Athlete Highlight – Matthew Radivojsa

 

 

Matthew Radivosja

We would like to congratulate SST Oakville’s Mathew Radivojsa, who has signed with the Division 1- English Premier team, West Bromwich Albion.  Matthew has been training with SST since he was 9 years old and all his hard work and dedication has paid off!

We are so proud and excited for Matthews accomplishment and his next step in his athletic career.

Congratulations Matthew!

BIG News at SST Oakville!

Some BIG News out of SST Oakville! We would like to welcome coach TJ to our SST Family.

 Coach TJ will be partnering with veteran coach Delory Rhooms at SST Oakville. TJ comes to SST with a wealth of strength & conditioning knowledge. TJ started training with SST at the age of 14 years, which helped him gain a baseball scholarship to Central Missouri University. From there he was asked to Spring Training in the MLB with the Arizona Diamondbacks, which eventually landed him in the Frontier Pro Baseball League.

TJ and Delory are committed and will be working hard to provide the level of training which has set SST apart for many years. Welcome to the family TJ!

How to improve your 40 yard dash- Part 1

If you want to go places in football, then you had better work on your 40 yard dash. While the forty yard dash is probably the most overrated test, it’s also the test that most coaches rely on when scouting a player. Given the emphasis that is placed on this one test, I am surprised at how many athletes come to combines and camps unprepared. I see athletes wearing the wrong shoes or the wrong clothes and I can tell that many of them don’t know the proper starting technique or running mechanics. Furthermore, it’s obvious that most players haven’t done any effective speed or strength training leading up to the big day. I tell my athletes that they have to consider the forty yard dash as a job interview that could land them a scholarship or millions of dollars when their stock goes up in the draft. Remember that first impressions mean everything, so plan ahead and be prepared to run like a professional. Don’t get me wrong, running a great 40 yard dash doesn’t mean that you’re automatically a great football player, but it will turn heads and give you the chance needed to show universities or professional teams what you can do on the field.

When training for the 40 yard dash, players tend to forget how important it is to be STRONG! I have yet to see a weak player run a great forty yard dash. As a Sports Performance Coach I know through personal experience that players who speed and strength train on a continuous basis will experience dramatic gains over those who only focus on speed training. One athlete who followed SST’s 12-week speed and strength training program went from a 5.05 to a 4.62 at the National football combines this year.

There are three main factors that SST considers when designing a strength training program for football players who want to decrease their forty yard dash time. First, we assess the player’s experience and abilities. Factors such as age, previous training experience, fitness level and amount of time available for training are considered. Next, we evaluate the player’s 40 yard dash to determine weaknesses. Do we need to improve his start, decrease his ground contact time or work on reaching maximum speed? Lastly, we focus on strengthening the player’s weakest muscles. As a general rule SST has found that football players tend to have weak lower back, hamstring and VMO muscle (VMO, or vastus medialis, is the teardrop muscle found on the inside of the quadriceps), therefore for the purpose of this article we will highlight , what we believe to be, the top six exercises designed to strengthen these muscles.

In Part I of this two part article, I will explain the first three exercises: snatch grip dead-lifts, tire flipping and Olympic lifts and their derivatives. These exercises strengthen lower back and hamstring muscles which are key components for achieving maximum speed.

Exercise #1 – Snatch Grip Dead-lifts

If I had to choose only one strength training exercise to improve a player’s 40 yard dash time, I would pick snatch grip deadlifts because they work the entire posterior chain (lower back and hamstrings). Snatch grip dead-lifts are a bit different than your traditional deadlift in that they recruit more of the hamstrings due to the angle of the trunk and a wider grip.

Results: improve start, increase maximum speed

Description: Starting position- feet are shoulder width apart. Grip is wider than your traditional grip. Elbows are turned out. Shoulder blades are retracted. Knees over the bar. Chest and shoulders over the bar. Lower back is arched. Initiate lift with hamstrings and lower back. Maintain lower back arch throughout. Keep bar path straight.

Variations: snatch grip dead-lifts off a podium, snatch grip dead-lifts with chains and traditional dead-lifts.

Exercise #2 – Tire Flipping

Tire flipping is not your traditional weight room exercise but it’s a functional way to develop the posterior chain (lower back and hamstrings). This is a grueling exercise that has lot of return for its effort.

Results: improve grip strength, decrease 40 time (after 12 weeks SST athletes decreased their 40 time by up to 3 tenths)

Description: Start in a deadlift position and grab the tire from underneath (fingers under the tire). Lift the tire using your legs and pop your hips forward. Flip your hands around (palms on the tire) and push the tire away from you in an explosive manner. You must keep your back arched throughout the entire movement to prevent lower back injuries.

Exercise #3 – Olympic Lifts and Derivatives

Olympic Lifts consist of power cleans, hang cleans and snatches. These exercises must be done explosively which means as fast as possible. The amount of weight doesn’t matter as much as the speed of the bar. Of all the Olympic lifts the snatch uses the most muscles in the body. People tend to shy away from this exercise but I have found it to be the most effective and easier to teach than cleans. In order to achieve maximum results and avoid injury it’s important to employ proper technique and use the right weight when performing Olympic lifts. If you are not familiar with Olympic lifting and their derivatives call your local weightlifting club or email me at sst@sstcanada.com

Results: faster starts and less ground contact time

Description: An explanation of hang snatch from thigh will be provided because it is the most applicable. Starting position – feet are shoulder width apart. Grasp bar with hook grip. To determine the distance between hand placements measure your elbow to elbow distance with arms straight out to sides. From this point move the bar explosively from thighs by extending the hip, knee and ankle joints in a jumping action. This is also known as “triple extension” of the joints. Keep the bar close to the body. This is a very important element and should be perfected. At maximum plantar flexion (up on the balls of the feet), shrug the shoulders, flex and pull with the arms. Pull the bar as high as possible. As the bar reaches maximum height, flex and then rotate elbows around and under the bar. Then fully extend the elbows and lock the bar overhead. Catch the bar with knees and hips flexed and squat down slowly and under control. The hang snatch is a complicated exercise that should only be performed in the presence of a qualified coach.

In Part II, I will explain the remaining three exercises that focus on increasing VMO strength: squats with chains, wobble board split squats and sled dragging. Strengthening the VMO muscle will help decrease ground contact time which is vital in order to increase speed. The less time a player spends on the ground, the faster he’ll be!

Larry Jusdanis is the owner of Sports Specific Training Inc. SST has trained thousands of athletes from a variety of sports. SST’s no nonsense approach to training has been used by thousands of athletes’ from a variety of sports all over the nation!

Larry Jusdanis

Owner, Sports Specific Training

Sstcanada.com

Director of the National Association of Speed and Explosion (NASE)

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Get Fit For Soccer

Have you ever noticed that soccer players like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Henry are all extremely fit and lean? Well it is no coincidence, strength training is a vital part of any successful soccer player’s regime. Whether it is fighting an opponent off the ball, or taking a fall or just sprinting, physical strength is the key to a player’s success.

Soccer is for the most part an anaerobic sport, on the contrary to popular belief of it being an aerobic sport. A majority of the movement in soccer is short bursts of speed towards the net on a scoring opportunity or chasing down that feisty forward, which is ultimately followed by an active rest. With that being said; the key element in developing sprinting is strength within the posterior chain and shoulders. A whopping sixty five percent of sprinting success is contributed by the strength of the glutes, lower back and hamstrings.   An additional fifteen percent comes from shoulder flexion and the rest comes from quadriceps and gastroc/soleus (calves).

Here at SST various exercises we have used with many of BYSC’s teams are; split squat variations, lunge variations, dead lifts, squat variations and our soccer favorite- THE SLED!

SST believes a stronger athlete equates to becoming a better more efficient athlete. The stronger an athlete becomes the more force they can put in to the ground resulting in less ground contact time thus reaching the ultimate goal of becoming a faster sprinter.

