Archive for February, 2011



It’s quite the rarity in Southern California, but in most parts of the country moving your workout inside because it’s raining, sleeting, or snowing too hard outside is a very real thing. Even if practice is cancelled and the field is flooded, your workouts don’t have to suffer. Below you will find some helpful tips for moving your workout indoors.

Choose the right cardio

Your endurance shouldn’t suffer just because you can’t run suicides up and down the field outside. Take moving your workout indoors as a chance to switch up your cardio and challenge your body in new ways while giving some muscles a rest. The treadmill is the obvious old standby to get your heart rate up and increase endurance. Be sure to add some elevation to the machine to mimic what it would be like to run outdoors as the movement of the belt on the treadmill can actually make your run easier than if it were off the treadmill.

Hit the stars. Maybe you’re a distance runner or a soccer player, and running long distances is a piece of cake. Try the step mill or Stairmaster for a challenging cardio session. Your body may be trained for distance, but once you add gravity to the situation, there is a whole new challenge. Expect your heart to be pumping fast in no time. Beware of the step mill if you have knee issues. The bike may be a safe choice, but for some even the bike can be irritating to sensitive knees.

Pool workouts are an amazing total body workout. Try getting a day pass to your local YMCA if you aren’t lucky enough to have access to a pool at your school or gym.  You can do a traditional swimming work out and build a swim plan HERE or try pool running to give your body a great work out with almost zero stress on your joints.

Remember the weights

Many of us, women especially, are guilty of ignoring our weight training regimens. No matter what sport you play, weights should be part of your training. Depending on your work outs you can develop muscles to build speed, core strength or overall muscle endurance. Being forced to take you workout indoors is a great time to get back to the weight room.

Find a training center

SportsForce is partnered with training centers throughout San Diego; take a look at our partners page to see ones that might fit your needs. These are a great way to move your workout indoors during the winter months and step up your game with the assistance of some great trainers.

Switch up your sports to use different muscles

Moving indoors is a great chance to switch up your sports and challenge new muscles while giving the overused ones a rest. Try playing soccer at an indoor field. Play volleyball indoors, play some pick-up basketball or hit the batting cages. The options are endless. Sites like MeetUp.com can help you find a pick-up game in any sport.

Even though practice may be canceled due to rain or snow, don’t look at it as an excuse to bum around on the couch, see the opportunity to mix things up and challenge your body in a new way. Enjoy!

Be Sure to share your indoor workout tips in the comments.

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

SportsForce premium members have an over 80% college sports success rate with an average of more than $50,000 in college scholarship & financial savings per family.

Click HERE to learn more about our programs.

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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SAYZ: chalk talk with the SKLZ team

In an article written by Doug Hix of Youth Fitness Magazine, we come to see that being a successful athlete doesn’t mean making it big time. In all reality being a successful athlete is setting personal goals and pushing yourself to your full ability to reach them. Read on to find out more about this:

Football Team

In my opinion, John Wooden is the most successful basketball coach to ever step on the hard wood. In 2009 the sporting news agreed with me by naming Coach Wooden as the “Greatest Coach of All Time”. His accomplishments are so many that I don’t even want to try to list them all. Of all his great accomplishments and words of wisdom there is something that Coach Wooden said that really inspired me. It’s a quote of his that states, “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”


I think this speaks so strongly to what success really should look like. So many of you think success is starting on Varsity, getting a college scholarship, or making it to the pros. Those are successful attainments, however, that’s not the measurement of success in your own life. Success is measured against the ability you have been given and how much you have done with it. Everyone is given a different measurement of ability and your success is dependent upon what you do with your measure (share).


Let me share an example of this for you. During training one day I paired a really fast guy up against an athlete that was a little slower. I said the “loser has to do an extra rep… one, two, three, GO”! They were off racing around cones and the fast guy began to pull away. After about 20 yards of running he had a 3-yard lead, he slowed down as he crossed the finish line and thought he was the winner. The athlete that was a little behind ran all the way through the line and finished strong but frustrated because he thought he had lost. However, I declared the faster athlete the loser and the other athlete the winner. The faster athlete said “what, your kidding right?” I explained to him being a faster athlete does not make you a winner. A winner is someone giving everything they have all the time, not just part time.


