Tag Archives: athletic performance

Plyometric Training in Adolescents

Plyometric training can be traced back approximately 40 years ago to Russia, where it was originally used as a method for increasing strength and power in track and field athletes. Now days, almost everyjump3 exercise that involves some sort of jumping movement is considered a plyometric exercise. There is no doubt that plyometric training has been shown to increase athletic performance; however, there is much debate about how early in an athlete’s career it should be introduced. Plyometric training can be beneficial and safe for children and adolescents provided that the program is properly designed and supervised.introduced. Plyometric training can be beneficial and safe for children and adolescents provided that the program is properly designed and supervised.

Plyometric exercises utilize the strength-shortening cycle (SSC) to create a powerful muscle contraction. During the SSC, the muscles are able to store the tension created from the stretch for a short period of time. Then force is produced as the muscles contract, much like a rubber band being stretched and released. Plyometrics call upon multiple muscle groups to work together at once to produce the maximal power output. These exercises teach an athlete how to use their whole body as a single unit quickly and aggressively. Plyometric exercises also can increase reactive strength, coordination, and can reduce the risk of injury by developing a more symmetrical athlete.

jump1The first step in developing a training program for an adolescent who is interested in plyometric training would be to assess them to determine if they are physically and mentally ready for plyometrics. Plyometric exercises can involve high-impact movements and it is important that the athlete has foundational strength to support the body and decrease any imbalances they might have. It is also important that the athlete is mentally mature enough to learn proper form and make sure that every repetition counts. If improper form is established at this age, it can become a habit that is hard to eliminate as the athlete develops.

At Champion’s QUEST, an athlete must first start in our B.A.S.Ejump2 clinic which focuses on foundational strength and movements with proper form. Once they turn 11, they may move into a “Strength” clinic that continues to develop their foundational strength with the application of some sort of external load to the body. Once a coach feels that they are proficient in their
form, they may join our “Power” clinic. This clinic incorporates high-impact plyometrics and introduces Olympic lifting techniques. The criteria for this promotion is subjective, varies from athlete to athlete, and is at the discretion of all the coaches at our facility. There are many benefits that come with plyometric training but proper form should be of utmost concern to ensure correct habits are being formed at this early age of an athlete’s career.

For more information on plyometric training or to schedule a demo session email Coach Kyle.

Why is Strength Important for Soccer Players?

The game of soccer thrives upon scoring goals and preventing the other soccer team from scoring. Due to the long duration of the soccer game it requires a high aerobic capacity. This duration is constant movement with short breaks. However, during this time the soccer player will need to perform quick bursts of movement including sprints, heading, kicking, and tackling. These are explosive movements, which will benefit the soccer player in the opportunity to attack more and prevent the other soccer team from scoring. Each soccer player must be more powerful than their opponent. Power is the ability to move with significant speed and strength. Being strong does not make you powerful, but you can’t be powerful without being strong. Therefore, strength is the foundation for power. Strength is a big component of the game of soccer that is often neglected due to the high demandimgres for an aerobic capacity.

Strength is the ability to produce force that is relevant to the task. As mentioned, it is important to develop a strength base to allow a better transfer to power. This can be achieved by training along the force-velocity curve. The force-velocity curve is a curve that shows the inverse relationship between force and velocity. As an athlete lifts heavier, the slower they will lift it. Conversely, as an athlete lifts a lighter weight, they will lift it faster. This helps soccer players by pushing the curve up and to the right. The objective is to make the soccer player more powerful.

Before a soccer player can conquer the various soccer movements that are applied in the game of soccer, the soccer player must be strong to prevent injury. Many injury occurrences are due to reduced neuromuscular control and low hamstring strength. The main soccer movement of a soccer player is to kick the ball, which is constantly repeated during soccer practices and games. This leads to a lot of usage of the quadriceps, which puts the hamstrings in a weaker state. If the strength of the quadriceps surpasses the strength of the hamstrings, then there is an increased risk of injury to the hamstrings and the ACL. If the hamstrings are weak, then the quadriceps’ activation decreases. This limits the occurrence of the muscles contracting to protect the ligaments. The decreased activation is due to poor neuromuscular occurrence. Strength training 635711157178787421-USP-SOCCER-WOMEN-S-WORLD-CUP-UNITED-STATES-AT-CHI-74106058yields more activation of the neuromuscular system. Therefore, including extra hamstring exercises in a strength program is vital for preventing injury in soccer players and to allow for gains in performance.

Strength drastically increases speed, which is an important component to soccer. Sprinting requires high levels of acceleration and high levels of strength to overcome the body mass. By increasing force in the appropriate muscles or muscle groups, speed may improve to skills critical to soccer, such as kicking, jumping, turning, sprinting, and changing pace. Getting stronger allows the soccer player to produce their peak force at a higher velocity, thus the power occurs at a greater percentage. Overall, implementing strength into the soccer player’s program will contribute to their overall performance.

Coach Angela GarciaEmail me about Strength Training & Soccer Players

Coerver Soccer Training + Youth Athletic Performance

Soccer skill development and athletic performance are growing and becoming more vital each year for youth soccer players due to increased competition on the soccer field.

An enYouth soccerhancement in soccer skills will allow for an advantage against the opponent. A po
pular and successful soccer method, Coerver Coaching, focuses on the individual skills development and small group play suited for all ages, especially for players aged 5 through 16. The goal of Coerver Coaching is to develop skilled, confident, and creative soccer players. imgres
Coerver coaching bases their soccer skills training program on 6-building blocks in a pyramid scheme. The first level is ball mastery, which consists of repetition ball control drills. The second level is receiving and passing, which contains soccer drills to improve first touch and accurate passing. The third level is soccer moves (1v1), using soccer drills to create space against packed defenses. The fourth level is speed to increase technique and encourage instinctive soccer play. The fifth level is finishing with soccer drills that emphasize in technique and instinctive play. The last and sixth level is the group play, which focuses on soccer drills that create fast break attacks and small group play.

As a previous collegiate soccer player and a strength and conditioning professional, I have incorporated the Coerver Coaching into my own soccer training drills for kids. My soccer skills program focuses on the skill development with the addition of exercises that include reaction and change of direction drills for all ages. In other words, my program incorporates the Coerver method’s 6-building blocks and with a focus on youth athletic performance drills. The goal is to increase each soccer player’s athleticism and soccer skill to maximize their potential to be the best soccer player they can be. Ultimately, the soccer player can achieve their desired level of play.

Coach Angela Garcia Email me about Coerver Coaching and Strength & Conditioning