The next time you want to go take a five mile long boring jog, think again, and think strength training for soccer!

BTW… Check out our latest eBook created especially for you mobile folks out there – Nutrition on the Road.

10 Foods Staples to Throw Out NOW!! – Part 2

nutnHere we are with our second installment of food staples that you need to rid your pantry of ASAP!

And of course what to replace them with!

Click the link in case you happened to miss Part 1

3. WHITE OR “MULTI-GRAIN” BREAD

White bread, and even deceivingly, multi-grain breads contain zero whole grains, are made with enriched white flours, and little to no fiber. Meaning these breads will spike your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry again soon after eating.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – 100% Whole Grain Wheat Bread

whole grain bread
Look for breads with ‘whole grain’ as the first ingredient on the ingredient list. The first ingredient on any nutrition label means it is proportionately the most used ingredient in that particular product. Whole grains are not only great for keeping you satiated but can also help protect against many diet-related chronic diseases; such as diabetes.

 

4. GENERIC PEANUT BUTTER

While peanut butter on toast or fruit may seem like a smart snack choice, generic peanut butter is full of sugar, trans fats and little useful nutrients. Generic peanut butters (such as Kraft, Jif or Skippy) are usually highly processed using a technique called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen atoms to the molecular structure of fat in a product in order to make it more spreadable, creamier, and shelf-stable. This process actually lowers levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body and increases levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Hydrogenated oils should be avoided as much as possible.nutrition fat loss,

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Natural Nut Butter
Now a days there are SO many nut butters to choose from! Almond, cashew, walnut, the choices are endless. When choosing a nut butter to keep your pantry stocked, read the ingredient list, there should be 3 or fewer ingredients and the first one should always be nuts.

nut butter

5. TRAIL MIX

Trail Mix is another tricky snack dressed up and disguised as a healthy one. Pre-made trail mixes now contain chunks of chocolate, M&M’s, and dried fruit. Making this, could be healthy, staple more like a bag of candy.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Homemade trail mix

The best trial mix is the one you mix yourself! You can customize them to your own preferences and goals. Cut out the unwanted sugar and look to add ingredients such as 90% dark chocolate, almonds, and walnuts. Be sure to store them in air-tight containers to keep your mixture fresh!

 

6. WHITE PASTA

White pasta has the same problems as white rice or white bread, it has been stripped of all its useful nutrients, is highly processed, and is a simple carbohydrate. It will spike your blood sugar levels as well as leave you feeling hungry again soon after your meal.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Garbanzo bean, Quinoa, Black Bean or Veggies Based Pastabean pastas

The one upside to the ridiculous gluten-free craze that hit the supermarket shelves was the introduction of vegetable based pastas! These ‘pastas’ contain more fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. These options are going to keep your blood sugar levels steadier and keep you feeling full long after your meal. Granted they do not taste as bland or neutral as regular pasta but once you try these options you will not want to go back to tasteless pastas ever again!

Have you tried any of new food staples?!? Let us know how these new staples are fairing in your kitchen down in the comment section.

Check back next week for Part 3!

If you have any questions or comments make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( cplewes@sstcanada.com ).

Sports Nutrition On The Road – Part 3: Game Day

In case you missed PART 1 or PART 2!

Awareness, knowledge, and preparation are key when wanting to make huge difference in your game day performance.  The benefits of nutrition, in respect to athletic performance, can mean the difference between winning and losing and an optimal vs. subpar performance.

Think about your body like a high performance race car.  Dale Earnhardt doesn’t put regular gasoline in his car before a race he uses Sunoco Green E15-a 98 octane fuel blend specifically engineered for high-performance engines! Basically, the best of the best! You need to approach your game day nutrition in the same manner. By doing so you can maximize gains you have made OTRN part 3from training, increase your energy levels, recover faster and think more clearly.

 

How to Prepare on Game Day

Pre-Game Meal

  • 4-6 hours before game
  • High Complex/Low GI foods; low protein and fat
  • Hydrate well: sports drinks (Aminocore, BCAA’s with electrolytes), water

2-3 Hours before game

  • Moderately-sized snack: more low GI foods; low protein and fat
  • Continue to hydrate
  • No caffeine* (or energy drinks)

1 Hour before game

  • Small snack: easily digestible foods (fruit, pretzels)
  • Continue to hydrate with water or a sports drink such as BCAA drink with electrolytes (like Aminocore or Biosteel)
  • No caffeine* (or energy drinks)

30 minutes before game –“Top off the tank”

  • High-GI carbs that will absorb quickly and deliver glucose rapidly to working muscles
  • Hydrate with water or a sports drink such as a BCAA drink with electrolytes (like Aminocore or Biosteel)
  • No caffeine* (or energy drinks)

*Caffeine has major dehydrating effects, can make you jumpy, and raises your heart rate and blood pressure; all the things you should avoid on game day!

 

Post-Game Recovery

30-60 minutes after competition

  • VITAL PERIOD!
  • Replace every pound of weight lost through sweating with 20-24 ounces of fluid
  • Make sure to fuel your body for recovery
    • Ingest food with a concentration of 4:1 ratio carb:protein blend drink – better than water
    • Carbs should be of the High-GI variety to replenish glycogen stores quickly

60-90 minutes after competition

  • Continue to hydrate

Within 3 hours after competition

  • Mixed Meal – combination of protein, carbs and fat
    • Carbs here should be of the Low-GI variety so as not to spike your blood sugar levels
  • Continue to hydrate
  • NO soda, alcohol, caffeine

Within 24hrs after competition

  • Strictly Limit: Alcohol, Soda, Caffeine in any form
  • Dehydration, lack of sleep, and lack of nutrients are detrimental to recovery

 

Meal Examples:

  • Game day breakfast:
Three soft boiled eggs with a pinch of sea salt and two pieces of
whole grain toast with organic butter, small Greek yogurt & fruit mix with ground flax seeds.
  • Pre-Game Meal:
Grilled skinless chicken breast with brown rice, broccoli and a salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Pre-Game Snack:
Oatmeal with ground flax seeds, walnuts, banana, unsweetened shredded coconut and a drizzle of pure maple syrup!
  • Post-Game Recovery Shake:
Six ounces coconut water, six ounces water, 2 scoops good quality protein and one banana.
  • Post-Game meal: Grilled skinless chicken breast, sweet potato and asparagus
A good blend of lean protein, complex/nutrient dense carbohydrates and veggies. The foods your body needs to repair itself!

 

REMEMBER – Game day nutrition and recovery are vital to successful performance week-in and week-out, but eating well on game day only works if you are eating well all week as well! Don’t wait for the pre-game meal to get everything you need. Approach your nutrition with the same discipline as your training and you will maximize your potential as an athlete.

Keep a look out for PART 4 coming soon!!

If you liked this post be sure to share it with a friend!

If you have questions or would like more info about this topic please email Courtney (cplewes@sstcanada.com)

 

Sports Nutrition On The Road – Part 2: Dehydration & Jet Lag

Dehydration & jet leg Blog

If you have missed the first part of this blog series click here to view Part 1!

One of the big killers of athletic performance is dehydration and jet lag. Adequate hydration is critical to over-coming any time changes as well as keeping yourself functioning to your full potential. Athletes should always carry a water bottle and sip fluids frequently. Airline travel is especially dehydrating due to the pressurized cabin. Athletes should carry an empty bottle with them through airport security and fill it with water as soon as they are through. Athletes should aim to drink a minimum of 1 cup (250 mL) of fluid for every hour of air travel.

Other tips to help reduce dehydration and jet-lag while traveling are:

  • Consume a high carb meal or two prior to travelling; this will help build extra glycogen (energy) and fluid stores
  • Drink one cup (250 mL) of fluid for every hour of air travel
  • Limit pop, coffee, tea, and alcohol
  • Pack extra calories with nutritious portable snacks – pretzels, beef jerky, trail mix, nuts
  • Upon arrival, go out in the sunlight to help adjust to the new time zone
  • Allow 1–3 days to adjust for every time zone crossed, plan your travels days accordingly

Stay tuned for Part 3: Game Day Nutrition!

