RETHINK Part 1: A New Game Plan

Our new blog series will follow, Stephen, a young athlete as he trains at Reform Athletics for a 12 session block cycle. We will demonstrate why our style of training is so effective in improving sport performance by following Stephen's progress.

Stephen is a Grade 11 student who finished a successful season playing AA football for his high school.

As a defensive back (DB), speed and agility are crucial. How much he can bench press doesn’t come into play when covering a wide receiver on the football field. He needs to be able to move and move well if he wants to play football at a higher level.

Stephen measured in at 6”1’, so his height is definitely an advantage playing DB. He weighed in at 153lbs. Some might say he needs to put on mass, but at that position speed is #1! Remember, Stephen is only 17 years old so he has 5-6 more years of filling out to do. People get so fixated on size but it is misguided to focus just on sheer size. In most sports, it is the athlete that can move with speed, agility, and power that will dominate.

To see where Stephen was at physically we performed baseline testing. We tested range of motion and mobility in the: ankles; hamstrings; hip flexors; lower back; and shoulders. These were pass or fail tests and he passed all successfully.

We also tested to determine his starting speed strength through: agility (20yd shuttle); and power (broad jump). His testing results were as follows:

Broad Jump= 7ft 10in

20yd shuttle = 5.21secs

The testing concluded with capturing video of Stephen performing exercises to use in comparing technique before and after our block of training.

We set out to, not only, see improvements in the testing and video but also to help Stephen achieve his personal sport performance goals. It is a short off season, therefore, setting specific goals and a solid action plan is key for Stephen if he hopes to reach his ultimate goal of making the AAA football team and excelling at that level.

Stephen’s specific performance goals were to improve his lateral speed, improve agility, and increase power. These improvements are difficult to achieve with traditional weightlifting because it focuses primarily on absolute strength.

At Reform Athletics we approach things differently. We work with the athlete to improve their movement patterns, power, and explosiveness. These three aspects of training are vital to every sport. We build from the ground up by strengthening the feet. Our feet are a vital part of our ability to: react to our space and positioning; respond to changes in direction and speed; and initiate explosive power.

The core muscles are another area we address. The ability to react in a collision sport like football starts with the centre of your body and extends out through your limbs. If your core is weak then your ability to move in different directions will be reduced.

We are excited to share with you how our training methods are different and why they are so effective. It is not only that we take a comprehensive approach but that we utilize unique equipment that can target all the areas an athlete, like Stephen, requires for improvement in sport performance.

In our next blog of this series, we will go into detail on some of the exercises and show you some of the equipment that we used in training Stephen. We will share photos, video and a personal testimonial from Stephen as he reflects on and shares his new game plan.

#strengthtraining #sportperformance

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