Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lifting for Athletic Performance (Part 2)

Hello Everyone!

Our last post discussed why training for improved athletic performance is different than training for specific muscles and why the Olympic Lifts can have huge benefits for athletes. In this post we will better breakdown one of the specific benefits athletes receive from Olympic Lifting.

Better Coordination is obtained when athletes learn how to Olympic Lift (Clean and Jerk, Snatch). Simply stated, the best athletes are the most coordinated! Think about it - whether it is dribbling, pitching, tackling, passing, kicking, swinging... all athletic skills are demonstrations of coordination.

Whoever has the best mapped out neuro-pathways has the best sport skills. (Your thoughts travel through your nervous system to the muscular system so your desired action is performed.) The faster and more detailed your neuro-pathways, the faster and more detailed you play!

The Olympic Lifts are all about coordination. To be successful in the lifts, your body parts must move at the right time and at the right speeds. Now reread that last sentence as if it were describing a skill for your chosen sport. It is universal to athletics (moving your body parts at the right time at the right speeds). When you become a more coordinated athlete you become a more skilled (and successful) athlete!
Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lifting for Athletic Performance (Part 1)

Hello Everyone!

Recently I had an athlete ask, "Coach, what muscle does this Clean and Jerk work?"

Most of us are taught to look at exercises by what muscles they work (this is derived from America's bodybuilding obsession). Yet, in sports we don't say, "What muscle does dribbling this basketball work?" We dribble, and we practice dribbling, so we can score more and help our team win more.

So when athletes lift to improve performance, we have to ask questions like, "Coach, how will this exercise make me a faster, stronger, more powerful athlete?"

How does the Clean and Jerk (and the Snatch, all of which are classified as Olympic Lifts) help improve athletes' performance? Here's a list of benefits for athletes:
  • Improved Coordination
  • Improved Triple Extension (jumping, throwing, tackling, kicking...)
  • Stronger Deceleration 
  • Overhead Strength
The next post will better explain why the above list truly impacts an athlete's performance and success!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Recruiting Tips for Athletes

Hello Everyone!

Many of our athletes here at AGSP hope to continue playing their chosen sport in college. HERE is a great article written by local recruiting expert Kelly Kennedy that provides tips and suggestions on how to improve your recruiting process. A must read!

Keep Training! 
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Athlete Spotlight #66) Hannah Nichols

The Green Sports Performance Program has had a lot of talented athletes coming through the doors the past several months. One in particular stands out above the rest. She is one heck of a soccer player and has made great strides in strength and speed since starting with us back in January. She's also a pretty good dancer between sets of squats in the weight room :) I’m proud to introduce our next athlete…

Athlete Name: Hannah Nichols 
Sport(s): Soccer
Position(s): Defender, Midfield
School: Green High School
Graduation Year: 2017 
AGSP Athlete Since: January 2013

Favorite Professional Sports Team: Barcelona

Favorite Professional Athlete: Lionel Messi

Favorite Lift: Squats :) 
Favorite Movement Skill: Acceleration
When I am not training at AGSP, I am: With friends, traveling, or playing soccer 
Showing off her swag from the 2013 US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships. Hannah helped lead her team to a 2nd place finish in their bracket.

What are your short-term goals? To graduate high school
What are your long-term goals?
To play professional soccer
How has AGSP impacted your performance as an athlete? It has helped me get stronger and prevent injury.

(we've put them all into one video!)

Keep Training! 
Coach Anthony Colarusso and Akron General Sports Performance

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Leaders Lead from the Front

Hello Everyone!

Dwight D. Eisenhower is noted to have said that great leaders lead from the front. He compared it to moving a piece of string. If you push it from behind, the string bunches up, but if you pull it from the front, the string moves where you desire it to go. This simple, but powerful example helped US Military leaders lead from the front on the beaches of Normandy.
Often at AGSP we have leaders who are "leading from the front." Many times they are the first member of their team to join AGSP to dedicate time and training to improve their speed, strength, and power. Whether they realize it or not they are the leaders that are moving the team forward towards more wins and moving themselves closer to collegiate opportunities.

Leaders can not stand in the back waiting for others to act. Leaders take action. Leaders lead from the front!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance