Friday, January 30, 2015

Great Sports Performance Training does NOT include...(Part 2)

This is Part 2 of “Great Sports Performance Training does NOT include…” for Part 1 CLICK HERE.

Hello Everyone!

A great sports performance program should include exercises that are similar to the movements performed in a game. Therefore, great sports performance training does NOT include...machines. 

Machine Exercises:
• Restrict your range of motion into a set pattern
• Often have you sitting
• Do not teach you how to move better
• Do not require coordination
• Train muscles separately which never happens in sport
• Do not make you faster
• Do not teach you how to generate more power

The above list is not athletic. Machines are not athletic.
Machines are not athletic. Machines can't teach you to be athletic.
When searching for a great sports performance program, the program should have little to no machines. Machine exercises are best for rehabilitation and bodybuilding.

Great Sports Performance Exercises:
• Train you through unrestricted, natural sport movements
• Often have you on your feet
• Teach you how to move better
• Require coordination
• Train the body as a whole
• Make you faster
• Teach you how to generate more power

The above list is athletic. This list includes characteristics of great athletes.

When performing exercises for sports performance think of incorporating: Olympic Lifts, Calisthenics, Barbells, Dumbbells, Medicine Balls, Kettlebells, and Suspension exercises. Think of the movements you do, or want to do, in your sport and try to replicate/compliment them in your training like we do at Akron General Sports Performance.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance

Monday, January 26, 2015

Athlete Spotlight #70) Jace Burke

Hello Everyone!
I am excited to announce that our Athlete Spotlights are back! Our 70th athlete is an outstanding person and athlete. He is genuine in everything he does. Whether it is treating a younger athlete as his little brother, showing up early, treating others with kindness, attempting a heavy set in the weight room, or going all out on a speed skill, everything this athlete does is authentic. It’s time to meet our newest athlete spotlight!

Athlete Name: Jace Burke
Sport(s): Baseball
Position(s): Shortstop, 3rd Base, and Pitcher
School: Walsh Jesuit
Graduation Year: 2017
AGSP Athlete Since: 2013

Favorite Professional Sports Team: Cincinnati Reds
Favorite Professional Athlete: Pete Rose

Favorite Lift: Clean Pull
Favorite Movement Skill: Power Step

When I am not training at AGSP, I am: Lifting at home, baseball training (fielding, hitting, pitching), fishing, hanging with friends.
What are your short-term goals? To start at 3rd base at Walsh Jesuit. To hit 85+mph on the mound.
What are your long-term goals?
To play D1 baseball and be a two way player at that school.

How has AGSP impacted your performance as an athlete? I have become more flexible, stronger, faster, and more explosive. I have come to undertand my body and waht I need to do so I can perform at a high level.

Check out some video of Jace in action at AGSP!

Keep Training! 
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Great Sports Performance Training does NOT include... (Part 1)

Hello Everyone!

(This series is inspired by real conversations I've had with athletes recently. These are real topics that need clarification.)

Great speed, strength, and power training (sports performance) does NOT include...puking.

If you are learning new speed skills, moving weights properly in the weight room, and developing into a more complete athlete, there is no room (or point) in getting sick during training. And puking should not be your indicator of whether you had a great workout or not.

Getting sick during or after a workout is a physical sign that you've pushed your body to the point where it thinks it needs to empty it's stomach contents so there is less need for blood in the digestive system and therefore more blood can go to the muscular and aerobic systems (for survival). This is a scenario that rarely ever happens in a game setting (at any level of competition).

It's important to understand the difference between speed and agility training and conditioning.

Speed and Agility: individual skills. One specific event/moment. Example: The speed needed to run past your man. The agility needed to defend a play.

Conditioning: being able to repeat the speed and agility of your sport throughout the course of an entire game. Keeping your level of skill throughout your playing time. Example: Repeatedly being able to transition from offense to defense on the soccer field or basketball court. Being able to give it your all on every play during a football drive.
Spending time here is not needed to make you a better athlete.
You don't learn anything when you puke during training. You don't get faster or stronger when you're getting sick. Anyone can run bleachers and suicides until they puke. Very few people can teach you how to perform your sport at a faster, quicker, stronger, and more powerful level.

