Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Finishing the year STRONG @ AGSP!

Hello Everyone!

AGSP athletes finished 2010 in a big way, check it out!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

December 2010 @ AGSP

Hello Everyone,

Even with the busy holiday season, AGSP athletes have been committed to becoming faster, stronger, and more powerful during the month of December.

Become a part of the area's best Sports Performance program by calling 330-945-3150 and scheduling your free trial today!

Keep Training!

Coach Amanda Kephart

Monday, December 20, 2010

Walsh Jesuit Women's Basketball in Action

Hello Everyone,

AGSP trains many of the Walsh Jesuit Women's Basketball players in the off-season and this year is working with the whole squad once a week to improve their speed, agility, and overall athletic performance throughout the season.

I had the opportunity to see the girls win on Saturday and while I was there I caught some great speed and agility shots of the girls (AGSP athletes will clearly see the acceleration mechanics).

It is always fun to see the skills practiced at AGSP in action!

Check out some videos!

Keep Training!
(I know the Walsh Jesuit Women's Basketball Team is!)
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Supervisor Craig Sowers' INCREASING YOUR TOP SPEED

Hello Everyone!

Coach Craig Sowers, AGSP Founder and Supervisor and current UCLA Sports Performance Coach, has put together a great article sharing some of the science on how we (AGSP) teach athletes to increase their top speed. Coach Sowers demonstrates some of the drills AGSP athletes do in our world-class program.

(click above title or below picture for article)

Want to train like Division One athletes?
Want to learn the same things they learn to increase their speed?
Want to train in the Akron-area with coaches that work with Top D1 Sport Performance Coaches?
Then you need to train at Akron General Sports Performance (AGSP)!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Hello Everyone!

This Saturday we will be holding our 2nd Endurance Running Analysis & Correction Clinic. We got rave reviews from our Inaugural Clinic, such as:
"Hi Coach Amanda, I LOVED the clinic you put on yesterday, and I really learned a LOT." - Gale C.
Spots are limited for this small group clinic that includes video analysis and skills each runner can use to help improve their current form.

Endurance Running Analysis & Correction Clinic
Have our Certified Coaches analyze and correct your running
Adults that participate in races from 5K to Iron-Mans!.
Upon completion of the clinic each participant will have the ability to:
- Understand biomechanically correct running form
- Identify improper running techniques and how to correct them
- Utilize running skills and drills to address and improve technique
- Understand the value of proper strength training and its affect on performance
- Participants will be videotaped at both the beginning and end of the course, this will be reviewed by the coach
- Individual "homework" will be provided to each participant, focusing on his/her specific running mechanics (unlike other running services, you will be empowered with abilities to improve yourself, not dependent on additional services/fees!)
Clinic will last 3 hours
10 participants per clinic
Cost: $30/sports performance members, $40/non-members
10am – 1pm
Saturday, December 11
4300 Allen Road, Stow, Oh 44313 (immediate left as you enter)
Call the reservation line at: 330-945-3150 to reserve your spot! Limit is 8!

Email questions to:
Amanda Kephart MS, CSCS, USAW Club Coach
Head Sports Performance Coach
Akron General Health and Wellness- North

Monday, December 6, 2010

2nd Half of November 2010 @ AGSP

Hello Everyone!

Area athletes are getting stronger, faster, and more powerful at Akron General Sports Performance. Become a part of the area's best sports performance program and become the best athlete you can be!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Friday, November 26, 2010

Kids Benefit from Weight Training

Hello Everyone,

Not sure about the safety of weight training for kids/adolescents?
Then you need to check out this NY Times Article.
Get a quick history lesson, get the facts, and get lifting at AGSP!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Half of November 2010 @ AGSP

Hello Everyone!

November is happening at AGSP! Our athletes are pushing hard to finish 2010 in a big way!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Last two weeks of October at AGSP

Hello Everyone!

It is already did you spend your October?
AGSP athletes spent it becoming faster, stronger, and more powerful (and their November test numbers prove it!).

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween from AGSP!

Even the Tin Man gets a great workout at AGSP!
Get well-oiled for life at Akron General Sports Performance!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week of 10/18/10 @ AGSP

Hello Everyone!

Great new video with lots of athlete clips!
Athletes & Parents, you are welcome to post these videos on your facebook!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week of 10/11/10 @ AGSP

Hello Everyone!

Lots of hard-work with lots of results this week! Check it out!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Monday, October 11, 2010

Get to Know Your Coach: Nathan Burandt

Hello Everyone!

Athletes at AGSP get to work with the area's best sports performance coaches during their training sessions. Recently I did a Q&A with Coach Nathan Burandt, check it out and get to know your coaches better!