If you liked this article please be sure to share it with a friend!!

For more info about this article email Courtney (cplewes@sstcanada.com)

Supplements Safe???

Is it Safe to Take Supplements? Will I Test Positive?

You have been living under a rock if you have not heard of the recent drug scandals that have been flooding professional and amateur sports. From Lance Armstrong, to Peyton Manning it seems as though no professional athlete is safe from the allegations. Performance enhancing drugs in sport are very real and athletes at any level may be exposed to the temptations.

What’s even scarier is that many athletes will utilize supplements or medications to help them increase their performance thinking that these substances are safe because they are “natural”. It’s no secret that the supplement industry has grown large by marketing an increased number of muscle building, fat burning, and substances that will do just about anything. Marketing strategies include using terms like “natural” to persuade more consumers to buy their product. The average gym goer is looking for anything that will give them a boost and rarely cares about the ramifications of taking a supplement that may be laced with a banned substance. Unfortunately for us, it is the consumer’s responsibility to know if the supplements we are using are safe.

For athletes especially, this responsibility is not a choice! Athletes must take responsibility for every single thing that they ingest. Many sporting organizations are now testing for banned substances on a regular basis. It is not acceptable to claim ignorance or deny the allegations by claiming that you were only taking health supplements.

So how does an athlete stay safe from performance enhancing drugs?

The CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sports) recommends that athletes take responsibility for everything that they put into their body. Since every CIS athlete is eligible for drug testing both in and out of season, athletes are to be responsible and informed year round. Athletes should reference all supplements with the Global Drug Reference Online (DRO).

Luckily there are some organizations that make it their mission to test supplements for banned substances so that athletes are not left in a bad spot if they choose to use their products. At SST, we believe that supplements can offer benefits in performance and recovery for athletes; however these supplements need to be guaranteed safe so there is no worry of testing positive. We also work to supply products that are banned substance free, so that our clients need not worry.

When choosing supplements, athletes should look for the “Informed Choice” or “NSF Certified” logos. These 2 organizations have made it their mission to rigorously test supplements to ensure they are banned substance free. For more information on the Informed Choice or NSF process you can visit their websites HERE and HERE.

Please choose wisely and be informed when choosing nutritional supplements. Testing positive is not worth it.clip_image001 clip_image002

Sports Nutrition on the Road –Part 1: Tackling Hotels, Restaurants & Fast Food

Most athletes, once they reach the elite level, will have to do some traveling to training sessions, training camps, or competitions/tournaments. This travel can present a challenge to young athletes who are trying to take in enough calories to fuel their activity but that is healthy enough to keep them performing at an optimal level.

Once at their destination, athletes may stay in a variety of accommodations, from dorm rooms or hotels with not even a mini-fridge to fully equipped suites. This can make getting the proper nutrition tricky.

· If you do not have access to a fridge than some non-perishable snacks to keep with you should include – trail mix, dried fruit, dried chickpeas, beef jerky, pretzels, oatmeal, protein/meal replacement bar.

· If you do have access to a fridge and are able to keep more perishable snacks on hand choose things such as – veggies & hummus, chickpeas, fruit, roasted chicken, avocado with pita and chicken, nuts, jerky, Greek yogurt

As for meals there are usually a few options – hotel breakfast bar, restaurants, grocery store or fast food.

· Prior to your travel the coach/athlete/parents should do some research to find suitable restaurants and grocery stores near the athletes’ training and competition venues

· To support optimal performances in training and competition, a selection of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and lean meat should be emphasized from restaurant menus and store purchases.

