Becoming A Better & Well Rounded Athlete!

I’m going to go off on a little bit of a rant here… so bear with me. I’ve been in the sports training world for a few years now and there is one thing that really bugs me. Too many times I talk with young kids (6-12) and they tell me what sport they play either hockey, basketball or soccer are the common ones. I always have the same question for them, “Is that the only sport you play?” 75% of the kids say yes! This is a huge problem for young kids, we are specializing them way to early, and I will explain why!

Sports Are Fun!

When kids are young, sports is about having fun and getting them involved, meeting friends, most of them could really care less about who wins and who losses it’s just a fact. The parents in the stands care way more about that stuff. Young boys and girls should be playing all kinds of sports for two reasons;

  1. It will keep them interested in physical activity and it wont become boring
  2. They will be able to make more friends and interact with more people

Becoming A Better Well Rounded Athlete

I coach football so I see this all the time. When our OL and DL are un-athletic when they are young, one of them best ways to help with their coordination is to make them play Basketball. They are running, jumping sprinting all the while trying not to bump into people. It is literally the complete opposite of what they normally do! In the summer when the pro hockey guys come back to train when they first start doing speed work, it looks like they are running with skates on, at the end of the summer they look more smooth and natural because they have been doing other things than just SKATING! Playing more sports will allow you to become a more well rounded athlete!

Keeping the Competitive Fire Burning

During off season training it is very easy to fall into a rut, doing the same things over and over again. At SST we put such a big emphasis on competition and struggle but sometimes it gets hard to mimic that in the weight room. Every summer during the High Performance Camp when are athletes look like they are starting to get mentally drained we pull out the basketballs and head to the court. Right away you can see the competitiveness come right out of them while they are having fun! This is so important when training high level athletes, there needs to be hard work obviously but you need to keep them engaged!

At the end of the day, here is my point! Less than 1% of high school athletes will get a FULL Division 1 Scholarship for their respective sport! And 1% of the will go pro and make a living playing the sport that they love. Sure, sports can be the avenue that we scratch our competitive itch, but at the end of the day, young kids need to be having fun. Kids don’t care about all the stuff when they are in grade 3 they just want to have fun! SO, LET THEM!

If you’re looking for more information on preventing overuse injuries and making the weight room something they don’t dread, please Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule a complimentary demo session today!

Are You Falling Behind in Your Sport While The Rest Of The Team Advances?

It could be your off-season training. The off-season is the time to check in with yourself. It’s time to identify your weaknesses, inefficient movements and bad habits; to then clean them up. The importance of the right type of training during our season can not be understated. Proper sport-specific training in any sport is the key to an athlete’s performance.

​Off season training tends to be under-appreciated, we see a tendency for most athletes to just stop doing what they are doing when the season is over. I understand the relief of a couple of days or weeks off however, It’s really important after a break to then get back to work! Off season is almost more important for the success for the next season than the season itself. We can clean up bad habits, we can learn new ways to move and become more mobile for the next season. And we can lift some weights to get stronger so we aren’t trying to build strength during the season and can rather focus on technique!

We have to understand that the “in” season is only for maintaining our physical abilities and keeping the strength we achieved during the off-season. So, if you aren’t involved in a strength and conditioning program, you may not be keeping up with the rest of your team or competitors. Change your mindset and lifestyle and not just train for an event or next season but train for life… So, when you are 70+ years old you can do the sport you love without limitations and nagging pain.  When we do proper off- season training supervised by somebody who understands the movements and demands, you will enjoy the next season and not feel like you are falling behind every year.

And the off-season training can be fun too! Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule your free demo session and learn about how SST can help you prepare for your next season!

Using The Gym To Mentally Prepare For Competition.

One the biggest problems with young athletes today is that they don’t know how to completely focus all the time. You can also see it during their competitions. Athletes get out of place or don’t react fast enough because they didn’t see something or couldn’t see something because it was happening to fast for them. Here are three tips to use to increase an athlete’s focus!

Eliminate Technology In the Gym; Athletes and people are way too reliant on technology. When athletes lift, they should not be on their phones. It should not be used in between sets. They do not have cases to their phones during their competition, so don’t let them use a phone during training. When athletes are resting during sets, I teach them how to breath and give them a skill they can us on the field of competition. This is a learned skill set that can be practiced instead of being on a phone.

