Improving Performance is the name of the game

Improving performance on the court, on the mat, or on the field is a moving target and the goal for every athlete is to move faster, jump more explosively, become stronger, and dominate their competition, right?

Athletes today have greater demands than a decade before. Many school-based sports (volleyball, soccer, baseball, wrestling, football, etc) has evolved to a year-round process when combined with club sport teams, and finding the time to balance a proper strength and performance with nightly practices, weekend tournaments, clinics and extra coaching… oh and let’s not forget maintaining their academics in school can be tricky.

As much as skill coaches need to focus on the skills of the sport, there is truth in one important criterion:

A stronger athlete is a more explosive athlete

A stronger athlete is a quicker athlete

A stronger athlete is a more conditioned athlete

A stronger athlete is a mentally engaged athlete

It is no doubt strength and power is built by spending time in the weight room. If you need an example, just look at how dominate Alabama was over The Ohio State Buckeyes during 2021 National Championship game right?

In order to recruit muscle fibers to move explosively, we would normally need to use weights in excess of 90% which in turn increases the stress on an athlete’s frame; during the off-season, they can handle this increased intensity and volume because of deceased external stress, whereas for athletes looking to improve performance during their competition season presents a unique challenge.

As a result of hours of practice either before or after school, carrying books back and forth to classes, jumping and running for conditioning work, and or any other activity that places stress on their bodies athletes are exposed to plenty of external stress during a normal day so placing a heavy barbell on their back, pressing over their head, or picking up a heavy barbell from the ground when fatigued and over-worked may not be the best idea for most youth athletes during their season wouldn’t you agree?