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Smart Choices for eating at a Hotel Breakfast Bar:

· Plain yogurt (preferably Greek, if available) with fresh fruit

· 1-2 Oatmeal packet (make with 2% milk or water) and handful of nuts or cinnamon

· Peanut butter + fresh fruit (i.e. banana, apple, strawberry) on whole wheat toast

· 2-3 hardboiled eggs + fruit

· Omelet bar (2-3 eggs + veggies + cheese + meat)

· Scrambled eggs and fruit

· 1-2 Single serve cereal (cheerios or oat bran) with milk. Skip the surgery options!

· Whole wheat toast with eggs & 1-2 slices of bacon

*These are just suggestions, you need to eat enough to feel that you have enough fuel for the day. You can mix and match all good choices to make a large enough meal (ie. Greek yogurt with fruit + oatmeal package with nuts + scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast)

AVOID

· Sugary cereals (such as frosted flakes, fruit loops, etc.)

· Muffins, croissants, pastries

· Pancakes with maple syrup

· Overloading the bacon, try to stick to 1-2 pieces at most

· Bagels and cream cheese

· Fruit juices

· Coffee, tea, or other caffeinated/sugary beverages

Smart Choices for eating at a Restaurant:

When eating at a restaurant be smart, choose more vegetables, fruit and lean meats and cut down on excess fat, salt and refined sugar.

· Read menu descriptions to make the best choices –Try to avoid battered/deep-fried, breaded, creamy, crispy, au gratin or in cream sauce. These options are often high in calories, unhealthy fats and/or sodium

· Be careful with salt – restaurant food tends to be high in sodium. Instead of salty fries, order a side salad and ask for vinegar & oil based dressings on the side

· Stay away from high calorie drinks – pop is a huge source of hidden and empty calories. Try drinking water, or milk instead. Diet drinks do not refuel muscles during recovery.

· Avoid super-sized portions – Some restaurant meals can run up to 1000-2000 calories or more. Choose a smaller portion size, order a side salad instead of fries and choose water as your beverage.

· Special order – ask for baked, broiled, steamed, or stir-fried, instead of battered, deep-fried items. Request vegetables and main dishes without rich sauces. Avoid large amounts of dressings, spreads and extra cheese. Choose oil & vinegar or Italian dressings in small amounts or ask for them “on the side.”

Smart Choices for eating at Common Fast Food Restaurants:

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If at all possible try to avoid fast food restaurants while on the road and use them only as a last resort. However, when food cannot be purchased at a grocery store and there is no time for a sit down restaurant, this may be the only option.

Fast food doesn’t have to be all bad as they provide quick service, inexpensive food of consistent quality, and can be easily accessible, but thought has to be put into food selection in order to keep you nutrition and performance in check.

Subway

· Choose whole wheat bread or salads

· Loads of veggies, ANY kind

· Choose meats such as chicken breast, turkey or tuna

· Dressings such as mustard or house dressing/Italian

Avoid

· White bread and bread with extra cheese on top

· Deli meats and those covered in sauce such as; cold cut, sweet onion teriyaki, meatball, or butter chicken

· Extra cheese or bacon

· Creamy or mayonnaise based sauces

· Fountain drinks or pop

· Chips/cookies

McDonalds

· Breakfast

o Egg McMuffin – sausage or ham

o Breakfast wraps – Kale & Feta

o Yogurt and fruit

o Oatmeal and dried fruit

Avoid

o McGriddles

o Hash browns

o Bagels

o Biscuits

o Muffins

o Fruit Juice

· Lunch /Dinner

o Grilled chicken wraps- sweet chili

o Grilled chicken sandwiches – ‘The 12’

o Greek Salad

Avoid

o Burgers & Double burgers

o Creamy sauces – McChicken Sauce, Big Mac Sauce, BBQ

o Fries

o Fountain drinks & Juice

o Cesar Salad

o Desserts – pies, ice cream, cookies, pastries

Pizza

· Loads of veggies

· Lean meats like chicken, ham or back bacon (Canadian Bacon)

· Thin crust

· Feta cheese instead of mozzarella

Avoid

· Extra cheese

· Thick crust/stuffed Crust

· Fatty meats – peperoni, sausage, bacon, ground beef, porchetta

Chick-fila

· Breakfast burrito

· Oatmeal

· Greek yogurt

· Salad with dressing on the side (vinaigrette options)

