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Are Your Workouts Working?

By Jamie McDonald, Velocity Sports Performance

Whew…that was a tough workout!  For 75 minutes, you pumped, squatted, curled and jumped rope.  You worked hard and broke a good sweat.  Your hard work will really payoff on the field this season…or will it?

Working out and sports performance training are two entirely different things.  Working out hard is a small part of being a better athlete.  You have to work out smart.  Consistently. With a plan.  Speed, strength and power are as much about the brain as the body.

Athletic performance is not fate or luck.  Speed, power and agility are skills, and like any skill, can be acquired or improved through means of careful planning, and intense training. 

When you walk through the weight room door, do you have a plan for the day, the week, the month, the season?  Do you ‘periodize’ (plan workout intensity and progression through a period of time) your workouts so that you will peak during your season?  Do you work through a progression of skill acquisition, advancement, and reinforcement?  If not, read on.


Speed: The Name of the Game
Speed, the most important factor in sports, is also the most complex and technical.  According to Loren Seagrave, internationally recognized expert in speed development and the Founder of Velocity Sports Performance, "Speed is similar to human intelligence, it is invisible until it has been developed."

Yes, some people are born with an instinctive ability to run with proper form at high speed.  These are the lucky few who naturally dorsiflex the foot, lean at a 45º angle, and focus on foot contacts rather than stride length.  It is from these individuals that much of the science of speed has been developed.

It takes an expert to teach speed.  Even Olympic-level sprinters are coached and trained to maximize speed.   Speed is a skill, like shooting a basket or hitting a baseball, that depends on a continual learning process.  

Speed is not one thing.  Speed training for a sprinter is different from the explosive, short burst speed required for a football player.  Learning straight-ahead speed is different from learning change of direction.  Sprinters must reach maximum velocity and then maintain their top speed through the duration of the race.  But, if you play a sport where cutting, dodging, or picking are important, you must train to improve your ability to change direction and explode out of the movement.

These are just the basics; and, we haven’t even started to talk about power, explosiveness or strength.


Strength Training: Get in the Game…Train the Chain!
How much time do you spend during your strength workout doing bench press and bicep curls?  These are great exercises for making you look good on the beach, but are not as important if your goal is to be a better athlete.  If you want strength and power on the field or court, you need to develop the centers of power: your core and posterior chain.

The core includes the back muscles and the abdominal muscles in the front of your body.  The posterior chain includes the low back, glutes and hamstrings.  In the majority of sports, the area from the middle of your back to your knees is the key to athletic performance. This area of the body is the secret to success in most sports.

Injury Prevention: Proper Training will Keep You in the Game
According to the research, athletes who participate in a scientifically designed, expert-supervised training program are up to 88% less likely to be injured, particularly the increasingly common ACL injury.  You can’t be a great athlete if you are not on the field.  What more needs to be said?

Velocity Sports Performance can make you better.  Guaranteed!
Coaches are one of two keys to true athletic performance improvement.  The depth of knowledge that a coach possesses directly affects his or her ability to deliver a program with measurable results that you will see on the field.

Velocity Sports Performance coaches are bachelors and masters level kinesiologists and exercise physiologists.  They are further certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s rigorous Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist process.  They are also required to receive a USA Weightlifting certification as a Level 1 Club coach.  Few coaches in the region (or the country for that matter) must go through as rigorous a series of requirements as a Velocity coach.

The other key is the sophistication of the program.  The Velocity Performance System is a long-term, scientifically based, progressive improvement program designed for guaranteed gains in speed, power and agility.  During the first two- three months of training, a typical athlete improves by 5% to 10% on a series of performance tests that measure athleticism.  There are more than 300 program modules that guide an athlete’s athletic development from middle school through the pros.

Top local lacrosse player, Michael Kimmel of Loyola High School, saw significant gains from training at Velocity.  “I would have to say that the biggest difference Velocity has made for me is my First Step- it's more explosive. The weekly work outs have been a great addition to my regular routine at school.  I feel like I'm in the best shape I've ever been.  This gives me more confidence on the field.  I would highly recommend Velocity."

Click here to learn more about Velocity Sports Performance.

Issue 1.19: August 31, 2006