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

Video: College Prep Highlight Videos

Check out the next video in the College Prep series… what should your Game Highlight Video include when you email college coaches?

Watch the video below to see a Highlight Video that showcases the skills and team work in a highlight video. Take note of how this video was made with an iPad on the sideline. No fancy cameras, just game footage, a movie making app, and a YouTube account.

Check out our Champion’s QUEST alumni who are now playing in college and professionally around the nation. Their dedication in the gym and competition combined with their greatest strengths has earned them the right to be a collegiate student-athlete.

Email Coach Brittany if you need help with your highlight video!

 

 

BRITTANY GONZALES COLLEGE RECRUITING

Long Toss: Building Better Throwing Athletes Part 2

101509_hamels_4001Last time we opened up a discussion about Long Toss, and touched on some surface level reasons why I believe it to be effective. Also, we discussed the importance of muscular balance in the rotator cuff, and posterior side of the body. This is vital to ensure health and progression in your throwing velocity.

Long Toss is designed to teach the throwing athlete how to be elite from both a command and velocity stand point. However, the approach has to be executed to perfection in order to ensure that you are seeing these positive results. To me, the best in the business with this execution is Alan Jaegar, who has established himself as an expert both on the long toss and arm care side of throwing progression. Ironically, the focus of long toss should not be strictly on throwing distance. If you only focus on the distance, you will likely find yourself trying to throw beyond the means of your mechanics. For this reason, the “stretch out phase” (where the athlete throws for distance) is designed to accomplish two things…

  1. Properly warm up and prepare the arm
  2. Develop feel from multiple release points

I believe number two is something that is commonly looked over. Long toss is extremely important for the athlete to learn the feelings associated with throwing from multiple different release points. Why is this important to develop this feel? It allows the athlete to make adjustments throw by throw, pitch by pitch. Also, developing this feel allows the athlete to trust their stuff, and throw the baseball instinctually, and aggressively, the way they should be!long-toss

Once the athlete reaches the peak throwing distance (always listen to your arm, and what it gives you each day), they then start what is known as the “pull down phase.”

The pull down phase is where the real work begins, and where the velocity gains will become a reality. By throwing with high effort, on a line to the target you are going to develop your velocity, period. This is going to occur from both physical and psychological changes. On the psychological side, the athlete is learning how to be an elite thrower, with elite command, at a high effort level. This is vital to success, especially with pitchers… because the better their stuff, the better their chance of success.

On the physical side, neuromuscular efficiency will increase due to testing their limits of muscular power. As with anything else that you attack from a power or plyometric training standpoint… if you want to move faster, you have to train your body by moving extremely quick! Your body has an amazing ability to adapt, as long as the athlete is moving with tremendous speed, in an instinctual state, and making positive adjustments on a rep to rep basis

Try this out yourself, and witness the transformation of your throwing athleticism that will take place within the first few weeks! Next time we will continue our discussion, and dive into some more important facets of arm health.

Kyle Richter, CSCS, USAW, TPI

USC Baseball Alumni, BA Human Performance

Testimonial:”A Parent’s Excitement”

The Confidence of Jacob Ahumada:

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We are always excited when we have a parent share the success of their child here at Champion’s Quest Athlete Academy. Alicia was so excited about her son’s Jacob’s  confidence that she decided to share. See below and experience “A Parent’s Excitement”:

“Hi Coach Reggie!

“Omg you have no idea how much your message meant to Jacob! He had the biggest smile on his face & he rarely smiles that big lol. It really means a lot to us as well! He says Hello & thank you so much & he does remember UCLA & says he wants to continue a Bruin all the way!

He says you have an invite for any of his games forever! Lol! We really were blessed to have spent time & get to know you! Thank You because in a very short time you made a big impact in Jacobs life! You should see his confidence & his drive & that was thanks to you! Thank you!! Thank You!!

May God Bless you & your family because God really did put you in our paths when we needed it the most. Many Blessings! Stay Real! It is an honor to know you! Keep in touch & I hope one day if you have a chance Im sure Jacob would love to see you. If u are ever in wilson Jacob plays at 3pm on Thursdays! Stay Blessed!

Sincerely,
The Ahumadas!
Jacob, Alicia , Cruz & Michael too lol!

Wow these words were uplifting, strong and shows the power of teamwork between the athlete, parent and the Coach.  So, I say bravo to this family for allowing Champion’s Quest to help Jacob believe in his abilities on and off the field.”