· Wraps/sandwiches with grilled chicken

· Side Salads w/ vinaigrette dressings on the side

Avoid

· Fried chicken options

· Biscuits

· Bagels

· Cinnamon buns/pastries

· Hash browns/French fries

· Creamy dressings/BBQ Sauces

Qualities of a Good Quarterback Part 1

 

I know I’m going to restart the old debate with this question: “Why aren’t there any Canadian Quarterbacks in the CFL?” I’m sure you’ve heard a multitude of opinions on this issue; some you probably agree with, others just don’t ring true. I firmly believe there is more than one answer to the Canadian QB Question.

One thing I do know for sure is that we coaches need to do a better job of instructing our young Canadian Quarterbacks. I’m not just referring to high school athletes. I think good serious training can start as young as 8 to 13 years old. This is a great age, when kids are prime for both physical and mental development.

What can we do? Over the upcoming weeks this five-part series on Quarterback development will cover:

  1. Qualities of a good Quarterback, Part 1
  2. Qualities of a good Quarterback, Part 2
  3. Drops, drills and technique
  4. Throwing mechanics, Part 1
  5. Throwing mechanics, Part 2

Many people believe a good Quarterback is the player who can throw the furthest. Don’t laugh…I was at an all-star camp and was asked by the head coach to have the Quarterbacks just drop and throw as far as they could. They chose their starting Quarterback from this one drill!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR SUMMER CAMP

What are some things I look for when choosing a Quarterback?

Mental and Physical Toughness

QBs often get all the glory when things are going well, but they also take most of the grief when a team is not performing up to par. I want to see a QB’s reaction after he throws an interception or after he throws a few bad balls. How does he react and how does he try to overcome this bad bout? The great Quarterbacks are able to come right back to lead their team down the field, letting go of what just happened.

Can the Quarterback stand back there waiting to throw the perfect ball knowing, that because he has to hold on to the last second, he’s going to get hit hard? Over the years I have played with some great Quarterbacks and have had the opportunity to watch numerous others. One strong characteristic that is common to all the great ones is that they will take the hit for the team. There is no better way to gain the respect of teammates than this. Let’s be honest, football is a physical game but most Quarterbacks are untouchable during practice, while everyone else is suffering full contact! Not only is this a good way to gain the respect of your team but, at the same time, you let the opponent know that whatever they do, they cannot rattle this Quarterback.

What kind of athletic ability does he have?

There are going to be numerous times in a game when things breakdown, such as when the WRs fall down, or when someone doesn’t pick up that safety blitz. A QB needs to be able to improvise and create under pressure.

Seldom does a Quarterback just drop back and throw without having to deal with external factors, such as linemen in his face. This is why I have our young Quarterbacks practice throwing off-balance and from awkward positions. Don’t get me wrong, our athletes practice the proper mechanics of throwing at least 95% of the time during camps, but they need to be prepared to throw even when things breakdown.

Excellent Quarterback ability doesn’t mean just running a great 40-yard dash. I want to see a QB who can create more time in the pocket. Take a look at great Hall of Fame’s football great, Dan Marino. Marino could have used a sundial to time his forty, but, man, could he avoid rushes with little movements in the pocket, and then throw darts all over the field!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR SUMMER CAMP

Manage a Game

Quarterbacks such as Tom Brady are great game-managers on the football field. Good QBs take what the defense gives them; they rarely force throws and ultimately they make good decisions. Good game-managing Quarterbacks exude confidence, which will spill over to every other player on his team. More and more coaches understand that they can’t count on the Quarterback to win the game on his own. If they surround the QB with good talent they just need the QB to distribute the ball to the playmakers.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR SUMMER QB CANADA CAMP!

In the coming weeks we will discuss one attribute that is MUST for all successful QBs!

Please visit www.qbcanada.com for additional information on our upcoming camps!!