Our athletes know you as Coach Nathan Burandt, what does Coach Burandt like to do outside of making athletes better?
I actually like to do a lot of things out side of training athletes. First and foremost I love spending time with my family. I try to play with Jasmine and Damien as much as possible (my two kids). I personally love to train myself. I'm constantly scheming and developing programs and I try them out on myself. Out side of training I play on some men's league softball teams. Other than training athletes, music is another passion I have. I no longer play any instruments but I love going to concerts. I've seen bands like Throwdown, Chimaira, Poison the Well, Soulfly, Slayer, and Machine Head and many others many times.

How did you get started working with athletes?
I have always had a passion for sport and training. I trained for diving, swimming, football, and rugby. I was one of those gym rats that would spend as much time as possible training. Well that passion coupled with the passion to want to teach others led me to training athletes. I always believed in needing to train mind, body, and spirit and this allows me to teach and train that same aspect.
Based on your experience, what is the one, biggest physical skill that today's athlete lacks? How do you address that need?
I feel today athletes lack mobility. Most athletes spend their time outside of training sitting. Most of them don't take rolling and stretching very seriously and don't really address it the way they should. They may do a very good job here at the facility but when it comes to practice and game times they don't focus on their mobility, flexibility or a proper warm up. I am constantly evaluating the athletes while they are in the program. If I notice that they are having some type of mobility issue I address it right away and come up with a plan that they can follow out side of the program.

You have a lot of Collegiate Division One Speed, Strength, and Conditioning experience, how has time at the collegiate level helped your current athletes?
I learned a lot at the collegiate level. I'm able to parlay the information that I learned at the collegiate level to the athletes here. I can easily say "We trained our college athletes the same way we are training you!" This helps a lot with the athletes when they ask, "Why are we doing this?" I can tell them not only why we are doing something functionally but that the collegiate athletes are also focusing on the same aspects.

What do you like most about working with athletes?
I love the comradery and the feeling that I am helping a person get better and that doesn't always have to be about athletics. Just knowing that the athletes can come and talk to me about anything and that I can give them the best advice I can and to try and make this the best part of their day makes me love what I do.
What advice would you give today's athlete?
Have fun. Try as many sports as you possibly can and don't stop having fun. Remember, it's about the journey not the destination.

Thanks Coach Burandt for you expertise, passion, and great coaching!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Week of 10/4/10 @ AGSP

Hello Everyone!

Check out this week's video of area athletes having fun and becoming better athletes!

Join in the fun today at Akron General Sports Performance!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Coach Sowers shows you 5 ways to Improve Your 40yd Dash

Hello Everyone!

Coach Craig Sowers, founder and supervisor of Akron General Sports Performance, has written a great article on 5 Ways to Improve Your 40 Yard Dash.

If you are looking for more speed, this article is a must for you.

Check it out HERE!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FREE EVENT this Saturday October 9th!

Hello Everyone!

Don't miss this great chance to see Sports Performance in action and get to meet & greet with Coach Amanda!

This Saturday October 9 is Akron General's 2010 Health Expo. It's free and there will be tons of free stuff along with free tours of the facility! See the flier HERE!

I will be there in the morning (best chance to meet with me will be between 9-11am).

I will also be giving away FREE TRIAL SESSIONS to Sports Performance!

If you've been thinking about becoming a better, faster, stronger, more powerful athlete here is your chance!
Adults, did you know our Adult Performance Class is one of the fastest growing classes in the area!? Why? BECAUSE IT WORKS!

See you this Saturday!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Friday, October 1, 2010

Week of 9/27/10 @ AGSP

Hello Everyone!

Check out AGSP athletes lifting to become stronger and more powerful!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Friday, September 17, 2010

Week of 9/13/10 @ AGSP

Hello Everyone,

Lots of speed development this week at Akron General Sports Performance, check it out!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Get to Know Your Coach: Nick Sanders

Hello Everyone!

Athletes at AGSP get to work with the area's best sports performance coaches during their training sessions. Recently I did a Q&A with Coach Nick Sanders, check it out and get to know your coaches better!

Our athletes know you as Coach Nick Sanders, what does Coach Sanders like to do outside of making athletes better?
Outside of coaching I like to stay as active as possible. I enjoy playing basketball, slow pitch softball, volleyball, and occasionally golf. I also like to stay competitive by challenging myself towards different physical goals. This year I trained for a sprint distance triathlon in the spring, I have ran a couple 5K and 10K road races, and plan on running two half marathons in the fall. In addition to athletics, I love just about all types of fishing and hunting.
How did you get started working with athletes?
I got started working with athletes right out of high school. My first year after graduation, my high school football coach approached me with an opportunity to help coach the junior high football team. I have been involved with coaching every since. I really got into the strength and conditioning aspect of coaching around my Junior Year in college which was sparked into a true passion during my internship at AGMC with Coach Sowers.

