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3 TIPS For NJ Athletes Who Want MORE Success In Sports AND Life
The past few years have been the most confusing times for parents seeking to help their kids achieve greater success in sports. There are literally millions upon millions of articles, videos and other content pieces on the internet delivering information on how to train for sports.
The main issue is that very few of these informational pieces are tested or proven to be effective and more importantly, safe. There is little to no filter to determine what gets shared on the internet or not. Before you know it, you are overwhelmed with information and get trapped in fads and gimmicks vs results.
To help your child achieve more success in sports, I’m going to share with you 3 critical tips that will not only help your child achieve greater success in sports, but also in life. Time is of the essence and if you waste time on ineffective, unsafe training methods, your child never gets this time back.
Tip # 1: Be Consistent All Year. Both Off Season AND In Season.
This seems so basic yet it is actually rarely put to use. The athletes who train year round, consistently are those who achieve more success and have less injuries that sideline them during the season.
Look at D1 sports. The athletes train ALL year. They don’t Stop Strength & Performance training in season or Only train the 3 months pre season.
Success Takes NO Vacations. You Must Decide as a Parent if you want your child to be GREAT or just to be part of the team. BIGGER Success requires Greater work ethic and dedication.
Throughout the years I have noticed a BIG decline in consistency for in season strength & conditioning with athletes.
Parents get caught up in over doing the skill work and what ends up happening is the athlete increases his risk for the following:
Overuse injuries. Too much repetition of movement without the required tendon / ligament and muscular strength to handle the repetitive forces increases injuries.
Psychological Burn Out. When an athlete gets no rest or break from skill work not only do they get physically run down and eventually injured, they also get mentally burnt out. The mental burn out leads to doubt, lack of confidence, lack of enthusiasm for training and lack of passion for the sport altogether.
Strength & performance training is best performed year round, having different programs for the off season and in season.
An in season program can be as short as 1 – 2 sessions a week and lasting less than 30 minutes at a clip. Once a week training = 100% more than ZERO training.
If you stop training in season, you can’t expect to improve, let alone maintain strength and power output in your sport. After 2 weeks of skipped performance training, the gains built up in the off season will begin to decline.
The most important time to continue strength & performance work is IN season because the athlete is already performing 6 days a week of skill and competition training. As an athlete and parent, this is a BIG opportunity to get ahead of your competition because the majority of athletes / coaches completely stop in season training and double up on skill work, which is the exact opposite of what successful athletes do.
Commitment to a year round performance program not only develops a more “bulletproof” body against injuries but it also teaches the athlete the commitment required to succeed in life. When the going gets tough and times are busy, you learn how to commit to your training program and you rise above those who quit during tough times or busy times. This is a Lifestyle choice.
An effective strength and performance program will build the mind just as much as it builds the body. A strong mind is the ticket to success in sports and life!
Tip # 2: Get Stronger. Parents and athletes have been tricked into thinking strength is a bad thing. You hear the fallacy of “strength will slow you down”, “strength will add bulk”, “strength training will hurt you”.
Strength Is NEVER A Weakness
If it was so easy to get strong and bulky you would see countless high school athletes 200 + lbs with lean muscle. But, this is simply NOT the case. Success takes Work both in the gym and at home from nutrition to sleep to overall lifestyle.
Injuries comes from being weak and inadequately prepared. Anything done incorrectly (Sports Skills, Strength Work, Speed Work, etc) will hurt you, slow you down and impede your performance.
When strength training is properly performed, the athlete becomes:
– Faster & More Explosive
– Less likely to get injured
– Develops greater speed and power
– Increases confidence and mental toughness
Why do we see 3 – 4 times as many athletic injuries among high school athletes than we did 10 years ago?
The big issue is because they have not developed the strength to tolerate the overuse of skill work.
When you’re body is weak, it will find a way to stop your training if you refuse to slow down. Injuries are mother nature’s way of sending the body messages that something is NOT right.
Through the past few years I have seen countless varsity athletes come to The Underground Strength Gym unable to perform 1 good bodyweight squat, 1 pull up and 10 push ups. We see weak muscles, tight muscles and poor movement patterns.
Things MUST change if you want to Succeed. Calisthenics and proper mechanics are a must if you want to excel in your chosen sports.
No amount of speed & agility work will fix these weak muscles. The development of speed comes from developing greater strength and learning how to move better.
Looking at the opposite end of the spectrum, if your child is among a group of athletes all with a high level of skill, he will hit a wall eventually if he does not get stronger.
To separate himself from the pack, he must develop greater strength which will carry over to better skill and technique in their sport.
Tip # 3. Live The Lifestyle, 365.
At The Underground Strength Gym we teach our athletes what we call “Live The Code 365.” The foundation is built upon honesty, integrity, commitment and work ethic.
This means that every day they are improving and striving for excellence in all areas of your life, every day. Every day, you must improve in at least one area of your life, be it academics, nutrition, sleep, your training, the people you hang out with and even the way you think, the books you read and the movies you watch.
At the end of each day, the athlete should be honest with himself and be able to truly know if he has improved in at least one area in life. Success in sports and life go hand in hand.
To achieve greater success you need to work smarter, not just harder. Achieving goals requires consistency and work ethic. A strong mind will teach you to overcome obstacles and to rebound from setbacks rather than being stuck in a rut.
The most powerful lesson learned through a safe and effective strength & performance program is the ability to overcome the challenges in training, all of which require a strong mind.
Don’t get caught up in the fads or the gimmicks. Don’t get overwhelmed and confused with the countless information pieces you see everywhere. It is the commitment and consistency to a safe and effective program that will help your child take his / her success in sports and life to the next level.