Posts Tagged “Training”



Working towards a goal or a dream can be incredibly taxing. We understand our clients are working towards the goal of playing their sport in college. Early practices, late practices, double sessions, weight training and more, plus academics, work and a social life are a lot to fit in for the student athlete. Many athletes do an excellent job of creating a balance of the many demands in their life. But sometimes, becoming burnt-out may seem unavoidable. Below you’ll find some tips to avoid the burn out and keep that balance going in your life.

Check In With Yourself

Only you can know if you’re headed for a burnout. Every now and then, do a mental check-in to make sure your head is still in the game and you’re still on the path you want. Are you overtired? Are you stressed out? Is your schedule out of control? Take some time to do inventory of your day to day life and ensure you are happy and still working towards a goal without overworking yourself.

Continue Playing All the Sports You Love

There is much debate on specializing within the world of student athletes. Essentially, there are two schools of thought. Some may argue that only focusing on one sport is the best way to ensure a college roster spot, while others say playing multiple sports looks best to coaches. Many, however, will agree that playing multiple sports helps to avoid the burnout. If you like soccer and baseball, play both if possible. The switch between sports can help to avoid a burnout and shows coaches dedication on another level as well as an ability to balance. To learn more about the importance of multiple sports, click here.

Take a Break

While there is the opportunity to play your sport year round between club teams, camps and high school, it is important to take some time off. Take a few days or even a week to rest your body and mind. When you get back to your sport and training you will feel that much more energized!

Reassess ad Reorganize

Sometimes you don’t just need a break, but you need to shake things up completely. Would getting your workouts in in the morning free up more time for homework at night? Is it really necessary to stay out really late on Friday night to be dragging for Saturday morning practice? Along with checking in with yourself, sometimes you need to reorganize and prioritize things in your training plan. This can range from checking how you are fueling your body to what time makes the most sense for you to squeeze in a weight training session so you still have a social life. See what works for you!

Enjoy

It’s pretty hard to burn out on fun. As long as you are enjoying the journey as a student athlete, keep working hard. Some athletes may never feel burnt out. As long as you’re still enjoying yourself and training the best you can, keep moving towards your goals!

Additional Resources

If you are feeling stressed about the College Sports Preparation process then contact us for advice and sign up for our free guide HERE to learn more about the process and action items to take

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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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It is very easy to get caught up in training for your sport and day to day activities and not pay much attention to what you are putting into your body.  As a former First Team All-Academic Pac-10 steeplechaser for the UCLA Track & Field Team, I often went through my days without planning meals or giving nutrition much thought at all.  As an athlete, putting in countless hours of training with much at stake, it makes sense to maximize your chances of success in all ethical ways.

It is surprising how clear nutritional science is on the benefits of a core nutrition program in both protecting health and maximizing athletic performance, yet it is something that is so under the radar. I did not receive any training on nutrition at UCLA, and looking back, my running career suffered as a result. The good news is that it is relatively easy to take your health to the next level and some of the benefits that people experience are a stronger immune system, increased energy levels, quicker recover and improved brain function. To that point, when I implemented a core nutrition program a few years ago, I noticed it first in races, where I ran personal bests in the marathon and half marathon at age 31 (and then again as a 32 year old) and had better recovery time than when I was a student at UCLA.

Here are six nutritional tips you can utilize to give yourself the “slight edge” over your competition and feel increased strength and vitality along the way.

1.      Establish the habit of drinking 10 oz purified water first thing in the morning and steadily throughout the day.  Ideally you should shoot for half of your body weight in ounces daily (i.e. if you weigh 150lbs – 75 ounces daily is a great standard).

2.      You’ve heard it your whole life and here it is, the #1 health habit you could ever develop; eat six serving of vegetables daily. Why? They are rich in antioxidants which help to prevent oxidative damage (aging) of your cells.  You should also regularly include three low-sugar members from the fruit category; avocado, tomato and bell pepper.

3.      Consume dark leafy greens, such as spinach, daily. Greens are made of chlorophyll and heal and cleanse your organs while destroying harmful substances. They also promote bodily homeostasis, give you lots of insoluble fiber that rids your body of toxins, and greens are alkaline which promotes healthy cells and improved recovery.

4.      Processed carbohydrates are largely to blame for our countries health woes and MUST be minimized. Fast food, instant everything, enriched bleached flour, chips, bagels and baked goods are marketed to us incessantly and are convenient choices. The problem with these high-glycemic “foods” is that they spike your blood sugar levels, do not provide sustainable energy, and leave you hungry for more when your blood sugar rapidly drops back down.  Focus on a balance of  low-glycemic carbohydrates (such as – whole grains, pasta, greek yogurt, vegetables, fruits), lean sources of protein (organic chicken, grass fed beef, salmon, almonds, vegetables), and healthy fats (fish, avocado, olive oil, nuts)  as a foundation of your diet and you will have more sustainable energy throughout your day.

5.      Take a pharmaceutical grade, absorbable multi-vitamin, everyday, even if your diet is ideal. Quality supplements help to prevent sickness and disease, fill in the gaps in your diet, minimize oxidative (free radical) damage, and enable you to recover more quickly from workouts.

6.      Educate yourself and keep updating your nutritional strategies.  You will find it very empowering to know the benefits of your little bit of extra effort and attention. Some great books on the topic are “The pH Miracle,” “Healthy for Life,” and “The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements.” Two great DVD’s are “Food, Inc.” and “Super Size Me.”

Incorporating even one of these habits into your daily routine will have a tremendous benefit to you in your athletic endeavors and beyond. Incorporating all of them into your active and athletic lifestyle will put your health above and beyond your peers, enable you to maximize your athletic talents and most importantly, will drastically reduce your chances of developing chronic degenerative disease.

You will find that when your health and energy levels improve, your athletic performance and every other area of your life will improve simultaneously.  Also, the positive influence that you will have for those in your peer group will have an impact greater than you know. So I challenge you, to give yourself the “slight edge” of optimal nutrition and you will reap the benefits immediately and for the rest of your life.

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Are you looking to feel more confident as you look to prepare for college sports and the recruiting process? At SportsForce we hear many different questions, opinions and stories from student-athletes, parents and coaches all the time.

Here are some of the most common college sports recruiting questions our staff receives:

When do college coaches start recruiting?

What are college coaches looking for?

How can we maximize exposure to college recruiters?

What do we need to do and when do we need to do it?

What about the SAT, ACT, financial aid, NCAA Eligibility Center, etc…

Here are two simple and proven ACTION STEPS you can use today to begin taking control of your sports career and college sports goals.

Step 1: Student-athlete assessment

ACTION ITEMS:

1. Ask yourself “What type of college experience am I looking for?”

Attention student-athletes:

You need to reflect on what type of experience you are looking for. Write your thoughts down in a casual format (bullet points are fine) and be able to verbalize what type of college experience you are looking for.

Attention parents:

We recommend parents asking this question and letting your son or daughter answer this question with no undue pressure. See if your student-athlete can describe the type of experience they are looking for.

GOAL = To get a clear idea of what college experience you want as a student-athlete.

2. What are your key college decision factors?

Create a list of all of the key decision factors and give 1 to 5 points for each decision factor (5 being an extremely important decision factor).  We recommend doing this on a spreadsheet and then ranking the potential colleges you are interested in by using this system to create an overall point total for each school.

Potential decision factors including: Academics (Majors offered, career development, alumni), Athletics (level of competition, W/L record, tradition), Social environment, Size of school, Public vs. Private, Cost, Location, Coaching Staff, Intuition (gut feeling, emotional connection)

GOAL = To have a proven ranking and college decision making system to know what potential colleges you are really 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

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.

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 post courtesy Rehab United and  Justin Robinson, MA,RD,CSSD,CSCS

Introduction

Many athletes and coaches have a misconception of functional training – incorporating the latest and greatest equipment like BOSU balls, balance discs, and kettle bells does not automatically make a program functional. Such pieces of equipment are great tools to use in training, but the design of the workout, not the exercises, make a program functional. Functional training is purposeful training – it involves assessing current needs of an athlete (fitness level, injuries, muscle imbalances, etc) and creating specific strategies to address those needs.