If you are 4 or less weeks from your first game, then it's important your conditioned enough to be able to play. This may be the time where you have a challenging, game-like conditioning session, that causes some tummy discomfort (but again, your goal shouldn't be getting all the way sick).

If you are in your off-season you should be focusing on LEARNING how to be a faster, quicker, stronger and more powerful athlete. It's the time to fine tune your movements so you can develop into a more complete athlete.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winning Youth Coaching Podcast interviews Coach Amanda

Hello Everyone!

Recently, I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by The Winning Youth Coaching (WYC) Podcast. Winning Youth Coaching is a podcast for the mom or dad coach that has a passion for impacting young people through a positive coaching experience.

During my interview with Host Craig Haworth, I share a lot of tips and insights about coaching young people. I also include information on better warmups and safe strength and conditioning for kids.

I encourage everyone to listen to the Winning Youth Coaching podcast as I have personally listened to every episode and have learned some great tips every time.

Click HERE to listen to my interview (it's free!). 

For tips on better warmups, "common sense" training tips, and more listen to WYC Ep30!
 Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why Ohio State Won the 2015 National Championship

Hello Everyone!

There are many reasons why The Ohio State Buckeyes should NOT have won the first ever College National Championship decided by playoffs. 

They lost their starting QB Braxton Miller to a season-ending shoulder injury during fall practice. 

They lost at home to Virginia Tech by two touchdowns. 

They had to cope with the death of scout team player Kosta Karageorge. 

They lost their second QB J.T. Barrett to a season ending broken ankle. 

For most teams, having just one of these huge challenges would be enough to count them down and out. Yet, Ohio State persevered through it all. How did they do it?

The best way to answer that question is with another, "What was Ohio State's goal this year?"


Complete buy-in to this goal was what gave Ohio State the ability to overcome their multiple setbacks. They had to stay focused on their belief in their goal.

A great lesson for athletes:
There will be a time in your athletic journey that something unexpected happens. You need to have unwavering belief in your goal in order to be able to overcome the inevitable setbacks.

If Ohio State can achieve their goal of winning a National Championship, then you can achieve your goal too. What is your goal and how much do you truly believe in it?

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart and Akron General Sports Performance 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Get to Know Your Coach: Alec White

AGSP athletes get to work with the area's best sports performance coaches. Get to know Coach Alec better and what advice he has for athletes.

Our athletes know you as Coach Alec White, what does Coach Alec like to do outside of making athletes better?
In my spare time I enjoy working out, spending time with family and friends, watching movies, and playing video games.

How did you get started working with athletes?
I realized I enjoyed working with athletes when I began training my friends in high school and college. I began training my friend and then it spread to two underclassmen as well. Both of which were all-league as seniors in 2014, in addition to one of them being an all-state selection.

Based on your experience, what is the one, biggest physical skill that today's athlete lacks? How do you address that need?
Flexibility, not in terms of stretching, but being able to move fluently. That is so crucial in today’s world of sports. Flexibility is the one thing I constantly had to work on throughout my career. Being able to open up my hips helped me get away from being robotic. I think doing exercises with a full range of motion and not taking shortcuts can best address the problem. Another solution is for athletes to take more time to stretch and cool down post workout. Lastly, I think beginning yoga helped me a ton during my athletic career.

You have a lot of personal athletic experience, how has your experience as a football player helped your current athletes?
I think my experience as a collegiate football player allows me to give better feedback to the current athletes because I have experienced the good and bad and have most likely been in there shoes in some way, shape, or form. Also, I know the work and effort it takes to make it to the next level.

What do you like most about working with athletes?
I really enjoy giving back to athletes, because I know I was in there shoes before. I really enjoy being in the atmosphere around athletes and the competitive nature that I see in younger athletes; it makes working with them a lot easier.

What advice would you give today's athlete?
Work hard!!!! You don’t get to the next level or where you want to be without putting in the work first. If you don’t someone else will work harder than you and take what you wanted.

Thanks Coach Alec for all your great coaching!