Category Archives: Strength

Success Story: Volleyball Star on the Rise

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When Champion’s QUEST first opened the doors to youth athletes, the focus was all geared to helping the local Seal Beach Volleyball Club. Now we have been open for over fifteen years and have been able to help athletes in all sports with their athleticism. We have continued to provide the training for many young volleyball athletes in the Los Alamitos-Long Beach area and we are now working with a phenomenal athlete that is on the 14-1’s team for Seal Beach by the name of Grace Abdoo.

Grace started back in 2011 with our Summer Volleyball Camps and continued doing theunspecified-1 camps for the next couple of years. She joined our program as a full-time athlete in the Spring of 2014, which was a little less than a year after her older sister started the program. After doing three years of the Summer Camps along with seeing all the improvements her older sister was able to gain, her mother wanted to give Grace the same advantage her sister was gaining since she competes in a sport where height is an advantage. From her first evaluation back in the Spring of 2014, up to her most recent in the month of August, Grace has been able to increase not only her athletic ability but her confidence on the court.

Her Mother had told meIf you could have seen how she served in a game back when she was 12, and how she serves now, it’s night and day. Also, she doesn’t get nervous in big games, even if she knows a lot of people are watching. For example, when they made the finals at Junior Nationals early this year.

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CVBA Santa Monica Women’s B Tournament Winners

Earlier this month, Grace was able to win the California Beach Volleyball Association Women’s B Doubles Tournament. She started playing in unrated and B women’s tournaments this just year, just to get some experience playing against adults since she has been playing Beach Volleyball for just about three years now. Grace is currently a Freshman in the Pace program at Long Beach Poly High School and is a starter on their girls JV Volleyball team.

 

Grace has gained a lot over these past couple of years and she continues to grow in her athletic ability. She may not have the height most Volleyball coaches look for in their athletes but she makes up with tons of talent and ability on the court. Her game knowledge is a level above her peers and she will continue to grow in her sport from her coaches at LB Poly, Seal Beach VC and her Beach Volleyball Coach Misty May-Treanor.

Being a freshmen in high school comes with different struggles and I am very confident that Grace will have that mental strength to push herself beyond any situation that may be presented to her within the next four years. We at Champion’s QUEST will continue to provide her with a strong direction and guidance in her sport and life!

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Summer 2011

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September 2016

Article By: Coach Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1

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Softball Star on the Raise

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We have a phenomenal athlete named is Tessa Hurley who has  a strong sports career in Softball ahead of her. She is a member of the Firecrackers 10U Softball team. It was back in January of 2014 that Tessa started our program here at Champion’s QUEST and she followed in the foot steps of her two older sisters that were also members of our program as well. She did have a couple of set backs due to injuries at her start but what 9-10 year old can go a full year without getting injured. Within this Summer quarter she was able to have big gains yet in our program. Her improvements have helped her team to a number of tournament first places and runner-ups, with this being her first full year on a travel team they were able to finish in the top 10 for PGF (Premier Girls Fastpitch) for their age group.

8softball.0605_0.jpgThis year, her team had  a very solid run and Tessa was a big part of their success with a 0.397 batting average and 57 runs batted in for the year. In PGF play she was able to again out perform most of her teammates with a 0.444 batting average and 3 runs batted in. Tessa is a full year younger than anyone on her team and will playing up a year with the same girls next year as she will move up to 12U softball as an eligible 10U player.

Everything that I have seen out of Tessa has nothing short of amazing. She has a strong solid arm that helps on the field getting that out on first. Her quickness is above any athlete her age and she is  very focused when in competition. There is a bright and solid future for her in Softball at the high school and collegiate levels. I wish Tessa and her other siblings the best in all that they do and will continue to work  with her throughout her high school career.

 

Article by,

Coach Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1

 

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Athlete Success Story: Lauren Willingham

Los Alamitos High School has produced many athletes and scholars in the past years. This year there is a sophomore that is bound to be another great athlete and scholar will graduate a Griffin.  She is a member Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 2.18.34 PM.pngof the Los AL Track & Field team, just like her record breaking older sister and she is on a course to do just the same.  Now that Lauren Willingham has gone through one season of Track & Field, she has become more controlled over her hurdling form and has been developing her strength in our weekly training program. The gains that she will be achieving form the Strength Clinics will not only help her through the season but will provide a base for any college program that she will attend in her future.

Lauren is not only a hurdler for Los Al, she also has been dancing for the Center Stage Dance Academy in Long Beach. She has been dancing since the age of three and is planning to continue through the rest of her high school years. With her dancing starting at a young age it has helped her with the flexibility needed in the hurdle races. Lauren has a very strong academic course load at Los Al, which will put her as top contender to any school she chooses to continue her education at. She is also a member of the California Scholarship Federation which will help guide her in a positive direction for higher education and she also has the potential of receiving up to $5000 in a scholarship fund.Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 2.32.42 PM.png
Since July of last year Lauren has dedicated herself to increasing her strength which will help her speed and power on the track. Now she has transitioned into the power phase of her training program for this season and it will provide her the ability to increase her power through the hurdles. This year she has set her goals at 16.83s for the 100m hurdles and 48.87s on the 300m hurdles, both of these goals are challenging for her but she has the ability to reach them. Once she has gained a strong step in between the hurdles then she will see her times drop and will be able to inch closer to the school records before the end of her senior year. I feel that if continues to grow in strength and power with our program along with a solid base of self-confidence she be able to have a couple of Los Al records with her name just like her older sister.

Go Griffins!!!

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Article by,

Coach Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1

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Suburban League Player of the Year: Ashley Whittall

Southern California is a hub for girls volleyball because of the amount of talent and the level of play in the area. There have been many of the local high 14-web-So-Cal-8x10-16-Smack-Ram-2015.jpgschool girls recruited into some of the tops volleyball schools all across the country.  This level of play sometimes makes it really hard for most of these girls to be noticed locally and when they do it is something that could be start to great success. Norwalk High junior Ashley Whittall is one of our athletes that has gotten noticed by the HMG Cerritos Community News as the Fall 2015 Suburban League Girls Volleyball Player of the Year. They also recognized her on the Suburban League’s Girls Volleyball First Team Outside Hitter, along with Honorable Mention from the 2015 Press-Telegram’s Dream Team all as a junior.

Ashley has been committed to our program here at Champion’s QUEST since April of last year and is very responsive to the training. She has attended a mix of Speed, Strength, Power and Volleyball ClinicsScreen shot 2016-01-05 at 2.16.09 PM during this past year. With the training, Ashley has been able to increase her blocking vertical by five inches and her approach vertical by four inches, which would take her up to 26″ off the floor. Her upper body pushing strength doubled from 30push-ups to over 60 within a minute. Her speed with court coverage had one of the biggest increases,she decreased her change of direction (Pro-Agility) time from 5.31 down to a 4.63. With the time she has spent dedicated to her training it has shown it on the court which has lead her being recognized by the Suburban League with her two awards.

Screen shot 2016-01-05 at 2.15.37 PMDuring the season Ashley has lead the Norwalk Lady Lancers volleyball team to a 16-11 overall record and 9-3 in league. This season she had 21 kills at Cerritos on October 8th, 20 kills against La Mirada High on October 15th, 16 kills against Mayfair High on October 1st and against John Glenn High on October 20th and 15 kills against Cerritos on November 2nd. All of these games plus her team leadership has made Ashley a standout amongst her peers which earned her the Player of the year for the Suburban League. One of the reasons for a high percentage of kills this is her arm strength and speed in her swing. With her quickness off the floor along with the height in vertical jump both compliment her ability to attack the ball.

Athletes just like Ashley are one of the biggest reasons why I love my career. She always displays a strong work ethic, committed to her training, dedicated on  improving her skills and ability on and off the court. 14-web-So-Cal-8x10-16-Smack-Ram-2015.jpgAshley is not only a strong player on the court but she also is preparing herself academically for college by taking Advanced Placement courses that will help her increase the chances of getting an Academic Scholarship along with her athletic ability that will help her get an Athletic Scholarship. Any coach would love to have Ashley on their team because she is an athlete that will stay focused and always have a positive attitude during each session. I wish her the best of luck during the upcoming Club season on the 16’s Select with the So Cal Juniors Volleyball Club and will continue to develop her athleticism in order to give her a strong base to prepare her for college.

Congratulations Ashley!

 

Article by,

Coach Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1

 

 

Three Steps to Increase Speed

If you are always wondering what you can do to help increase your speed, I am here to let you know that there are three simple things that you can do in order to help increase you speed. Now a days, every athlete has the desire to be the fastest on their team and with a proper strength training program, a focused sprinting program and having the flexibility to allow your body to produce maximum amounts of force all will lead to gains in speed that you are looking for. We cannot forget that it takes a strong sense of dedication to remain focused on your goals in order to stay committed to reaching them.

It all starts by having the proper strength training program that will take any athlete to the next level in their performance at all levels. Being able to incorporate the correct exercisesYouth-Strength-Training-Program in your training program is essential. The strength training program should include exercises that not only focus on your lower body but also the upper body. Both portions of your body work synergistically to produce power. Some example exercises could be as basic as a back squat to a more complexed movement like the split jerk. Understanding the order and progression for each athlete is something that would require the guidance of a professional in order to prevent unwanted injuries. Being able to discuss your goals and timeline with your trainer or strength coach will help them program and progress your training with the same vision and direction as yourself.

Now one of the most important things that needs to be done if you want to increase your speed is to run and run as much as possible. During your off-season is the time you would take to focus on building stamina in your run with some mid to long distance sprints involved. With the pre-season program, it is important to not only gear runningyour runs towards short and mid distance sprints but also a tapering down of your distance running. As you enter you season there should be a focus on acceleration and reaching your top end speed. At the start of the season is where you can focus on form work as well. The middle of your season is where you would need to focus on top end speed and short powerful sprints. It is very important to mimic the sprint training to the type of sprints you are doing in your sport. Once the season ends you do not want to just stop running because your off-season training will take an extra amount of time in order to get you back in to shape. What you want to do in the post-season is to use the time to mentally review the season during light runs with mild intensity.