“Keep Living Like a Champion”

Coach Reggie Ward

Champion’s Quest Academy

Athletic Director

reggiew@championsquest.com

562-598-2600

 

 

Parent Testimonial: Maya Gonzales

rosary-maya-gonzales“Hi Brittany! This is Manny, Maya’s dad. I wanted to thank you for everything you and your staff do for Maya! I had a dad approach me this weekend and was amazed on how much faster Maya had gotten from the last time he saw her play! He asked what she was doing and I gave Champion’s QUEST all the credit! I thought you and your staff would like to her that! Keep up the good work!” – Manny Gonzales
Maya Gonzales, now a Sophomore at Rosary High School in Fullerton, California plays an attacking role on her Varsity high school team for Coach Sean Melendez and her club soccer team, FC Premier formerly known as Cypress FC for Coach Dave Sabet. Whether it’s playing forward or outside midfield, Maya always wants to add to her team’s attack and pursuit of the goal

maya-gonzales-rosaryAlthough Maya and Coach Brittany joke she started training at Champion’s QUEST because they have the same last name, Maya’s true goal was to become the best soccer player she can be for her team and for her self. That is exactly what sets Maya apart from her opponents, she wants to push herself to be her best and at the same time, push her teammates to become their best. In order t do this, Maya would drive from South Orange County to train once a week at Champion’s QUEST with her FC Premier teammates. Maya knew that in order to be better, you have to make sacrifices.

In these pictures of Maya, you will notice her intensity and her fearless attitude going towards the ball and into traffic with her opponents. This upcoming high school season at Rosary will be one to watch as Maya joins forces with two other Champion’s QUEST athletes, Katie Searle – Senior Defensive Midfield verbally committed to Cal State Monterey Bay, and Naomi Dodd – a Sophomore transfer ready to contribute to the Rosary soccer program.

BRITTANY GONZALES COLLEGE RECRUITING

 

Video: Improve your balance, reduce injuries

Balance, coordination, body control and flexibility are integral to the successful athlete. Often times too much emphasis is put on how much weight an athlete can lift, or how high they can jump. However, it is the little things such as balance that can make the greatest impact on their performance.

At Champion’s QUEST, our athletes work on their balance and coordination in their dynamic warm-ups, strength, speed, and power clinics. It is important that an athlete is well-rounded and doesn’t have any weaknesses because any imbalance that an athlete has can also put them at a higher risk for injury.

This video below goes over some simple balance and coordination exercises that your athlete can be doing on their own to reduce their injures.

For more information on injury prevention or to schedule an athletic evaluation, contact Coach Kyle Ertel via email at Kyle@ChampionsQUEST.com or by phone: 562-598-2600.

Kyle Ertel Champions Quest

Natalia Banos: “A Swimmers’ Pursuit of Greatness”

 

fullsizerender-2Natalia is a 14 year old exceptional athlete that has been at Champion’s Quest for only 4 short months.  Her performance is moving at record pace on land and in the pool. Natalia is an outstanding swimmer, student and person. She exhibits confidence, gives respect to all coaches, fellow athletes and friends at Champion’s Quest.

I asked her Dad what is Natalia’s strongest quality and he responded with a smile and an answer that I had never heard before during my coaching my experience. He replied her ability to have very strong time management skills. This time management quality is an invaluable asset especially at such a young age.

Natalia applies this skill at The Oxford Academy in Cerritos.  This school provides a highly competitive academic environment where she is challenged each and everyday. She takes multiple high level courses, studies for hours daily, while still making time to do her dry land training and complete chores at home. You would think,she has no extra time at all for anything else. But, she takes a deep breadth, smiles and then she does what she loves to do, and that is, getting in the swimming pool.

fullsizerenderNatalia’s hard work is truly paying off and it was on full display at the Junior Olympics Competition in Arizona. She posted personal best in all of her swimming events:
– 200 meter freestyle: seed time 2:16.76 (dropped 0:03.39) final time 2:13.37
– 400 meter freestyle: seed time 4:44.63 (dropped 0:01.13) final time 4:43.50
– 100 meter butterfly: seed time 1:07.3 (dropped 0:01.34) final time 105.96 1st place
– 200 meter butterfly: seed time 2:29.74 (dropped 0:03.38) final time 2:26.36
– 200 meter individual medley: seed time 2:33.58 (dropped 0:02.70) final time 2:30.88
– 400 meter individual medley: seed time 5:23.87 (dropped 0:07.13) final time 5:16.74.  Keep up the great work in school, keep training and pursuing greatness in the pool.

Congratulations and we are proud of you at Champion’s Quest!!!

Coach Reggie Ward

Assistant Athletic Director

Champion’s Quest Athlete Academy

reggiew@championsquest.com

562-598-2600