Based on your experience, what is the one, biggest physical skill that today's athlete lacks? How do you address that need?
That’s a tough question. Right now if I had to pick one overall skill I would pick body awareness with overall mobility a close second. Body awareness, especially in the younger athlete, is something that without proper coaching, the athlete doesn’t think about. Without someone saying “Hey your knees are coming together when you jump and land” you are never aware of the problem to correct. I love how our program promotes that self awareness. The technical aspects of Olympic weight lifting and movement coaching forces the athlete to be aware of what every joint in their body is doing in space at a given time. I think that awareness alone improves sports performance.
As I learn more and more about movement impairments I am beginning to realize how big of an issue a lack of mobility can be in today’s athletes. Athletes are often not taught to move well, which leads to tight and weak muscles that limit performance. Identification and correction of these mobility impairments is becoming a huge part of today’s strength and conditioning field. I think the growth of this area is reflective of the commonality of these problems.
You are also active in the field of Physical Therapy, how has PT helped you become a better Sports Performance Coach and vice versa?
I feel that going through PT school while coaching has made me a better coach. As a PT student you gain a great deal of knowledge about how the body moves and functions. This knowledge is invaluable when working with athletes. It has been a great advantage in understanding mobility issues. It has also helped me in the area of injury prevention and to gain an appreciation of what an injured athlete must go through to prepare to return to sport.
I hope that my experience as a Sports Performance Coach will make me a better PT as well. PT is essentially a coaching/teaching job. Being active in the field I get to interact with people and put my knowledge and skills to the test every time I coach. I have learned a tremendous amount about strength and mobility exercises. Every time that I coach I feel I learn something about how to better teach or modify an exercise.

What do you like most about working with athletes?
Watching them get better. Nothing beats when you watch someone struggle with a skill and then that light bulb clicks and they nail it. I love being a part of the excitement that comes with attainment of a hard earned goal.
What advice would you give today's athlete?
Take responsibility for your actions. You decide how hard you’re going to work, how much time you put in during the off season, how you act outside of sports, and what you do when no one is watching. These every day choices are your responsibility and impact your future in athletics and in life. Do your best to take advantage of the opportunities you are given and don’t blame others for your shortcomings. My coach once told me “You either get better or you get worse, you never stay the same.” I say do your best to get better every day.

Thanks Coach Sanders for your time, energy, and great coaching!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week of 9/6/10 @ AGSP

Hello Everyone!

Catch a glimpse of athletes getting faster, quicker, and better during the week of 9/6/10 @ AGSP!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hudson High School Football TOUCHDOWN

Hello Everyone!

Coach Narducci invited me onto the sidelines and I was able to catch this great TD run!

AGSP has worked with Hudson Football for a couple of years now and it was great to see the guys in action!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Can you move fast backwards???

Hello Everyone!

Be a better athlete, move fast forward and BACKWARDS!

* and yes, there are a couple of "non-backwards" clips

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

AGSP Athletes in Action: Danny Dunn

Hello Everyone!

Danny is one of AGSP's first and original athletes. He is also Stow High School's starting Left Tackle (closest lineman to the camera), here you will see him create great space and take his defender completely out of the play (literally, Danny pancakes him).

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, September 2, 2010

AGSP Athletes in Action: Joe Michalowicz

Hello Everyone!

Here is video of AGSP athlete Joe Michalowicz (in the yellow socks). He spent 10 months at AGSP and came back as the fastest athlete in football pads. His new speed has moved him from lineman to running back! Check out this run for a first down! (sorry about the video toward the end, I got excited and moved the camera!)

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart


Hello Everyone!
AGSP athletes getting stronger! Check it out!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baseball Performance Specialist

Hello Everyone!

Overhead throwing athletes have unique demands with their sports. One of the unique demands is the repetitive nature of the overhead throwing athlete. This repetitive nature causes some unique adaptations in the body that can decrease performance and increase injury risk.

Overhead throwing athletes need to get to know Tristan Rodik. He is an expert in maximizing movement and improving athletes' performance, especially in the overhead throwing athlete. He has his Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from The University of Akron, and numerous hours working with athletes to maximize their performance.

Here is a video of Tristan testing baseball athlete Nate Lundy for hip rotation (external and capsule). You will be surprised what "small" differences he finds that can have "BIG" implications on Nate's swing and throws.

If you are an overhead throwing athlete and want to improve your game, contact us today! Team testing options available!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Friday, August 27, 2010

Get Faster!

AGSP Athletes getting faster this week...did you get faster in the last week of August?

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Athlete Spotlighting #11) Carley Terry

Hello Everyone!

