watch college athletes and teams compete in person, on TV, over the Internet. See first-hand what the caliber of play is at the DI, D2, D3, NAIA and junior college level. Visit college sports websites to see the biographies of the athletes and their high school sports statistics, awards and achievements (ex. High School statistics, height / weight, All-State, All-League, All-County).

F. Evaluate and compare yourself to other athletes: Try to realistically evaluate and compare yourself to other student-athletes who are older than you or your same grade level who are getting actively recruited by college recruiters or signed with a college. Ask yourself if you are as good as they are right now athletically and academically? If not, do I have the same potential to reach their ability?

GOAL = To get clear on where you are and what you should focus on to reach your college sports goals.

To accelerate your education on the college sports preparation and recruiting process I recommend signing up for our FREE SportsForce College Sports Recruiting Guide.

* FREE Sign up click HERE

To get access to more advanced college recruiting tips, strategies and advice visit our website and RESOURCES section.

The SportsForce team, which is comprised of former college and professional athletes and coaches, is relentlessly committed to providing an ongoing education to help you best navigate your journey as a student-athlete, parent or coach to reach your potential.

Article courtesy of SportsForce, Home for professional and affordable College Sports Recruiting Tools, Tips, Online Profiles, Highlight Videos and Premium Services.

www.sportsforceonline.com

info@sportsforceonline.com

858.350.5889

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