Quiz Them In States Of Exhaustion; This could be my favorite of all time. When I work with my Offensive Lineman, I often ask them question right when they finish working. They are tired and this is when their brains sometimes don’t want to work. I try and mimic this so that when they are tired they are used to thinking, and it’s not new to them. Something as simple as asking them what 8×7 is when they are huffing and puffing. It’s really simple yet so darn effective.

Simulate Game Situation In Group Training; Make your athletes work as a team when they train as a group. For example when doing the fictional training with hockey players I like to make one athlete of “off” and have one athlete run “on” to start and finish their set. This simulates a shift change. You can also do to with 5 players at a time if you are working as a big group. Something as simple as that will help them get used to stay mentally focused during their competition.

Come in to SST Burlington to put these and more training tips into your training routine!

Are you Slow? It Could be Your Nutrition! Read Larry’s Tip!!

Running (Speed) and jumping (Power) are skills necessary for successful performance in sports, and must therefore be prioritized during training. We have previously covered how to increase your speed and vertical jump through training. However, much like the way you look, nutrition will also impact your ability to run faster and jump higher.

 

 

An article published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research studied the effects of a 4 week energy restricted diet on sprint & jump performance, body composition, and hormone profiles in elite male track athletes… the results were amazing!

A caloric restriction of 750 calories per day (carbs & fats reduced, protein held at 2g/kg/day) combined with regular training resulted in:

  1. Significant reduction in body mass and fat mass. Athletes lost about 1lb a week.
  2. Maintenance of lean muscle mass.
  3. Improved 20m sprint and countermovement jump.
  4. Unaltered testosterone levels.

How can this be explained?

Increased power-to-weight ratio. Reducing body weight while preserving muscle allows you to still produce the same amount of force but now you have less weight to move around, resulting in faster, more explosive movements!

Taken together, this research further supports what we focus on at SST: getting athletes leaner and stronger to improve their speed and power.

Are you in need of some speed training, or getting ready for your season and feel like you need that extra help….For a limited time SST is offering a first time offer:

 

8 PRIVATE ONE ON ONE SESSIONS – NORMAL VALUE $899.99

For the month of February only- ONLY 399.99! 60% off!

Quite a few of you have taken advantage of this savings!

Thus we only have 7 packages left due to our limited capacity

If you truly want to get better this is the time

Please contact Larry ASAP and state “I am in Big Dawg!”

 

High Performance Hockey

SST’s High Performance Hockey program is all about Results!

2019 CAMP START DATES:

SST Burlington:

8 WEEKS (3 sessions per week) – WEEK OF JULY 2nd, 2019

SST Mississauga:

8 WEEKS (3 sessions per week) – WEEK OF JULY 2nd, 2019

SST’s develops athletes with these qualities in mind:

MAXIMUM SPEED TRAINING

One skill which will get a player noticed immediately is SPEED!.
Research has shown that maximum sprinting time off-ice is highly correlated to on-ice speed. The HPH program is designed to enhance a player’s maximum speed through sprinting drills and overspeed training.

ACCELERATION TRAINING

A player’s ability to develop first stride acceleration as well as improving separation from another player are two critical factors in their success. Acceleration is improved by increasing strength in the muscles that are specific to meet those demands. The HPH program utilizes techniques such as resisted running, basic strength training, farmer’s walks and sled training to improve on-ice acceleration.

POWER DEVELOPMENT

Power = Strength x Speed.  The HPH program teaches athletes to develop this power in two ways through plyometrics and strength development. SST uses plyometrics to utilize the stretch shortening cycle improving maximum speed and we show athletes strength exercises such as “the sled”, “sandbags” and “super yolks” ultimately developing a more powerful hockey player.

From 8 year olds to NHL players, the HPH program develops your speed, acceleration and power so that you can exceed the demands of your game.