Our 11th Athlete Spotlight is one of the most fun athletes I've ever had the privilege to train. She desires to learn more about how to be a better athlete and is willing to train hard to achieve her goals. She's encouraging to other athletes and has a great outlook on training. She "gets it", and by that I mean she enjoys the process involved in becoming a better athlete (not just game day). She stays in the moment and therefore has a lot of fun along the way towards her goals. It's time to meet...

Athlete Name: Carley Terry


Stow-Munroe Falls High School

Graduation Year:

AGSP Athlete Since:
April 2010

Favorite Professional Sports Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Favorite Professional Athlete:
Mo Williams

Favorite Lift: Hang Clean
Favorite Movement Skill:
Max Velocity

When I am not training at AGSP, I am: Hanging out with my friends and family, studying, training/working out and practicing basketball.
What are your short-term goals?
To get straight A's and play basketball at Stow High School for four years.

What are your long-term goals?
To go to college, majoring in Sports Medicine and play basketball in college.

How has AGSP impacted your performance as an athlete?
I have become faster, stronger and more powerful as an athlete. My jump has become more powerful and increased in height. I have seen myself becoming stronger and gaining more confidence.


Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Friday, August 13, 2010

I got to hold an Olympic Gold Medal

Hello Everyone,

This past Wednesday, August 11, at Akron General North, I got to hold an Olympic Gold Medal won by Shelia Taormina. She was the guest speaker kicking off Akron General's Multisport Festival season.

Shelia is the only woman to compete in three different sports in different Olympiads...something everyone told her couldn't be done.
"Break paradigms" Shelia encouraged the audience. "Don't falsely believe something that isn't true. Remember, people used to think the world was flat."
Dream big and enjoy the process your dreams and goals take you through. Be "process-oriented". Those days when dreams and goals are realized are amazing, but don't forget to find "joy in the process".
When I asked her how she was able to get up at 5:00am and jump in a cold pool nearly everyday in preparation for the Olympics while working a full-time job she said it was finding joy in the present moment and reminding herself that she was privileged to wake up and be able to go swim. "Everyday is a gift, don't waste it."

Shelia's advice is priceless for people preparing for the Akron General Multisport Triathlons and Duathlons September 18 & 19 put on by HFP Racing. Below is a photo of myself, Shannon of HFP Racing, Olympian Shelia Taormina, and
photographer Daniel Smith. (Shannon is wearing Shelia's medal per her request)
If you are a multisport athlete (triathlete, duathlete, etc.) or thinking of becoming a multisport athlete you need to try a HFP Race! Fun, educational, and well-organized, HFP Races are always a great experience!

Keep Training! (and as Shelia recommends, find joy in the process!)
Coach Amanda Kephart

Monday, August 2, 2010

Practice what you Preach: Olympic Lifts

Hello Everyone,

This past Saturday July 31st, Coach Duarte, Coach Millender, Coach Colarusso and myself had the opportunity to train at Columbus Weightlifting with Coach Mark Cannella.

Mark offered to help us improve our own lifting techniques along with learning better cues to get our athletes to improve their Olympic Lifts. As sports performance coaches, we train our athletes with the Olympic Lifts because they require: Strength, Power, Speed, Stability, Flexibility, Mobility, and Coordination. All of which are extremely important in today's sports.

Coach Mark Cannella
Power Snatch
Power Clean and Split Jerk
Power Clean with Ride to the Bottom
OLift discussion, to shrug or not to shrug
Notice how fast he explodes off the ground (it is much faster than the rest of us). How smoothly his body moves. This is what we'd like to develop in our athletes: SPEED STRENGTH. Training like this transfers well to the competition field (train fast to be fast, train strong to be strong, train speed strength to be the strongest and fastest!)

Coach Gabriel Duarte
Clean and Jerk
Some things Coach Duarte is working on is moving through the lifts more fluidly and faster. You will notice that Coach Duarte is training for movement, not weight, he is a very strong athlete, but understands that strength is only one piece of the athletic puzzle. By training with lighter weights and focusing on his technique he is becoming a better athlete (which is the ultimate goal!).
Mark quote for Coach Duarte: "Move faster off the floor. Speed kills on both lifts. With the lower hip, the bar sweeps really nice."

Coach Anthony Colarusso
Clean and Jerk
Coach Colarusso is working on faster speed off the floor and fine tuning his jerk. He tends to dip and drive, but not finish with the final dip.
Mark quote for Coach Colarusso: "Track your knees over your toes at the start of the lift. Drive your hips more into the weight during your 2nd pull. Keep your elbows lower on the jerk and stay back on the heels."

Coach Amanda Kephart
Clean and Jerk
Overall speed is my biggest focus, especially off the floor. For the Snatch I need to finish with bone-on-bone and strengthen my core and posterior chain to allow myself to get taller on the catch. For the Clean and Jerk, my jerk is fine, my clean needs to finish with active arms pulling myself to bar. I tend to fall into the hole, I need to use my arms at the finish to continue to rise the bar and at the same time get myself under the bar.
Mark quote for me: "Faster off the floor on both lifts. Stretch the bar on the snatch at the finish. Pull to the bar with your fists/forearms in both pulls."

Thanks again to Mark Cannella (and Drew, thanks for the impressive lifts!) for having us down. Mark is a wealth of knowledge and I highly recommend you get to know him and Columbus Weightlifting!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Monday, July 19, 2010

Athlete Spotlighting #10) Joe Michalowicz

Hello Everyone!

Our 10th Athlete Spotlight is very popular at AGSP. He always comes to AGSP ready to become a better athlete, respects the program, and is a great example for other athletes. He started the program learning the movements with little to no weight (like ALL of our athletes), but now he lifts as much as athletes twice his age. He's only in elementary school, but he's becoming a master of speed and strength. It's time to meet...

Athlete Name: Joe Michalowicz
Sport(s): Football
Defensive Line, Offensive Line
Lincoln Elementary
Graduation Year:
AGSP Athlete Since: October, 2009
Favorite Professional Sports Team: Cleveland Browns
Favorite Professional Athlete:
Jared Allen

Favorite Lift:
Back Squat
Favorite Movement Skill:
When I am not training at AGSP, I am playing basketball and football and hanging out with friends.
What are your short-term goals?
Play for the "B Team". Be one of the best players in the league. Sack the quarterback! Carry the ball!
What are your long-term goals?
Keep getting stronger. Play high school football. Play for Ohio State. Play in the NFL!
How has AGSP impacted you performance as an athlete?
I am stronger, faster and more explosive. I am learning how to train and how to keep getting better!

Here he is hang cleaning 30 KG!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hudson Football Camp 2010

Hello Everyone,

I'd like to take a moment to share the great experience I had Wednesday July 14th at the 2010 Hudson Football Camp AKA The Narducci Camp.

Coach Narducci invited Akron General Sports Performance out to show the aspiring football players ways to improve their speed and performance. We worked with 6-9th graders, then with the 3-5the about FUN!

Coach Narducci's Camp is an awesome blend of learning and games. He's able to make the campers better football players and Wednesday we helped them become faster athletes. I was so impressed with the Varsity Football Players that were helping the young campers and with all the neat take-homes Coach Narducci had for the campers. Everything from great information on how to be a better football player to oven mitts to t-shirts to certificates with campers' performance times!

Coach Nate sporting the 2010 Hudson Football Camp shirt.

It was an honor to participate in such a great camp. If you or the football player in your life didn't make it this year, you have to go to next year's Narducci Camp!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Monday, July 5, 2010

Practice what you preach

Hello Everyone!

Talk the talk and walk the walk. A good coach/trainer should not only have the knowledge needed to serve his/her athletes, but should also live the lifestyle he/she preaches.

I am not an endurance runner, but I do preach overall fitness and being able to perform the 10 General Physical Skills:
  1. Cardiovascular Endurance
  2. Stamina
  3. Strength
  4. Flexibility
  5. Power
  6. Speed
  7. Coordination
  8. Accuracy
  9. Agility
  10. Balance
Today was a first for me, a 4 mile race, The Stow Firecracker Run. Training and practicing for the race taught me a lot about what many of my Adult Performance members go through when they prepare for an endurance event. Even though it was only 1/6 of a marathon, I feel that I am a better coach because I practiced what a preached...

2010 Stow Firecracker 4 mile Run
9 Adult Performance Members Participated
All completed the 4 miles in great times and for some it was the first race they've ever run

Before the run.
Myself, Dan, Ron, Eric, Juli, Keith, Jill, Dave, Kim

After the run, waiting for the moms to be :-)
Myself, Steve, Dan, Keith, Dave, Kim

Parents to be after the run/fast walk
Dave, Jill, Juli, Eric

Knowledge is gained through learner, Wisdom is gained through experience. Today wisdom was gained through a great experience with great people!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

* NOTE: Sport athletes (football, basketball, baseball, etc) should NOT run miles to prepare for their sports. The majority of sports are interval based events and should be trained accordingly. See Interval Training for Athletes for more information.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You don't get good at anything by accident

Hello Everyone,

When I ask an athlete, "What abilities do you need to improve to become a better athlete?". The responses are consistently,
  • I need to get faster
  • I need to get more physical
  • I need to jump higher
  • I need to get stronger
  • I need to become quicker on my feet
  • I need to be more flexible/mobile
  • I need to play better on defense (or offense or both!)
  • I need to be more explosive
And the list goes on.
Then I ask, "How are you going to get what you need? Who is going to teach you how to be ______? When are you going to practice ______? How are you going measure you development of _______?"
The answer is usually a blank stare or an "I don't know".