1) Three-Dimensional Training. Every time your foot hits the ground, the muscles in your body are either accelerating (increasing speed of movement) or decelerating (slowing movement) in all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse – see figure below). Training in only one plane (e.g. working on the leg extension machine) will not prepare you for the nature of sport. Keys of Functional Training

2) Training Movements, not the Muscles. Coaches often use the thought process that if running involves the quads, hamstrings, and calves, they should work those muscles to increase strength, thus improving running performance. Name any sport, though, in which you only move an isolated joint . . . darts is the only one that comes to mind and most people train for that by doing the 12-ounce can curl. Multi-joint movements are essential in training since the body moves that way in sport – it is more applicable to consider training movements, such as ankle, knee, and hip extension, rather than each muscle independently. The lunge reach matrix (below) is an example of an exercise that trains these movements in all three planes.

Rehab United Physical Therapy and Sports Performance Center (RU) specializes in a progressive approach to evaluation, rehabilitation, injury prevention and performance training. We also provide massage therapy, ART, orthotic fittings, and nutrition counseling to offer the most comprehensive fitness and wellness program in San Diego. Our licensed Physical Therapists and certified Strength & Conditioning Coaches ensure success by training the body the way it was intended to move and creating strategies that improve movement patterns, not just individual muscles.
Stay tuned for Part II including Transformation and Overload

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This post is courtesy MVPToday.com

When someone goes on a job interview, they often buy new clothes, get a haircut, and maybe even shed a few pounds, in hopes of making a good first impression to a potential future boss.

The idea of making a good first impression also holds true for the approximately 330 college football players who were invited to workout at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis from Feb. 24-Mar. 2. Each athlete undergoes extensive mental and physical evaluations by the personnel of all 32 NFL teams, which serves as their job interview for the 2010 NFL Draft on April 22-24.

In an effort to get into optimal physical and mental condition for the Combine, most athletes go through a pre-Combine training program, which is geared toward improving their draft position. The difference in getting selected in the first round versus the second round is literally millions of dollars. For other athletes, a good showing at the Combine can mean the difference between being selected on the first day of the Draft instead of the second day or being drafted at all.

Most pre-Combine programs have a similar goal of providing comprehensive physical and mental training specifically geared toward the numerous drills conducted at the Combine. Standard amenities generally include strength and speed training, learning position-specific skills, usually from former NFL coaches and players, as well as access to a nutritionist, massage and physical therapists and more.

API-9

Where the programs vary is the path a facility takes to achieve this shared goal. Selecting the proper training program has become an important part of the NFL pre-draft process and numerous Valley-based facilities rank among the elite.

Command Performance
No Valley-based facility has made more of an impact on the NFL Draft than Athlete’s Performance Institute, which began offering Combine training in 2001. Their clientele list reads like a who’s who of NFL players, as founder Mark Verstegen and his crew have trained 257 draft picks, including 53 first rounders and the last four number one overall picks.

API offers 28 specialists that focus on speed, strength, nutrition, position specific, chiropractic, physical therapy and on-site meal preparation by a culinary team. They also provide a specialist for the Wonderlic Exam, the 50-question aptitude test given to all NFL draft prospects, and a media specialist, who works with the athletes on improving their interview skills and dealing with the media.

API-176

API has four facilities nationwide. In 2009, its Arizona facility relocated from Tempe to its current luxurious location in North Phoenix. This facility is as high end as they come and offer too many amenities to list in their entirety.

This year’s class of 22 NFL hopefuls include former Sun Devils Chris McGaha and Dexter Davis as well as Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

A Combine pioneer
Warren Anderson, executive director of the Phoenix-based Make Plays.com Center for Human Performance is considered a pioneer of Combine training when he began his program in 1985 at the urging of Bruce Allen, now the Washington Redskins general manager.

“We worked together in the USFL,” Anderson recalled. “Then Bruce went into the agent business and I was just starting up in the training business. He told me I should consider doing Combine training for his athletes, so he could offer them a competitive advantage.”

Anderson has nearly 30 years experience and, along with his team of former NFL coaches and players, work toward improving football skills through the Makeplays Combine Training Program where athletes train twice a day, 5 – 6 days a week. Since launching combine training, Anderson has worked with more than 500 players that were drafted in the NFL, including 41 first-round draft picks.

No Doubt
Another major player in pre-Combine training is Brett Fischer of Phoenix-based Fischer Sports Physical Therapy and Conditioning. The facility is well known for its work with baseball players but for more than 10 years, Fischer has partnered with Will Sullivan to train an average of 10-15 players per year through his No Doubt! Football, NFL Combine Training Camp.