Here is what a few have to say about SST and the HPH program:

“SST is a great atmosphere for athletes of any age and sport. Over the previous summer they really focused on my speed and has really improved my explosiveness. Always a great team to work with to improve your game.” – Kyle Clifford, LA Kings Left Wing #13 – TWO TIME STANLEY CUP CHAMPION!

“The one thing that impresses me most about this program is the unending search for new information and knowledge that ultimately gets transferred to the student or athlete in this case. Larry is the most knowledgeable trainer I have met and worked with to date and his philosophy is one that I find consistent with the needs of my athletes and my interests as a coach and developer of talent.” – Dan Poliziani, IHT Director, Burlington Eagles Mentor Coach

“SST put 18lbs of muscle on me in one summer while dropping my bodyfat 4% to below 9%! I highly recommend SST to all hockey players who are SERIOUS in taking their game to the next level. Thanks SST” – Andrew Campbell, Arizona Coyotes, Defensemen

WHAT EACH ATHLETE RECEIVES – 8 AND 12 WEEK ACADEMY

  • Low coach to instructor ratio to ensure SST type Results!
  • A complete Fitness Assessment – $100 value
  • Each athlete will receive their own Biosignature Protocol for their nutritional needs – one session per month – $300 Value!
  • 7 one hour workouts per week- 4 strength, 1 speed, 1 stretch and 1 of SST’s functional training session – Over 80 workouts in total! – $1750 value!
  • And, most importantly – RESULTS!!!!

REGISTER EARLY AS WE WILL ONLY BE TAKING A LIMITED NUMBER OF ATHLETES FOR THIS CAMP!

TEAM DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE FOR 10 OR MORE PLAYERS!!!

** There are no reimbursements on camps. When signing up for a camp you are committing to the days and times that are listed.**

FOX40 – High Performance Football

THIS PROGRAM IS GEARED TOWARDS FOOTBALL PLAYERS LOOKING TO MAKE SERIOUS GAINS IN SPEED, ACCELERATION, STRENGTH & POWER THIS OFF-SEASON!

2019 CAMP START DATES:

SST Burlington:

8 WEEKS (3 sessions per week) – WEEK OF JULY 2nd, 2019

SST Mississauga:

8 WEEKS (3 sessions per week)- WEEK OF JULY 2nd, 2019

 

If you are a serious football player ranging in age from 8-25 years old then this is the program for you. Follow SST’s proven training method for football players and expect only one thing from SST’s Highest performing camp: RESULTS!

SST’s High Performance Football Academy (HPFA) is developed to get you maximum results this off summer!

SST was ranked in the top 15 for speed development in NORTH AMERICA!

The only facility in Canada!!

SST’s High Performance Football Academy is for all football players who want to achieve one thing: RESULTS!

WHAT WILL EACH PLAYER RECEIVE OVER THE DURATION OF THIS TRAINING PROGRAM?

Athletes can train up to 4 workouts per week at an SST facility consisting of strength training, Olympic lifting, plyometrics and what SST athletes know as Functional Fridays!

What are functional Fridays or the Blitz workout? It consists of athletes being put through a grueling workout using unusual implement training such as 800lb tractor tires, car pushing and pulling, sledgehammer work and many more unorthodox training methods which will convert to more power and functional strength on the field!

SST has been featured on CFL Snap on the Score network, Fox Sports in Buffalo and Ticats TV!

To see some great athletes in action please take a look at:

SST’s YouTube Channel

To register for SST High performance football program please contact you local SST

Speed Drills for Pro Sports

Since my last few articles, “To Squat or to Power Clean, That Is the Question” and “How to Train the 40-Yard Dash in the Weight Room – Part One & Part Two” I have had tremendous positive feedback. With this in mind, I have had a few people email me regarding what type of speed drills I would choose for college and professional football players (American football). If people wish, I can write about speed work and demands for football, aka soccer, in an upcoming article.

Since my last few articles, “To Squat or to Power Clean, That Is the Question” and “How to Train the 40-Yard Dash in the Weight Room – Part One & Part Two” I have had tremendous positive feedback. With this in mind, I have had a few people email me regarding what type of speed drills I would choose for college and professional football players (American football). If people wish, I can write about speed work and demands for football, aka soccer, in an upcoming article.

Back to the purpose: what speed drills do I like to use with my college and pro football players?

To start, I have all my athletes perform a proper dynamic warm-up, which includes many drills, such as:

Walking A’s
Marching A’s
B’s
Plus the conventional drills we all use as track coaches

I am going to assume that these athletes know many of the basic drills mentioned, so I won’t spend much focus on this. Here is the catch: I will watch an athlete, and if there are mechanical issues, then we will focus on a drill or drills SPECIFIC to that athlete. The purpose of this is to reinforce a good habit and correct the issue(s). I learned a long time ago from good coaches that anyone can teach the X and O’s, but the good coaches can see and make adjustments in making the athlete better.

So, we at SST do not really spend much time with so-called drills to improve performance.

Where do I differ with my athletes?

Know your position! For example, I don’t waste my time doing repetitive 100-meter sprints with O linemen. I have seen this numerous times with coaches and just shake my head. What is the purpose of 300-lb men running 100 meters? When do they ever do this in the game? The question I then get is do we need to condition them? No! These guys are paid to have a fight in a phone booth. Conditioning drills should be more functional, such as tire flipping and pushing cars!

Top-end speed: Athletes such as wide receivers and running backs focus on top-end speed. Development.

Agility training: I believe many of us spend too much time on linear speed training for sports when we should focus more on lateral speed work. Unlike track, sports are multidirectional, and GREAT athletes not only possess top-end speed, but also the quickness of a cat. Think Barry Sanders from the Detroit Lions; he would break ankles on the football field! There are many methods to teach agility, and we focus on closed and open-chain agility exercises.

Closed-chain: These types of drills and exercises are what we call patterned drills. Examples include all ladder drills and specific drills that are patterned. With high-end athletes (could be high school as well), we tend to spend very little time with closed-chain exercises. The few we like to include in our programing in the early preseason are drills in which we have our athletes learning how to decelerate. (Note: Sometimes, an athlete has a difficult time changing direction not because of form, but because they tend to be eccentrically weak. This has to be taken care of in the weight room.) We use the cue “STICK IT” to make certain they stop on a dime!
Our drills for this may be as simple as a 5-yard sprint and stop before the line. Our athletes focus on accelerating as fast as they can but then lower their hips and stop on a dime before the line! The next progression to this is having our athletes perform the same distance but moving in a different direction (backpedal, crossovers, and shuffling).
After we have mastered the ability to stop after moving in all directions, we teach our athletes how to change direction, which is VITALLY important in ALL sports! For example, we will have an athlete shuffle for 5 yards, and once they touch the line with their foot, they change their body position and direction and shuffle back. We cue the athlete to stick it where they started. Once they master each direction, we then progress to multidirectional movements, such as sprinting for 5 yards then crossover back and stick it. Your imagination is endless with these drills, but we try to be specific to the sports and position. For examples, defensive backs in football focus on all, but we tend to have them backpedal much more since they pretty well do this on every play.
Open-chained agility. This is SPORTS. React to what you see and make it happen. When is the last time you were in a game of football and a player was running and a coach yelled to go left then right, etc.? NEVER! Games are played by reaction with your senses, especially your eyes. This is why I firmly believe younger athletes should play multiple sports. In fact, kids should play more in uncontrolled environments. This is where they can be creative and learn to react!

Acceleration phase: Approximately 80% of most sports are played in this phase, so we spend at least 80% of our time training in this phase. Drills that I like to use include:

2-point starts
3-point starts
Band resisted starts: This is one of my favourites! Note: Please make certain you do not apply too much resistance in order to keep the athlete’s mechanics from being altered.
SpeedSac resisted starts: These are similar to sled sprints, but I have found that the SpeedSac to be more effective for two reasons. We can alter the weight to be more precise compared to the sled. The SpeedSac also has less shifting, as does the sled, thus our mechanics are not altered as much.

So, to answer the question, I like to spend 80% of my time training with open-pattern agility and acceleration exercises with my so-called more experienced athletes!

I follow the 80% rule in most things in life, and in this case, these training modalities provide our athletes with the best bang for their buck!

Larry Jusdanis

Owner, Sports Specific Training

Sstcanada.com

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

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!