Plain and simple, YOU DON'T GET GOOD AT ANYTHING BY ACCIDENT. If you are the slowest athlete on your team you are not going to magically wake-up one morning and be faster. Just like you spend countless hours on your sport skills, such as learning your plays, practicing your jump shot, improving your swing, fine-tuning your dribbling, etc. You need to make time to address your athletic skills (power, strength, speed, and agility).

If you truly desire to become a better athlete, you must practice your athletic skills.

AGSP athletes practice their power, strength, speed, agility, flexibility, mobility, and coordination every time they walk through the front door.

AGSP athletes learn how to become better athletes by learning better movement. The skills they learn here do not stay here, they are empowering and go wherever the athlete goes.

AGSP athletes are becoming more complete, turning weaknesses into strengths. Plain and simple AGSP athletes DON'T GET GOOD AT ANYTHING BY ACCIDENT, THEY ARE TRAINING WITH A PURPOSE.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Monday, June 21, 2010


Akron General Sports Performance & Subway team up to bring you the


You get unlimited access to the Adult Performance Program when you sign up. Members train for 30 minutes with Certified Sports Performance Coaches.

Ø Lose weight and get lean!
Ø Improve your health and fitness!
Ø Gain speed, power and agility!
Ø Build muscle and strength!
Ø Improve your balance and reduce your risk for injury!
Ø Learn proper movement patterns that transfer to life, recreation, and sport!

Perfect for adults that desire to look better and be in the best shape of their life.

How it works
1) Monthly membership only $99! (see sports performance receptionists)
2) Members arrive 5 minutes before start of group and place Subway Sandwich Order
3) Members workout for 30 minutes with Adult Performance
4) After workout members go to Subway Checkout counter where their sandwich will be waiting
5) Membership includes Subway Sandwiches (regular size, 12/month max)
6) Members can choose any of “Jared’s Favorites”
o Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki
o Turkey Breast
o Turkey Breast & Black Forest Ham
o Black Forest Ham
o Over Roasted Chicken
o Veggie Delite

Adult Performance Start Times
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 12:00 PM & 12:30 PM
Tuesday, Thursday: 12:00 PM
· Must schedule with Adult Performance, please call 330-945-3150 or see the Physical Therapy/Sports Performance Receptionists. First workout is complimentary (no sandwich with free class).

Train right, Eat right in 30 minutes!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Athlete Spotlighting #9) Johnathan Gregory

Hello Everyone!

Our 9th Athlete Spotlight is of one of AGSP's most well-rounded, most improved, and hardest working athletes. He started the program with an open-mind, a lot of heart, and poor movement patterns. With patience, consistency, and focus he has become a new and improved football player. This didn't happen overnight, this was a multi-month project that is sure to pay off big on the gridiron this fall. Before two-a-days hit it's time to meet....

Athlete Name:
Johnathan Gregory

Sport(s): Football
Defensive Tackle, Offensive Tackle

St. Vincent-St. Mary High School

Graduation Year: 2012
AGSP Athlete Since:
January 2010

Favorite Professional Sports Team: Cleveland Browns
Favorite Professional Athlete: Jared Allen

Favorite Lift: Power Clean
Favorite Movement Skill:
Max Velocity

When I am not training at AGSP, I am: Lifting with my brother or recovering to train the next day.
What are your short-term goals? Increase mobility and improve strength.
What are your long-term goals?
Perfect all movements and reach full potential (weight) on all lifts .

How has AGSP impacted you performance as an athlete?
It has taught me to become more focused on details and correcting what I was doing wrong with my movements.

(yes I know it is not rotated correctly)

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Athlete Spotlighting #8: Amirra Hmidan & Courtney Kennedy

Hello Everyone!

Our 8th Athlete Spotlight is of two teammates that are becoming better athletes together. By training together at AGSP these athletes from East Canton are developing strength, power, speed, and sometimes more importantly, team chemistry. Going through the athletic development journey together truly gives them an edge over the competition. Encouragement during tough exercises translates to encouragement when the game is on the line. Speed development at AGSP translates to faster athletes on the field. Be ready, these athletes have a bright athletic future. It's time to meet...

Athlete Name: Amirra Hmidan
Softball, Basketball, Cross Country

Softball: Centerfield & 2nd Base. Basketball: Point Guard.
School: East Canton Middle School
Graduation Year: 2014
AGSP Athlete Since: March 2010

Favorite Professional Sports Team:
Cleveland Cavaliers & Akron Racers
Favorite Professional Athlete: Crystal Bustos

Favorite Lift: Back Squat, because that is the lift I can lift the most in.

