Monday, March 30, 2009

Characteristics of a World Class Athlete

Hello Everyone!

This post is an adaptation of Major Andrew Thompson's post on Characteristics of a World Class Trainee.

Top athletes share some powerful characteristics.
How many of these traits do you have?

- an insatiable desire to improve
- self-motivated and take action

Willingness to Listen
- teachable
- open and willing to accept guidance and correction
- engaged listener
- fosters effective communication between athlete and coach

Dedication to Fundamentals:
- embraces fundamentals
- builds a solid foundation "performs common movements uncommonly well" (virtuosity)
- improves with regular, deliberate practice
- pre-workout time is maximized and used as an opportunity to sharpen basic skills

Mental and Physical Preparedness:
- is prepared at every session
- never late for training
- enthusiastic about the opportunity at hand, regardless of how they “feel”
- recognizes that rest and nutrition are not distractions, but rather complementary building blocks of elite human performance

Ability to Train Alone:
- while a group dynamic offers encouragement and mutual accountability, there are times when an athlete must work alone
- excuses aside, a world-class athlete will find a way to face rigorous protocols alone and unafraid

Behavior under Distress
- is able to deal with injury and the mental anguish of rehabilitation
- is able to bounce back quickly and with even greater resolve
- understands that pain and injury are sometimes part of the contract
- reveals true character in times of discomfort and adversity

Every workout...
Every practice...
Every game.... an opportunity to develop these world class characteristics.

Pick one or two characteristics you currently don't have and commit yourself to adding them to your athletic arsenal.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Well Done, Walsh Jesuit's Women's Basketball!

Hello Everyone!

A big WELL DONE to the hard working women of Walsh Jesuit's Women's Basketball Team!

Your perseverance through adversity this season was incredible!

Check out the Plain Dealer's Article:
Walsh Jesuit's effort in loss is out of this world

Strong both physically and mentally, ladies be proud! Rest up and AGSP looks forward to seeing you again soon this off-season.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Athlete's Summer

Hello Everyone!

I'd like to highlight a great article from World Renown Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Boyle. The article, "The Road to College" highlights some important truths that parents and athletes need to know.

The Road to College

by: Mike Boyle

Parents are being misled. Yes, all the tournament and camp organizers are deliberately misleading you. Parents shell out thousands of dollars for exposure camps and exposure tournaments for their son’s or daughter’s. The organizers tell you that attending a certain camp or playing in a certain tournament will improve your chances of getting a scholarship.

The bottom line is it’s not true. If your child is a football or hockey player four days of camp will not change him or her. Neither will a weekend tournament. Unfortunately, parents make a critical error at the wrong time. The most critical time in a young athletes career is the summer prior to their senior season. This is when a young player needs to train to prepare to have a great senior year. However, instead of preparation, parents choose exposure. The result is usually the same. The athlete goes to 5-6 “exposure” camps to be “seen” by college coaches. Instead of training and preparation the summer is about travel and “exposure”. The final result is that the athlete is not physically prepared for the senior year and ends up either getting injured or having a sub-par year. Coaches that might have had interest suddenly disappear. Sure things turn into maybes. Suddenly all the time spent on exposure seems wasted as there is no “product” to expose.

The road to college sports should go right through a weightroom. I know this sounds old fashioned but, it’s true. If your goal is to play college sports, then, get ready to play. Don’t spend all summer trying to convince coaches how good you are. Spend the summer trying to get better so coaches will notice you. You can’t network your way into college sports and even if you can, in these days of email etc., send a letter and a video.

Last summer I discouraged the coaches and parents of some of the best prep school football players in Eastern Mass to forgo the five camp plan and train. We instead chose to focus on the 1 or 2 camps the coach and parents thought would have the most value and, focus on training. The results were outstanding. The team had a great season, losing only two games, the players who trained were clearly improved and the players who were seniors are all going to the college of their choice.

It worked out exactly as I said it would because our plan makes sense. The ideas of athlete development and athlete exposure are almost polar opposites. The key is to balance the need to be seen by and meet college coaches with the need to train to be able to impress coaches during the critical senior year.

Coach Boyle's point is clear: choose to work on becoming a better athlete instead of trying to show everyone how good you are. Similar to Coach Boyle's facility in Boston, MA, Akron General Sports Performance is designed to make athletes better. Through hard work and commitment we see athletes take their games and skills to the next level.

Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tip #7: You Gotta Eat...MORE

Hello Everyone!

Need to put on pounds? Then don't fall into this failed equation...

Swear you're eating a lot + not gaining weight = YOU'RE NOT EATING ENOUGH

I'll never forget the time I saw Division One Coaches yelling at one of their athletes for not putting on the weight he needed.

I'll repeat... YELLING.

These coaches would not except the athlete's excuse of "but coach I eat A LOT". If you are not putting weight on, then you are NOT eating enough. These coaches, like myself, pay little attention to the fact that you eat twice as much as your friends... the results speak for themselves.

No matter how much you're currently eating and/or drinking, if you are not reaching your body weight goals then you need to consume MORE.

Meeting your body weight goals should be just as important as reaching your squat goals, 40 yard goals, team goals, etc.

Add calorie packed beverages.
Pack twice as much food for lunch.
Eat until you're stuffed, not just full.

Whatever it takes, take your body weight seriously.

Keep Training! (and eating!)
Coach Amanda Kephart