While Fischer has trained five first-round picks and six-second-round picks, he has established his reputation for training many unheralded players and turning them into higher than expected picks.

“These are the kind of guys I like working on,” said Fischer, who has more than 20 years of sports conditioning and rehabilitation experience. “I’m not downplaying the importance of also working with the first-round picks but it’s also important to find the guys that no one projected very high that go and do well.”

Fischer also prides himself on 40-yard dash training as many athletes he worked with went on to set Combine records.

Diamonds in the rough
Other NFL Combine training options include Triple Threat Performance in Tempe, which will train more than 20 athletes this year and is growing its reputation in this area. Triple Threat boasts former Olympian Dan O-Brien on its coaching staff.

The IKEI Performance NFL Draft Preparation Program is limited to 10 players each year. Founder Chad Ikei has more than 20 years of experience and a background in strength and power sports. IKEI Performance has locations in Scottsdale and Chandler.

Speed specialists know about Mo Streety, who has worked with athletes for 11 years. Players he has worked with include Darrelle Revis, Roddy White and Terrell Suggs.

Coach Gary Zauner was an NFL special teams coach for 13 years including with the Arizona Cardinals. He has carved out a niche for working with punters, kickers and long snappers and holds annual camps in Scottsdale to prepare prospects for the NFL Draft.

With millions of dollars potentially at stake, making a great impression at the NFL Combine and ensuing Pro Day workouts have taken on greater importance. Leading up the NFL Draft, many players will climb up the rankings of prospects, as they gain favor in the eyes of those who have scrutinized their very move. And once the names are called on April 22, smiles will come across the faces of many Valley-based sports performance professionals knowing they played an important role in prepping members of the Class of 2010 for their chance at a career in the NFL.

Note: This story originally ran in the February issue of MVP Magazine, the first ever interactive digital sports magazine. Read the current of MVP Magazine at www.mvptoday.com

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The GAME has changed! The fact is, the college recruiting process has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and understanding how to play the game is important.

The college recruiting process is often misunderstood by many parents, student-athletes, coaches and fans. Are you a sports parent or a high school student-athlete who is asking yourself “How do I maximize my recruiting exposure to college coaches?” If so, you are not alone. This is a very common issue across the country that we often help student-athletes and families proactively address at SportsForce.

In this article you will learn more on how to introduce yourself to a college coach, what type of recruiting events to consider and gain an understanding of how video and the Internet are radically changing the recruiting process. At the end of this article you will have an opportunity to sign up for our complimentary SportsForce College Recruiting Guide to learn more keys to college recruiting success. See link at the end of the article.

Step 4: Get Evaluation in person: Target Key Recruiting Events

  • Identify key recruiting tournaments that some of your target colleges will attend
  • Email coaches your online profile link, team name, schedule and jersey # before the showcase to make sure you  are evaluated
  • Potentially attend a few college camps for specific exposure to that program

Step 5: Get quality video, online profile & share

  • Video is key, college coaches don’t have the time to see every player
  • Create a custom highlight video to showcase your skills (3 – 5 min. long)
  • Create an online profile to add your athletic, academic and recruiting information

Some example SportsForce profiles below:

Here is an example profile and highlight video of one of our senior clients Nick Melka that recently committed to Columbia University to play football.  Nick and his family were proactive in the process and were able to maximize his exposure and generate significant interest from many of his top college choices.

Here’s a link to Nick’s profile –http:/www.sportsforceonlone.com/nmelka

To get more advanced recruiting tips, strategies and advice visit our website and sign up for our complimentary SportsForce College Recruiting Guide and updates below.

FREE sign up for SportsForce College Recruiting Guide:

http://www.sportsforceonline.com/resources/resources_recruiting_recruiting_guide.html

Article courtesy of SportsForce, Home for professional College Sports Recruiting Profiles, Highlight Videos, Tips and Tools – www.sportsforceonline.com

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We shared La Costa Canyon Lacrosse player, Alex Pardieu’s recruitment journey here. As part of catching up with Alex, SportsForce had a few questions for his coach, LCC boys varsity coach, Dallas Hartley. See what Dallas had to say about Alex, the FSU commit, below.