The biggest area that some athletes seem to neglect, is increasing and maintaining their flexibility. With the more training you do, this correlates to increased tension on those muscle groups that are used. Athletes that have increased amplitudes of movements in their hips and shouldersstretch can produce great amounts of power with their limbs. Flexibility is one area that needs to be addressed throughout the entire year, since you are always training each quarter of the year. Athletes that take the time to involve some type of flexibility program into their daily rituals will have an advantage over other athletes that might not have such dedicated focus in their training. Every athlete is different and with that you would need to understand your body completely in order to feel what it is telling you so that you can do the correct stretches to help promote fast recovery, increased speed and reduce the risk of injury.

Every athlete has different goals and body types including the means on how they want to reach those goals. You need to have a clear plan on reaching your goals and with a strong mind set in order to maintain your focus. Being able to map out your plan and goals will give a strong sense of direction and a timeline to reach them. It is always a challenge on reaching your athletic goals and increased focus will keep you on the right track to accomplish everything that you set your mind to.

Article by: Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1

Tips for a Successful Baseball Season

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With baseball season right around the corner, here are a few important things to remember and implement in order to have the most successful season possible.

1) Take care of your body

There’s nothing more frustrating than spending months and months in the offseason preparing your body for the season only to end up out of commission and watching your teammates from the sidelines. Many of us take our health for granted and only begin to take appropriate measures to ensure a healthy season after an injury holds us out. Simple, quick care can prevent most injuries while most injuries take long, complex care to repair. Develop a pregame warm up routine, or an in-between innings routine if you’re coming off the bench or out of the pen, to make sure your body is ready for action. After a game, take care of your arm with shoulder exercises or ice, and be sure to work on flexibility and mobility. Don’t let that sore arm/back/leg develop into something more serious and miss valuable time on the field.

2) Be confident, stay positive

In a sport where failure is a constant, staying confident in your abilities might be more important than your skill set. Baseball will chew up and spit out the most talented baseball player with no confidence, but reward the average player who believes in his abilities. Believe that all your hard work during the offseason will lead to success, regardless of your batting average or ERA. Don’t carry your strikeouts at the plate onto the field, or your errors on the field to the plate. Instead, develop a mechanism to cope with and learn from these failures to become successful the next time you are in a similar situation.

3) Continue to train

With baseball season spanning over a couple months and the most important games stacked at the end, it is imperative that you continue to train. Without continuing to work on strength, speed, and power you will be left with less athleticism and ability during these all important games, whether it be a weight roomchampionship game, CIF playoff game, or your last home game as a Senior. An appropriate strength and conditioning program will adjust the training frequency and volume appropriately to have an athlete peak at the most important time of the season.

4) Above all, have fun!

Most importantly, don’t forget why millions of athletes around the world play baseball, for the love of the game. Make sure to enjoy your friends and teammates as you begin your seasons journey!

– Coach Logan

Top 10 Plyometric Exercises for Soccer Players. Joe Polifroni B.S. Kinesiology, ACSM.

The best soccer players in the world all share very high levels of speed, power, and stability in their lower body chain. In order for a soccer player to become faster, more powerful, and more stable in their legs it is important that Plyometrics are a mandatory part of their athletic training.

Plyometrics are movement exercises that are designed to allow a muscle to generate maximum force through contraction after a rapid, short lengthening movement. The simplest example of a plyometric exercise is a jump. Before a soccer player can jump off the ground, they have to lower their body into a pre-jump position. This body positioning creates slightly lengthened lower body muscles. As soon as the athlete is ready to jump, the muscles powerfully contract and the jump movement takes place.

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Another positive effect for plyometrics with soccer players is to help prevent injuries. So many athletes get injured from cutting, landing wrong after a jump, or positioning their body incorrectly while performing explosive movements during the game. Plyometrics help to teach soccer players how to control their body, using primary and stabilizer muscles. Training with plyometrics will also correct jumping technique, landing technique, and explosive linear and lateral movements.

Here are the top 10 Plyometric exercises that all soccer players should be doing every single week!

  1. Linear Box Jumps
  2. Lateral Box Jumps 
  3. Squat Jumps 
  4. Broad Jumps
  5. Split Squat Jumps
  6. Single Leg Lateral Jumps
  7. Single Leg Forward Jumps
  8. Linear Hurdle Jumps
  9. Lateral Hurdle Jumps
  10. Single Leg SST patterns 

It is very important that all of these exercises are performed with proper technique and form! They should be monitored by a certified strength and conditioning coach.

To learn these plyometric drills and other effective exercises, contact our coaches here at Champions Quest and get help from the best!

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