Thursday, February 27, 2014

Get to Know Your Coach: Nic White

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 Nic White, check it out and get to know your coaches better!  

Our athletes know you as Coach Nic White, what does Coach Nic White like to do outside of making athletes better?
Outside of making student-athletes better I enjoy educating myself in all facets of athletics. I also enjoy working out, fishing, and spending time with family.

How did you get started working with athletes? 
I began working with student-athletes when I was a student-athlete. I took leadership roles in every sport I was involved in. On that note, I focused on making everyone on my team better in life and athletics.

Based on your experience, what is the one, biggest physical skill that today's athlete lacks? How do you address that need? 
Balance! Every athlete trains to get bigger and stronger. Coaches themselves will push an athlete to gain substantial amounts of weight. If you cannot play within your frame it will make it that much harder to change direction, accelerate, and reach maximal velocity.

You have a lot of Collegiate Coaching experience, how has time at the collegiate level helped your current athletes? 
I understand what it takes to be successful at every level. I know the different physical and mental traits that successful athletes possess. High school and college athletics go beyond the field, the chalkboard, and the weight room. My time at the college ranks allowed me the opportunity to spend more time around athletes, which has opened my eyes to these different traits.

What do you like most about working with athletes? 
I love watching student-athletes accomplish their goals on and off the playing field.

What advice would you give today's athlete? 
Focus on the process of becoming a champion instead of the championship itself. If the “opportunity” is presented to you tomorrow are you prepared?

Thanks Coach Nic for your great coaching and passion!

Keep Training!
Akron General Sports Performance 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Athlete Performance Testing - Part 8

As we touched on in our last article, the “powerline” position is crucial for fast and efficient acceleration in athletics. If your powerline breaks as you accelerate – or for that matter, if there is any accessory movement outside of the sagittal plane – we have a performance leak that needs to be addressed ASAP!
Athletes who exhibit a broken powerline position often fall into one of two categories – those with a broken powerline when starting and those who gradually break their powerline as they accelerate. In either case, there are a few handy tools we can utilize to correct these flaws and improve performance.
First up is the wall drill. This is a great exercise for teaching athletes the basic mechanics of accelerating as well as the “feel” of the powerline position. We start with positioning and progress to single, double, and triple counts, before graduating to rapid fire.
Once the athlete has mastered the wall drill, we can transition them to a harness. A harness requires considerably more concentration and core strength on the athlete’s end to make sure their body remains in the position it should be. Just was we did on the wall, we can follow a similar progression in the harness, starting with positioning and gradually incorporating marching, skipping, and finally, running.
Everything is done with a primary emphasis on positioning and core strength. Speed is important, but only when maintaining the powerline position!
Our final performance test is right around the corner! In our next article we'll introduce you to the Pro Agility test and identifying it's most common errors!
Keep Training!
Coach Anthony Colarusso 
and Akron General Sports Performance

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Athlete Performance Testing - Part 7

The 10-yard dash is a great way to measure an athlete’s ability to start from a static position and accelerate. You’ll often hear this distance referred to as the drive phase by track coaches and sprinters, and this indeed is an accurate description, as the athlete is literally driving themselves to top speed.
 Because maximum velocity is not achieved until approximately 30-40 yards, this test does not measure an athlete’s top speed, but rather, their ability achieve top speed in the shortest time possible. The more powerful an athlete is, the quicker they will accelerate, and the faster their 10-yard dash time will be.
When an athlete accelerates, their body should be positioned in a 45 degree angle, with their shoulders, hips, and ankles in alignment. This is referred to as the “powerline” position, and it is critical to maintain this position over the first 8-10 steps of any linear movement.

The "powerline" as demonstrated by Olympic sprinter Yohan "The Beast" Blake of Jamaica.

However, even the most powerful athletes in the world can have flawed sprinting mechanics, and this can have a significant impact on their speed. To ensure that an athlete is accelerating as efficiently as possible, it is important to assess the athlete’s body position while accelerating.  Check out this video of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt to see just how important positioning is.

Stay tuned! Coming up, we'll touch on how you can maintain the proper body positioning to stay a step ahead of the competition!

Keep Training!
Coach Anthony and Akron General Sports Performance

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sports Performance Coaches and Learning

Hello Everyone!

It is always a compliment to have fellow Sports Performance Coaches stop out for a visit at AGSP. We are proud of the fact that people that know what good training is want to come see our program in action.

Recently, we had Sports Performance and Personal Trainer Brad Bober visit from Pennsylvania. He shared some of his AGSP experience on his website and we know he is already implementing some of his new knowledge to help his clients.
If you'd like to see for yourself why we have other sports performance coaches from out of state visit, contact me today at

Keep Training! (and learning!)
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Athlete Performance Testing - Part 6

Like the vertical jump, the broad jump is a test of lower body power and explosiveness, albeit in the horizontal plane. It is a great indicator of an athlete's ability to accelerate. However, the broad jump is a unique test in that it requires the athlete to not only jump, but to demonstrate control when landing. This requirement can quickly turn into a performance testing nightmare for athletes with poor ankle and hip mobility or insufficient leg strength. 
In these athletes, we’ll often see a landing that looks something like this:

No control? No score.

It can be very frustrating for an athlete who has the capability of jumping 9+ feet to only hit a 7 foot broad jump because they could not stick the landing. Fortunately, all is not lost! With a couple of simple exercises, we can quickly add an extra 12-24" to the athlete's initial jump!

The following 3 drills are just a few of the handful of exercises we can use to accomplish this task!

Ankles feeling like rusty hinges? Ankle joint mobs are perfect for improving mobility.

The dreaded infant squat. Loosens the hips and teaches proper squatting mechanics.

Tight groin? Having a tough time getting down? Give the squat stretch a try!
Give these a try prior to your next broad jump test! You'll be surprised at the difference they make! Next week we'll take a look at the 10-yard dash, a test of power and pure acceleration!

Keep Training!
Coach Anthony and Akron General Sports Performance

Why High-Intensity Exercise WORKS

Hello Everyone!

Last time I explained why training in the fat burning zone is not the fastest way to lose weight. I explained that if fat loss is your goal then you need to preform higher intensity cardio because it burns more total calories and therefore more fat will be lost.

But how does higher intensity exercise do that? Especially if you can only train at high intensity for a quarter to a fraction of the time than you can at lower "fat burning zone" intensities?

It's because of EPOC which is an acronym for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. EPOC is the term to describe the physical adaptions your body makes after you are done exercising.

Think back to the last time you ran up a flight of stairs. When you got to the top were you breathing normally? How was your heart rate halfway down the next hall? How warm were you as you sat down at your destination?

This is because at high intensity exercise (running up stairs in this case) our body's can't keep up. Therefore they play catch-up (EPOC) by keeping our breathing, heart-rate, and metabolism revved up. This is so all our organs and tissues can stabilize from the recent lack of enough oxygen and blood.

Metabolism is our calorie/energy burning system and can be profoundly affected by high-tensity exercise. In fact, some studies have shown that EPOC can still be affecting the metabolic system up to 36 hours after exercise! This means that hours after your workout you are still burning more calories from your workout. Hence, why high-intensity is the best, fastest way to loosing weight!
I'll save the mileage talk for next time. Until then...

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance