We provide YOU the finest speed and conditioning training customized for all ages and ability levels.
To get the best results, you must train like the best.
Athletes get the best training - so we train everyone like athletes.
people comes first
Competitive athletics is honorable but has little meaning if one doesn't develop character, honor, and a strong spirit. Sports are designed to entertain and to make us stronger. It is important to remember that ALL athletics should be FUN!
**Academic development and achievement
precedes - but is a part of
The athlete who competes in interscholastic sports carries a double responsibility that non-athletes don't - that is to succeed athletically and academically. Both require time, dedication and discipline. It is a scientific fact that healthier bodies help breed healthier minds. Managing one's time and resources bodes well for determining one's long-term success.
**Develop BASIC athleticism first, specific/competitive skill second
Firstly, address the BASIC Bio-Motor Abilities:
· Speed - The rate at which the body and its parts can move, regardless of direction
· Strength - The amount of force that can be generated against resistance, regardless of time
· Coordination - The person's ability to quickly and skillfully control their movements
· Flexibility - In this case, the maximum range of dynamic or functional movement
· Endurance - In this case, the ability to resist fatigue (specific to the event or sport)
Everything else is a combination of the above – which is why the above are basics. "Power" is a function of strength and time (speed). "Agility" is a function of coordination and speed, etc. These BASIC abilities are paramount to overall athletic development. Consistent with the concepts promoted by USA Track & Field, we take a multi-lateral approach to training these qualities. ALL of these qualities should be developed (relative to the event/sport), as they form a solid foundation upon which we later develop advanced skills. To share a great quote attributed to an Air Force Pararescue Master Sergeant:
"The only thing that separates the elite from all the rest is the fact that the elite are better at the basics than everyone else."
How TRUE this is!
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Athletes should progress through the following basic phases (not mutually exclusive – as each builds upon those that precede it):
· Having Fun
· Learning Movement
· Learning to Train
· Training to Train
· Training to Compete
· Training to Win
· Training for Long-Term Health and Fitness
It is a BIG mistake to over-specialize athletes too early in their lives (particularly pre-adolescents) simply for the sake of short-term success. It is fine (and recommended) to work youngsters hard. And there IS a place and time for specialization. However, it is often counter-productive to demand extreme focus and/or specialization from athletes before they are ready. This is a recipe for burnout or injury.
Let kids be kids. Work them hard. But teach them first - following the above sequence. You will then lay the foundation for greater long-term success athletically and otherwise.
**Hard training is a good thing - Don't let short-term discomfort hinder
Competitive athletic training involves the planned application of overload – or stress, balanced by recovery (or rest). This is much different than recreational "working out." The three keys are "planned," "overload," and “recovery.”
Firstly, we do not approach training haphazardly. That is simply exercise. There is nothing wrong with mere exercise. But if there is no plan there will be little progress.
Secondly, if the body is not placed into a position beyond its comfort zone - where it is forced to adapt - it will not get better (faster, fitter, etc.). It is important to remember "no strain (not pain), no gain."
Lastly, planned overload must be balanced with rest and recovery so the system can adapt. This is where a lot of coaches - especially youth and high school coaches - miss the mark. More is not necessarily better. One doesn’t become stronger while actually lifting weights or running hills, etc. The athlete actually becomes stronger during the recovery time afterward.
Real athletes crave challenges. Showing athletes where their (perceived) limits are, and then teaching them to surpass them - is one of the greatest gifts we can bestow. This not only makes them stronger physically, but also develops them mentally and spiritually. These lessons will be valuable long after their competitive days are done.
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**However, discomfort does NOT equal injury
Athletes who wish to improve must be willing to go outside their “comfort zone.” At times this may be very uncomfortable, if not downright painful. "No strain no gain" does not equal "no pain, no gain." Discomfort does NOT necessarily equal injury. Competitive athletics (as in most beneficial life endeavors) entails risk and stress. However, this risk is manageable. There is NO track meet, game, or match important enough to place an athlete - especially a youth athlete - in a position of unnecessary/unmanageable injury risk.
**The training principles must be based on scientific FACT, thus
capitalizing on the body's known energy systems - The training must make sense!
There must be a rational basis for the athlete's training. Regardless of a coach's individual "style," the training must be based upon demonstrative, replicable scientific and biomechanical principles. Although coaching is an art – it is an art based upon scientific facts. For example; weight training is beneficial, but a distance runner’s training should not center on it. Nor should a long jumper focus on the same lactate-tolerance training necessary for the 400/800-meter runner. The energy systems required for success in these respective events are vastly different. Although both of these practices will make the athlete "strong," science has shown that it is better to focus efforts on attributes that are specific to the event.
This doesn't mean these athletes should not touch on these skills from time to time. A multi-lateral approach trains ALL of the basic bio-motor properties simultaneously. The key is to focus on one or two at a time, and to know which are complimentary (and which are not). This is easier said than done. . Not only is it damaging to an athlete physically and psychologically - it’s also a huge waste of valuable training time to overdo repetition merely for the sake of what is perceived as "conditioning." There is one phrase I coined a few years back (yes, even I have original ideas):
"More is not necessarily better. Better is better."
We focus on the BEST attributes of a particular bio-motor ability relative to the attribute we are training. If we are training speed - then we run (move, punch, kick, swim, etc.) FAST. If we are training strength, then we lift/move/jump (etc.) against heavy resistance. ALL training follows a rational pattern based upon the SAID (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) principle - after all, you are what you train for. If you train slow, you run slow, etc.
CTG Development uses a planned periodization scheme incorporating work and REST to prepare the athlete to compete at their best when it counts the most. Simply doing something because "we have always done it that way" is not enough. It has to make sense. We strive to justify EVERYTHING ("show the science") we do. Otherwise, we are simply guessing.
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**Train for speed and explosiveness first, strength second, and applied endurance last;
following the “Short to Long”, "Simple to Complex", and "Capacity to
It is not necessary for jumpers (soccer players, sprinters, baseball players, etc.) to be able to run moderately fast for one or two minutes. You would be surprised to see how many coaches still think that running long distance gives a person "strength" to run faster. However, it IS absolutely necessary for a jumper, ball player (etc.) to be able to sprint VERY fast (maximum controlled velocity) for about 1-2 seconds and then produce a maximal jumping effort or perform a specific athletic skill.
Regardless of one's skill at dribbling a soccer ball, it is of no use to the player who is always a step behind in the sprint to the ball. Humans are capable of generating maximal muscular efforts for approximately six seconds via energy resources stored in the muscles known as CP (Creatine Phosphate) and ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate). So it makes sense to make speed training as specific to this biological reality as possible.
Endurance on a general level has its place. It is a basic bio-motor ability and it is needed for basic conditioning. But for jumpers/sprinters (and most field sport athletes) the necessary endurance training can generally be developed rather quickly (as in a few weeks). The endurance focus should be on applied endurance geared toward giving the athlete the capacity to practice more repetitions of fast sprinting. When the athlete can no longer produce quality efforts, the training should either stop or change to work on another bio-motor ability. That is where the "art" of coaching meets "science." It is important to remember that an overly fatigued athlete is NOT working on maximal speed. This is working on endurance. This may be appropriate for certain sports or certain events - but it is NOT "speed" work.
Never forget that speed development is a SKILL! Skill development is not primarily metabolic! Skill development depends on the neuromuscular system - which must NOT be trained under a state of fatigue.
"The effectiveness of the nervous system is then possibly the greatest single factor in performance, and training the nervous system to operate efficiently and effectively may be the most important goal of training."
(USATF Level 2 Sprint Coaching Education Manual)
This skill may take several years to develop. Not everyone has the genetic makeup to be a national or world-class sprinter. However, EVERYONE can get faster!
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**AEROBIC TRAINING HAS
NOTHING TO DO WITH
I re-emphasize this because it is a very important point. THIS is the area where a lot of coaches get into trouble (as it goes against the convention of many “traditional”/“old school” metabolic-based training approaches). But the science and the results do not lie.
"While endurance training is
important to a small degree, overemphasis of
endurance results not only in
wasted time, but also can
hinder strength, speed and coordination development."
(USATF Level 1 Coaching Education Manual)
General endurance should never be overemphasized merely for the sake of developing aerobic capacity or lactate-tolerance for the sprinter/jumper. Otherwise, why not just take your sprinter out and have her run mileage? This is an exaggeration - but always remember that too much reliance on the long-interval sprint training (400 meters+) will not give you a faster sprinter - it will only give you a tired one. Tired sprinters don't run faster - they run slower - which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve!
If you look at the top distance runners, you will see that they always move up in distance - they never move down. When was the last time you saw a top sprinter who was a former miler? It just doesn't happen. However, there are many milers who were former 400 or 800-meter runners. If you want to run a good 200, you must be capable of a good 100. If you want to run a good 400, you have to be capable of a good 200, and so forth.
It is best to first develop your athlete's capacity to run fast, then if you want to develop a long sprinter (or distance runner) - teach the athlete to run at the faster speed for longer intervals. Some call this a "speed reserve." I call it common sense.
"Lactate tolerance work done by 400 runners would
not be needed by a jumper."
(USATF Level 1 Coaching Education Manual)
The repetitions of sprinting plus the intervals of hill running, stairs, weight lifting, etc., will give the jumper sufficient applied endurance for their event. The key to sprinting and jumping is to stimulate maximal contractions of muscle in a smooth, coordinated fashion. Then rest the athlete and have him/her do it again – only faster!
Remember - you do not get stronger while working – you get stronger during the recovery. REST is the key to developing sprinters and jumpers. However, the physiological principles of recovery are different regarding the sprints and aerobic endurance. This is why they simply cannot be trained at the same time. It is better to err on the side of speed as opposed to the side of aerobic capacity. Sprint speed simply has more relevance in almost ALL competitive sports. When was the last time you saw a baseball player run at a two-miler pace while stealing a base? Or how about a football receiver who runs at marathon pace while running a route? You will NEVER hear a coach say, "She is a great athlete, but she is just too fast" (or strong, or quick, etc.). It simply doesn’t happen.
Very few (if any) sports require a sustained sub-maximal effort for success. Even so-called "endurance" sports like soccer actually require repeated high-intensity bursts of speed while under a fatigued state. So guess what, football coaches? Making your football players run repetitive miles in pads doesn't make them faster. This simply trains the wrong neural-muscular movement patterns and therefore "runs the speed out" of them.
More running is not necessarily better running. Only better (meaning faster) running makes better/faster sprinters and jumpers. Remember: It is a mistake to base sprint/jump training around 400-meter lactate-tolerance – or worse yet, aerobic-endurance training.
I must stress this because it is very important - you absolutely must develop the athlete's maximum speed capability first!
***In short - DO NOT over run your sprint/jump athletes!
All it will do is train the wrong energy systems, stress the wrong bio-motor abilities, and enhance the wrong neuro-muscular patterns and "psyche out" your athlete - possibly making them hate track.
If that happens we all lose!
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