Archive for March, 2011

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:

1. Set Goals

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” -Henry Ford

Over the past 12 years, I have trained some of the greatest athletes in the world. Men that have won Super Bowls, gone to the Pro Bowl, starred in Major League Baseball, reached the Olympics, won the Heisman Trophy and so on. Each of these great athletes had one quality in common: they had a vision for the greatness they were working to achieve.

There is scripture that says without vision the people are unrestrained. Setting goals helps establish the vision that one is hoping to attain. During tough times, this vision helps one overcome the obstacles that can potentially derail goals. For example, if one truly wants to become an elite athlete, training is a major component and in order to train the hardest every single day, you must fuel your body properly. Sleep is also a critical aspect to recovery, so don’t let your friends keep you out late at night. Goals will give you the discipline needed to achieve a vision of greatness.

2. Work a System

“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”
-Charles C. Noble

Too many young athletes place their hopes and futures in the hands of inconsistency. Many have no real game plan on how to reach their full potential. Numerous athletes set goals, yet lack a fundamental plan or system to achieve them. At the youth level, this burden shouldn’t fall on the athlete since they have yet to receive the knowledge.

A system is defined as a comprehensive assemblage of facts, principles and doctrines. The system I have developed over the past 12 years training athletes is built on hard facts and principles that relate directly to athletic success. I am tired of seeing young athletes not fulfill their potential by refusing to apply a system to their athletic development. My professional athletes are successful and achieve stardom because they have a year-round game plan—a system that they follow daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly.

3. Stay Motivated

“People say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
-Zig Ziglar

There are over 7 million athletes competing nationwide for 75,000 annual scholarships. That’s a pretty daunting task with plenty of external forces to battle against. It’s important to surround yourself with positive people that believe your goals can be reached.

You may find some motivation from the team of professional athletes we have assembled to answer your questions online. Each has practical experience and has had to overcome some tough odds. Hearing about the obstacles these athletes have overcome will help inspire you to never give up.

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

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SAYZ: chalk talk with the SKLZ team

Speed is the single most important aspect any athlete can obtain to improve their performance. Improved speed entails many benefits other than just being faster, such as explosiveness, flexibility and strength. Speed is something that transcends every sport. If you are fast, most coaches will give you a shot. When it comes to sports, speed does kill.

As the founder of Play Fast Training System, I have trained some of the NFL’s fastest athletes. They train quite a bit differently than young athletes, honing technique to reach peak levels of speed. However, I believe the most critical aspect of speed training for young athletes is not technique. Most young athletes can’t put technique to use in such a way to enhance their performance, they need to simply run, and run fast. For children to be fast, they have to train fast. The goal for improving your child’s speed isn’t about harping on them about their technique or how bad they look or what they should do better. When taking the time to work on speed, children should be encouraged to run as fast as possible every single step. There should be no letting up when it comes to speed training.


Speed training doesn’t involve being tired. Athletes need to be fresh and fast every time they run. I normally give athletes three to five minutes rest between each rep. I want the athletes to be fully recovered before they run. Remember, athletes need to be able to run as fast as they can every single step.


1- Properly warm-up prior to speed training. When it comes time to sprint most athletes aren’t ready to sprint. A through warm-up will ensure their first rep is their fastest rep.
2- Rest is a top priority for speed: Athletes need to be rested to give all they got. For a distance of under 10 yards, give a minimum of one minute rest, any distance over 20 yards a minimum of three minutes rest.
3- Speed training is short distances: You are no longer training for speed if you’re running over 50 yards.

Myth: Once fast, always fast…
Truth: If you don’t use it, you lose it!

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