Crossing the finish line

I think success first should start with the basic premise that winning or losing is not a measurement of success. A common term used in track and field is PR (personal record). After every track meet in college our coach would announce when someone set a PR and everyone would clap. We knew that person competed at their best and was successful. Every workout and every game focus on setting a PR, then you will always be a winner and possibly achieve more than those with greater ability than yourself.


Coach Wooden was quoted as saying “never mistake activity for achievement”. If you are NOT giving your all every day in every way, then you are not maximizing your ability.

Youth Fitness Magazine

Youth Fitness Magazine was created by SKLZ Team Member Doug Hix, with one mission in mind: to educate parents with knowledge and training tools that will help them make the best decisions for their children’s sporting/fitness routine. To get the latest tips in training and nutrition, information on sports injuries and sports specific techniques, sign up at www.youthfitnessmag.com.

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What most student-athletes, parents and coaches don’t realize is that DI offers less than 20% of the college sports opportunities for most sponsored college sports. The reality is most DII, DIII and NAIA recruiting budgets are small and thus the student-athletes and parents have been even more proactive in the process of getting evaluated and recruited.

3 Quick Tips to handling the DII, DIII and NAIA recruiting process:

  1. RESEARCH: Research which schools offer the academic and athletic fit you are looking for at the DII, DIII and NAIA. There are plenty of great college programs at these levels. Use these two websites to help:
    1. College Coaches Online – www.collegecoachesonline.com (Contact us about a discount to their membership)
    2. College Board – www.collegeboard.com
    3. NCAA Rules & Regulations – Click HERE
  2. KNOW THEIR LIMITATIONS: Since smaller programs don’t have a large recruiting budget you have to make sure you provide them an opportunity to evaluate you. A highlight video is critical for them to evaluate you as well as potentially attending one of their camps. Also DIII does not offer any athletic scholarship money. However they can put together a great financial package using financial aid and academic scholarship money.
  3. BE PROACTIVE: Create a list of target schools and market yourself to those schools. Be pleasantly persistent and make sure you provide them a completed resume and highlight video so the coaches can easily evaluate your skills. Your goal is to get evaluated and know where you stand with each school you are interested in.

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

SportsForce premium members have an over 80% college sports success rate with an average of more than $50,000 in college scholarship & financial savings per family.

Click HERE to learn more about our programs.

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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This is a guest post courtesy of Jennifer Lynch at TopOnlineColleges.com

Whether you’re partaking in the action or watching from the stands, sports is an ever-present part of the college life. Walk across a major college campus on any given weekend during a semester, and you’ll find oodles of people playing flag football, pickup basketball and softball, and even more gathering to root on their school’s football and basketball teams. Of course, the aforementioned sports are just the most notable associated with college. If you look harder, you’ll find a few interesting ones that you may not have realized were even organized, or in some cases — existed. The 10 following obscure college sports vary in classification and recognition — some are recent inventions and others have obviously been around — but all of them have carved their niches on some level.

Obscure Non-NCAA Sports

  1. Quidditch: Quidditch, the creation of Harry Potter author JK Rowling, is no longer just a goofy game played by overgrown nerds pretending to be wizards and witches. In fact, it has become quite popular on campuses across America, where a growing number of college muggles are partaking in the action. Hundreds of colleges are either forming or have registered with the International Quidditch Association, which governs the sport. If you’re not familiar with quidditch, it’s involves carrying a broom between your legs to simulate flying, yet it also requires physical toughness. To put it in perspective, it’s not really any more ridiculous than wearing tights and chasing around a prolate spheroid-shaped ball.
  2. Underwater Hockey (Octopush): Underwater hockey has a modest yet devoted group of participants. Currently, about 10 college programs compete nationally with the mission of reaching the U.S. National Underwater Hockey Tournament each summer. George Mason is one school that takes the sport seriously, offering an introductory class for players “wishing to take their game to the next level.” Students unfamiliar with the sport who enroll learn that underwater hockey is essentially a combination of ice hockey (duh) and soccer. The object is to see who can push a three-pound lead plastic-covered puck into their opponents’ unmanned goal with a foot-long handheld stick. Of course, since it all takes place underwater, a snorkel, diving mask and swimfins are required gear. A fun sport to play if you know how to hold your breath for extra-long intervals of time.
  3. Roller Derby: Perhaps because of its brutal nature and similarities to wrestling, roller derby isn’t a widely organized sport found on college campuses. There are, however, small leagues throughout the country, including small college towns like State College, Pennsylvania, consisting of college students eager to express their pent-up aggression. The often female-dominated competition features a jammer, the scoring player, who attempts to score points by lapping members of the opposing team, which employs blockers for defense. The action is intense, as offense and defense are played simultaneously, making for a crowd-pleasing show. Toss in a few manufactured (or not) feuds and you can’t help but stay immersed in the drama.

Obscure NCAA-Sanctioned Sports

  1. Squash: No longer just a sport mostly played by the Gordon Gekkos, and Frasier and Niles Cranes of the world, squash just narrowly missed being added to the 2012 Olympic Games and, as of now, is an organized women’s college sport. The NCAA describes it as “a fast growing sport in the USA across all socio-economic strata,” “offering wide opportunities previously not available for female athlete[s].” One time considered the “healthiest sport” by Forbes, squash requires both physical endurance and mental acuity for optimal success. Although it’s not really a spectator sport, you can’t help but marvel at the ability of its most skilled players.
  2. Rifle: Only in an NCAA-sanctioned sport like Rifle can a school like Alaska-Fairbanks claim a national championship. And really, it’s good that smaller schools get a chance to complete at a high level in an athletic competition. In the case of Alaska-Fairbanks, it dominated the NCAA Rifle Championships during the last decade, winning it on eight occasions from 2000 to 2008. Overall, it has won 10 national championships — second only to West Virginia’s 14. Given the widely accepted stereotypes of those two states, their proficiency at the sport shouldn’t come as a surprise. What should come as a surprise, though, is the fact that Army and one of the Texas schools own only one national championship each.
  3. Fencing: Most Americans’ exposure to fencing is limited to seeing it in movies such as The Princess Bride or The Mask of Zorro. But the centuries-old sport has been sanctioned by the NCAA for decades, originating in the Ivy League where schools such as Columbia and NYU built winning traditions. Today, there are more than 100 fencing programs across the country and both club and varsity teams compete. During their meets, three fencers from one school face-off against three fencers from another in five-touch bouts. Each season culminates with the NCAA Fencing team championship, where Penn State has reigned supreme 14 times in the last 21 years.
  4. Equestrian: Equestrian gained classification as an NCAA emerging sport in 1998 and has since strived to earn full NCAA championship status. Twenty-three colleges currently support equestrian at a varsity level and 17 more are needed in order for it to become legitimate. For the time being, the all-female participants compete in the Varsity Equestrian National Championship each year to determine the best in the sport. In 2010, Georgia won the VENC national championship and Hunter Seat team championship for the fifth time respectively, and Texas A&M won the Western championship for the fourth time. Much like with rifle, the schools you’d generally expect to succeed in equestrian do tend to experience the most success. Texas A&M, after all, was founded as an agricultural school.
  5. Bowling: Contrary to popular belief, bowling isn’t entirely played by overweight, beer belly-bearing middle-aged men. You won’t find any John Goodman-types competing in the sport on the NCAA level, probably because it’s limited to women, none of whom look like the typical gals you’d find at your local alley. These mean, lean, pin-blasting machines are conditioned to take home NCAA Bowling Championships. Nebraska in particular has procured the most talented women’s bowlers through the years, winning eight national championships since 1991 — three since women’s bowling became an NCAA-sanctioned sport. The program’s success can be partially attributed to its pipeline of international players, such as Valerie Calberry (Canada), Danielle van der Meer (The Netherlands) and Shalima Zalsha (Indonesia) on 2010 squad. Who knew bowling and Nebraska had such worldwide appeal?
  6. Rowing: Rowing may not be comparable to sports such as football and basketball when it comes to popularity, but the physical strength and stamina exhibited by rowers is worth watching. For example, all races in the NCAA Rowing Championship are 2,000 meters long and, of course, require continuous rowing from competing teams. To carry on through an entire season of the sport, it takes a well-sculpted upper body and disciplined teamwork. Naturally, schools located in coastal states, including Virginia, Stanford, Brown, California and Radcliffe and Washington, have claimed all of the national championships since the event was first held in 1997.
  7. Field Hockey: Field hockey is pretty self-explanatory — it’s hockey, without ice, rollerblades or water, played on a field typically composed of synthetic turf. You could also say it resembles soccer, as both sports, in most cases, feature 11 players on the field from each team during a game. It’s an underrated, low-maintenance, and fun-looking activity that hasn’t caught on unlike other variations of hockey, even though it has been an NCAA-sanctioned sport for women for 30 years. When perusing the college field hockey rankings through the years, the programs you’ll most often find residing at the top include Old Dominion, Maryland, North Carolina and Wake Forest. The Upper South and East Coast is a hotbed for the sport, much like lacrosse.

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The following is a Guest Post Todd Williams, CSCS of Velocity Sports Performance Carlsbad

How important is speed? Far more important than most people realize!   Team speed becomes an issue every time an opposing player takes off down the sideline with the ball.  Speed changes things.  A fast player changes a game.  A fast team changes a season.  Speed moves you up the depth chart.  It makes the phone ring from colleges and adds zeroes to many professional athletes’ contracts.  Speed is a deal maker and a game changer.  The good news is that speed can be taught if you find the right coach, the right training program and enough space to practice.

How Do You Teach Speed?

There are two main factors to consider when teaching speed: physics and physiology.  Most high school athletes don’t realize that the physics lessons they learn in the classroom apply on the field or court.  An understanding of physics helps a speed coach teach proper body mechanics.  Your body, like a car, will move faster and more efficiently when it is properly aligned or positioned.  A sprint has different phases: the start phase, the acceleration phase and the top speed phase.  Your body will move through different positions during different phases of the sprint.  A well educated speed coach can recognize and correct poor alignment or mechanics which will in turn improve the speed and efficiency with which an athlete runs.

Physiology also comes into play in making an athlete faster.  Neuromuscular coordination refers to the communication between mind and body.  An athlete needs to recruit certain muscles to perform certain functions at high rates of speed.  When an athlete is placed in a situation calling for greater speed, the body will attempt to adapt and move more quickly.  Simply put, one way we can make an athlete faster is by forcing them to move faster.  This technique is generally referred to as over speed training.  A well educated speed coach also knows how to safely and appropriately incorporate over speed training once an athlete is utilizing sound running mechanics.

Speed Drills: Improving Mechanics

In any speed instruction program, sound mechanics are the first order of business.  Practice alone does not make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect.  An athlete who wishes to get faster needs to practice under the watchful eye of an expert.  Below are just two examples of drills we use at Velocity to improve speed mechanics.

Wall Drills.

Wall Drills are designed to teach proper body alignment as well as leg action during the acceleration phase of running. It teaches the athlete to maintain a 45-60 degree forward lean while taking those first few steps after take off. In addition to that wall drills teach the “sweeping” forward to backward leg action of the acceleration stride cycle.

Heel Recovery.

Butt kickers are a top speed running drill that focuses on the backside of our stride cycle.  They help to ensure that the athlete’s foot follows the proper path during this phase of the cycle. They teach athletes to pull their heels under their center of mass as opposed to behind their center of mass. Correct heel recovery mechanics will lead to a faster turnover thus speeding up the stride cycle and overall speed of the athlete.

Speed Drills: Over Speed

After an athlete has mastered proper running mechanics, over speed training can be used to increase an athlete’s speed.  Without solid mechanics, over speed will simply reinforce bad habits or cause injury.   Over speed drills are intended to stress the body into a higher rate of seed

Fast Leg.

When an athlete can properly demonstrate a sound stride cycle, we begin drills such as the fast leg series. These drills help athletes increase the speed of their stride cycle by working on their stride one leg at a time at a faster rate than the athlete is able to achieve in a full stride.  This trains neuromuscular coordination.

Bungees.

Bungees can be used to launch an athlete forward at a faster rate of speed than the athlete would normally produce.  This causes the athlete’s body to respond in kind by turning his or her feet over fast enough to maintain the artificially induced rate of speed.  This is a classic example of over speed training.

Teaching speed requires a well trained expert, the right curriculum and enough space to undertake perfect practice.

Todd Williams is available to answer athletes’ questions and can be reached via email at tewilliams@velocitysp.com or by phone at 760.444.0097.

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National Signing Day for college football has come and past now and we hope you enjoyed all of the excitement of it as much as we did. While this day may only be for college football, we feel that National Signing Day is relevant to all college-bound student athletes. This day marks a time when kids are living out their dreams and aspirations of playing at the college level. So whether you have committed to a school by now or not, the significance of this day has inspired us to give you a few helpful tips as you start reaching the end of the recruiting process.

If you have signed:

Congrats! After all the time you have spent enduring the recruiting process, you have finally found the right fit for you! You deserve time to celebrate with family and friends and take it easy, but don’t get off track too much.

Just because you have finished the recruiting process does not mean that you can just sit around and take it easy until the day you leave for college. You need to keep working on those skills, improve your game and keep trying to better yourself. Exercise regularly and play your given sports recreationally to keep you skills at tip-top level.

Also, don’t slack off on academics now just because you are committed to a school. Just because you have signed a letter of intent or are committed to a school does not mean they cannot revoke your scholarships. If you become ineligible to play, whether academically or for another reason, they can and will take away your right to play in college. So make sure to keep up with your school work and make time to study.

If you have not signed yet:

No worries yet; choosing a college that is the right fit for you in both athletics and other realms is a long process. You should never commit to a school until you know for sure that it is the one for you.

At this time, you should definitely have a good grasp on which schools you are seriously considering though. You also should have visited these top schools by now and should be working on a pros-cons list for each one. This will help put into perspective which schools have the essentials that you are looking for. If a school does not have one of your most important aspects you are looking for, you should not settle with that one.

Also, like the advice we just gave to your peers that have already signed, you need to stay on top of your game both athletically and academically. While the recruiting process is long and strenuous, you need to make time for the aspects that let you join this process in the first place. If you don’t keep up both athletically and academically, schools may pull their offers and you could be left with nothing.

Most importantly, for both those who have signed or have not yet, you should take time to enjoy this momentous period of your life. This whole recruiting process is a time you will never experience again. Take the time to reflect on this and make the most out of it.

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The following is a Guest Post by former NFL Cornerback, Charles Dimry of Velocity Sports Performance Carlsbad

Less than 5% of high school athletes will ever play in college and those that want to must have a three part plan:  They must be eligible; they must be visible; and they must be able.  Effort in the classroom will make you eligible.  Working with SportsForce will make you visible.  To make sure you’re able to play at the next level, you must be willing to do extra training.  Trainers appear to be everywhere.  The key is identifying which trainers and facilities can provide the injury prevention and improvement that high school athletes need.  Here are a few tips that will help you make an educated decision when choosing a trainer or facility:

  • What is the background of the trainer? If you are going to trust and pay a coach, you have the right to ask about their qualifications.  Look for facilities with degreed and certified speed and strength coaches.  A personal trainer specializes in improving appearance.  A speed and strength coach specializes in improving performance.  These are very different things.
  • Where does the training protocol come from? Be wary of companies or individuals who do not have a consistent methodology or training protocol.  Just like an academic tutor, an athletic training program should follow a proven curriculum.
  • Is technique priority number one? – Don’t worry about how much weight your athlete is lifting, worry about the technique they use.  Good coaches always have athlete safety on their mind and an exercise done improperly is not worth the time spent doing it.   Athletes should be supervised and corrected.
  • Do they have a system for measuring results? Each company or trainer should have an objective way to show you gains made during their training program.  Athletes use this data to gauge their own improvement and performance coaches use this data to measure the efficacy of their training curriculum.
  • Can they provide you with testimonials? High school athletes need to improve performance, not appearance.  Can the trainer point to experience doing what YOU need?  College coaches want quick, powerful athletes.  Make sure your trainer knows how to combine strength increases with speed increases.

Remember, the goal for high school athletes is to improve performance, not appearance.  A health club trainer who primarily works with adults is not the most qualified person to train athletes.  More than anything else, athletes need to be quick and powerful.  Make sure you chose a trainer and facility that have a history of doing just that.

For a list of SportsForce’s Training Partners, including Velocity Sports, CLICK HERE

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