1.    How would you describe Alex on the field (strengths, playing style, etc.)?

Alex hustles and his game translates well to full field situations.  He can break down a defense and get his hands free for a shot or to get the offense moving.  He plays great team defense on and off the ball.  And he is great in transition where his speed really shows.
2.    How would you describe Alex off the field (academics, leadership, etc.)?

Well mannered and easy going.  Has a lot of friends and surrounds himself with good people who know their academics are the key to their future.

3.    How do you think Alex will help a team at the college level (what should a college coach expect)?

Alex brings a strong work ethic, an infectious good attitude, and he wants to get better.  He is very coachable.
4.    How do you think Alex will develop over the next few years as a lacrosse player?

He has enormous potential.  He will be one of the best players on his team and demand respect.  Speed, team play, and the intangibles translate well to the next level.

5.    Any final thoughts about Alex?
Pleasure to coach a kid who wants to be better every day.

See Alex’s Full SportsForce Profile at: http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/apardieu

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The college recruiting process is often misunderstood by many parents, student-athletes, coaches and fans.  The fact is, the college  recruiting process has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and understanding how to play the game is important.

Are you a sports parent or a high school student-athlete who is asking yourself “How do I maximize my recruiting exposure to college coaches?” If so, you are not alone. This is a very common issue across the country that we often help student-athletes and families proactively address at SportsForce.

In this article you will begin to learn the basics of maximizing your college recruiting exposure and some key facts to understand about the recruiting process.

At the end of this article you will have an opportunity to sign up for our complimentary SportsForce College Recruiting Guide and get access to recruiting tips, advices and insight to learn more keys to college recruiting success. Click Here for the full recruiting guide.

First, a few key facts to keep in mind before we talk about maximizing exposure:

–          College coaches are recruiting earlier and earlier (often evaluating freshmen & sophomores)

–          Colleges often don’t have the budget to recruit many players in person and are relying more and more on video to help make better recruiting decisions

–          80% of college sports opportunities exist outside of DI level teams

–          Over $1 Billion dollars in athletic scholarship money is awarded to student-athletes each year

–          A recruited student-athlete has a significantly better chance of getting accepted to a college over a non student-athlete with similar grades

–          College coaches are using all sorts of technology including: email, smart phones (Blackberrys, Iphones, etc.), online recruiting databases, social media (YouTube, Facebook) and more to find and evaluate players.

If your son or daughter is seriously looking to play college sports, your goal as a parent should be to support them and provide them an opportunity to best position themselves to reach their goal and find the right college fit.

You might be asking yourself what is the RIGHT FIT?

The right college fit means understanding what type of college experience your child is looking for and what’s best for the family. When creating a list of potential colleges focus on the most critical decision factors and criteria including: academics, athletics, location, cost, level of competition, coaching staff, social environment, potential playing time and scholarship opportunity.

Now that we have some more information on the table lets discuss “How to Maximize College Exposure.”

Step 1: Determine what College Programs are right for the Student-Athlete

–          Conduct a realistic student-athlete assessment (stats, skills and grades)

–          Ask for a coach’s evaluation (HS & Club team)

–          Research & create a target list of schools based on critical decision factors and college criteria (10 – 30+ colleges)

Step 2: Express Interest / Build Support

–          Meet with high school / club team coach regarding your college goals and commitment and make sure everyone is on the same page

–          Network with other trainers, coaches and parents to seek potential qualified college coach introductions

Step 3: Introduce and Market Yourself

–          Start early (Ideally Freshman and Sophomore years)

–          Introduce yourself to college coaches and express your interest (use email, phone or an in person meeting to make an introduction)

–          Remember you can call a college coach even though they might not be able to call you based on NCAA regulations

–          Provide complete resume / profile and highlight video for a college coaches evaluation

Some example SportsForce profiles below:

–          Follow up is KEY (email, phone and unofficial trips)

We will include more in Part II on “How to Maximize Your College Recruiting Exposure” Click Here to read Part II now.

To get more advanced recruiting tips, strategies and advice visit our website and sign up for our complimentary SportsForce College Recruiting Guide and updates below.

FREE sign up for SportsForce College Recruiting Guide:

http://www.sportsforceonline.com/resources/resources_recruiting_recruiting_guide.html

Article courtesy of SportsForce, Home for professional College Sports Recruiting Profiles, Highlight Videos, Tips and Tools – 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.

In my career I have the opportunity to interact with a vast array of parents, coaches, and other fitness professionals eager to improve youngsters’ physical adeptness. I attempt to navigate these professionals through the sea of misinformation and provide time tested, and practical strategies to improve youth fitness and athletic performance. This has turned into hundreds of pages of writing and endless hours of speaking and personal consultation. All of this time and effort has been spent answering a few common questions that I address on a near daily basis while working with youth. Below is a “one stop shop” for some of the most common questions I address, and short, concise answers.

1. Q. How old should my son/daughter be before beginning weight training?

A. Weight training is the introduction of overload to a movement. Overloading a movement with external weight of any kind is only safe and effective when that movement is done biomechanically correct. Furthermore, overload must be introduced in a progressive fashion, always allowing the movement to be executed properly. I recommend that all youth be involved in a movement training program with an experienced professional as young as possible (usually about age 6). The professional my chose to add overload to movement once an array of physical skills and biological capacities have been developed. The question of when to add this overload has more to do with a youngster’s physical fitness and biomechanical abilities than with age. While I am familiar with research on safe weight training with children as young as 6, I recommend consulting with an experienced professional who specializes in youth fitness and athletic development. In my experience unfortunately, I do not recommend the introduction of weight training to youth by parents or athletic coaches.

2. Q. Are supplements safe for kids?

A. The umbrella term “supplements” covers everything from Vitamin C tabs to pro- hormones. Most parents and coaches are asking about creatine, protein-based weight gainers, and NO2 products. In my reading, I have not found definitive research that would suggest that these are dangerous. However, “supplements” are only effective when they “supplement” a perfect diet and training program. I have never met a youth that has both, or either for that matter. The only traditional supplement I recommend for kids is some sort of meal replacement shake that they are willing to drink. These are NOT ideal nutritionally, however, they offer a reasonable nutrition profile and most kids are willing to drink them. Get your kids to eat multiple small meals made up of non-processed food while following a professionally designed training program. The results they will see from this regiment are far superior to any over the counter supplement. As a matter of fact, it is not even comparable.

3. Q. How long will it take for my son/daughter to improve their speed, vertical jump, etc?

A. The factors affecting a youngster’s physical performance are too lengthy to name. There is no piece of technology available that can maximize a youngster’s athletic performance more than a well-designed, longitudinal, progressive, consistent, all encompassing, athletic development program. To permanently improve true game performance and specific physical ability it may take months or years of consistent training. Research has demonstrated that in order to learn a skill, it must be practiced about 10,000 times. Most youngsters see an improvement in general performance merely from improving their physical fitness. This can be accomplished in a relatively short amount of time, usually about 6 weeks of consistent, frequent training. If they were to stop after 6 weeks however, the improvements in physical fitness would diminish, and in turn, their performance improvements. Athletic performance is a longitudinal process in youth that should be viewed as a multi-year commitment.

4. Q. How do I improve my son or daughter’s flexibility?

A. Improving flexibility in pubescent youngsters presents a significant challenge. The bones are growing at an accelerated rate. The places where the muscles originate and attach grow further apart. The muscle responds by contracting slightly to protect itself from the forced elongation. When the muscles are in a near constant state of slight contraction, a significant decrease in mobility (flexibility) is observed. In order to get the muscle to relax, it has to believe that it is not being over-stretched. In order to do this for youngsters, I recommend the following:

  • Frequent massage or fascia work. Massage therapy can help break down tight fascia in order to help dampen the contraction. This can also be done using a foam roller or tennis ball.
  • Dynamic Mobility Warm-Ups. Youngsters should warm-up with progressive range of motion based exercises. This helps improve the pliability of tissue, allowing for greater range of motion during exercise. For an example of these warm-ups, please see the video below.

    • Post work-out static stretching. This is the traditional stretching modality. It is ideal to do this when the muscles are warm and pliable. The helps convince the muscles that the elongation is OK, so they can dampen their contraction.

    As I mentioned, these are the most frequently asked questions. If you have a specific question you would like to see addressed, feel free to contact me at brett@fitnessquest10.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Hopefully I am able to navigate you through the sea of misinformation to create youngsters that become happy, healthy, pain-free adults!


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