Favorite Movement Skill:
Max Velocity, because it is the most challenging for me. I like how hard I have to work to perform well at Max Velocity.

When I am not training at AGSP, I am:
Practicing softball
, either working on my fielding skills or my slapping, push bunting, and hitting off the left side.

What are your short-term goals? To make the Varsity softball team next year as a freshman.
What are your long-term goals?
I want to make it to a Division One College, with the University of Akron being my dream.

How has AGSP impacted you performance as an athlete? AGSP has made me faster, I can feel the difference when I run around the bases. Also, I've learned to push myself harder than ever because of the different tasks we do.

Athlete Name: Courtney Kennedy

Position(s): Pitcher, Outfield, 2nd Base School: East Canton Middle School Graduation Year: 2014

AGSP Athlete Since:
March 2010

Favorite Professional Sports Team:
Chicago Bandits

Favorite Professional Athlete:
Jennie Finch

Favorite Lift:
Back Squat

Favorite Movement Skill:

When I am not training at AGSP, I am:
Practicing softball

What are your short-term goals?
To make the Varsity softball team next year as a freshman.

What are your long-term goals?
To go to a Division 1 College and play softball.

How has AGSP impacted you performance as an athlete?
It has made me a better athlete and it has also made me faster and stronger.


Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Monday, May 17, 2010

USAW Weightlifting Course huge hit at AGSP!

Hello Everyone!

This past weekend's USAW Weightlifting Level 1 Course was a great success. Special thanks to Mark Cannella, Holly, Dan, Mike, and Bob for their willingness and expertise in teaching the Olympic Lifts.

We had a great group; everyone desired to become better at the Olympic Lifts in all aspects, understanding, coaching, execution, application, etc.

Some of the biggest takeaways for me were:
  • "Bone on bone"
  • Do not jump shrug, because the shrug actually slows you down and makes you less efficient
  • "Pop, Pop" the bar should literally hit off the high thigh as the hip comes back through
  • Your squats and complimentary lifts should be just that, complimentary to speed! Speed is king and if you teach slow squats you are teaching your athletes to be slow. "Down with control, up with power"
There were many other great cues and concepts taught and I'm hoping other attendees will make comments to this post with some of their big takeaways and ah-ha moments (I'll approve the replies).

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Athletes: GET STRONG!

Hello Everyone!

My mentor and friend, Coach Ray Eady, currently with The University of Wisconsin, wrote this great article about female athletes (in this case, basketball) and their need to get stronger in order for them to be the best athletes they can be.

Want to know how some of the nation's top female athletes are training? Read this special blog post. Want to train like them in Akron, Ohio? Come to Akron General Sports Performance.


Ray Eady, M.Ed, CSCS, PES
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Women’s Basketball
University of Wisconsin

It’s simple, female basketball players need to get strong!

It’s not uncommon to hear the following from players after a long competitive season, “Coach, what can I do to...”

1.Jump higher?
2.Improve my jump shot?
3.Play better defense? (defensive stance)
4.Run faster?
5.Move quicker?
6.Etc., Etc., Etc.

My response is usually, “Get stronger!”

Likewise, coaches often approach me stating, “We need to..?

1.Get more athletic!
2.Play better defense! (defensive stance)
3.Run faster!
4.Move quicker!
5.Get in better condition!
6.Etc., Etc., Etc.

My response is usually, “Coach, let’s continue to get stronger!”

Let’s be honest, today’s athletes are consistently looking for a quick fix. Most want to get better at playing their sport but very few are willing to do the things that can really improve their game. When a player asks me what they can do to improve their athleticism, I simply tell them to get stronger. Of course, a well-designed training program is going to include soft tissue work, mobility work, core work, speed work, plyometrics, explosive training, corrective exercises, and other forms of training to enhance athleticism. However, for the purpose of this article, I want to talk about the importance of building pure strength.

I work with the women’s basketball team at the University of Wisconsin and every off-season my goal is to get our team stronger than the previous year. Why? Because if there is one physical attribute that a female basketball player needs more than any other it’s strength. On the other hand, I am still amazed that some basketball coaches continue to underestimate the importance of strength.

I was talking with a strength coach who was frustrated at his head coach because she wants her players to run during the post-season. The reason; “We need to get in better condition”. I do not profess to have all the answers but why do players need to be in “basketball” shape in April, May or June for that matter? Official basketball practice does not start until mid-October. I’ll be honest; I am not a fan of players running or conditioning in the post-season. I believe the post-season is a time to heal from the long competitive season and for preparing your athletes for off-season training. The last thing basketball players need in the off-season is pre-season style conditioning. However, basketball players do need lots of strength work and this especially holds true for female athletes.

The myths surrounding females and strength training are quite disturbing and in some cases have negatively impacted our ability to train women despite the tremendous amount of research on the topic. These myths include:

1.Women can’t get strong
2.Strength training will make women look bulky and masculine
3.Women should avoid high-intensity training or high-load training
4.Women should train differently than men
5.Women only need to do cardio and if they decide to lift weights, they should be very light.

As strength and conditioning professionals, it is imperative that we educate our coaches and athletes on the benefits of strength training, particularly when dealing with female athletes. This is extremely important when we are introduced to new recruits (freshmen) with limited strength training experiences.

Some people will argue what exactly is strength? Is a female capable of performing a 20-rep squat at 60 percent of their one-rep max a form of strength? Or is a female capable of squatting 1.5 times her bodyweight a form of strength? I would say both scenarios are examples of strength (strength endurance versus maximal strength).

However, the basis of this article is to discuss maximal strength development of which female athletes don’t do enough of. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of movement and function and I don’t see the world through the hole of a 45-pound plate (a great article posted previously on this blog). However, it’s okay to challenge and encourage your female players to lift heavier weights during a training session to develop the strength needed to effectively compete in their sport.

As quoted by Lou Schuler in his book entitled The New Rules of Lifting for Women, “results come from hard work and hard work occasionally includes lifting heavier weights.” Basically, it’s alright for females (if capable and taught proficiently) to squat heavy, deadlift heavy, perform chin-ups/pull-ups, perform sled work, perform kettlebell work and the list goes on!

So what are the benefits for getting strong? (I am sure this comes to no surprise for those reading this article.) First and foremost, we all know that female athletes are more prone to sport-related injuries when compared to male athletes. Therefore, the stronger females can become, the less likely they will get injured. Second, strength is the foundation for improving movement efficiency, central nervous system efficiency, balance, coordination, stability, power, speed, elasticity, acceleration, deceleration, quickness, reaction, and conditioning.

Basically, strength is one of the catalysts for enhancing athleticism. Athleticism is the catalyst for providing a solid foundation for developing a skill. Therefore, if you want to improve your ability to post up a defender – get strong; if you want to improve your rebounding capabilities - get strong; if you want to improve your ability to play man-to-man defense – get strong; if you want to improve your ability to absorb contact when driving to the basket – get strong; if you want to set hard screens or get through screens – get strong, if you want to improve your jump shot - get strong! I think you get the point!

Third, all basketball players need to play at an optimal weight/body composition regardless of position. Researchers found that unlike men, women typically don't gain size from strength training, because compared to men; women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy. So, lifting heavier weights will develop functional strength without the expense of adding unwanted size.

I believe there is also a psychological benefit for females when developing strength. When a female athlete becomes stronger, they become more confident and their self-esteem soars through the roof. Confidence translates into toughness. Toughness is an attribute that is needed to win games. Why, because you need toughness to play defense, to dive on the floor for loose balls, to make free throws, to run your offensive sets, to erase a ten point deficit or to maintain a 10-point lead.

Within a team environment, getting stronger can foster team unity and enhance team toughness simply by having players push themselves (and each other) in the weight room. Make no mistake, female athletes want to be challenged and in most cases; in the same manner as a male athlete. They want to train in an intense and competitive environment and some relish the experience.

At the University of Wisconsin, I am not ashamed to admit that are women’s basketball team was not the most talented team in the Big Ten this year when compared to programs such as Ohio State, Michigan State, and the University of Iowa. However, we qualified for the 2010 NCAA tournament for the first time in 9 years despite being picked 10th in the pre-season conference polls. I would like to assume that are dedication to getting strong in the off-season was one of the factors that helped us achieved success.

Lastly, studies have shown that strength training (strength work) reduced depression symptoms and anxiety levels more successfully than standard counseling sessions. Newly released studies show that after a strength training session, endorphin levels (feel good hormones) are increased by more than 60 percent leaving you feeling rejuvenated and even euphoric, keeping your mind trouble-free.

Mentally, players have to prepare for a long season which can be quite stressful. Players are under extreme stress because of classes, study sessions, and practices. Games are normally played on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and during winter break sessions. Social activities with friends and family are at a minimal. If you ever been to Madison, Wisconsin the cold weather and snow can sometimes make life miserable. Let’s not forget, losing streaks are stressful as well. Stress can make or break a season! Weight training can be quite therapeutic.

So remember, if you want your female players to be athletic, lean, competitive, self-confident, tough and stress free; lift some heavy stuff once in awhile!

I want to thank Coach Ray Eady for continuing to share his knowledge and passion for athletes. Remember, everyday at AGSP, all of our athletes are "GETTING STRONG"!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart