Tag Archives: athleticism

Success Story: Andrew Stanley

It is always great to see the hard work pay off here at Champions QUEST. In fact, it is a daily occurrence! In the case of one of our young baseball athletes, Andrew Stanley, the 100008284_largehard work is paying off quickly! In less than a month and a half of work, Andrew has seen some incredible results, that are highlighted by his gains in speed, agility, and core strength. In two of the three agility tests, he has increased his efficiency by a full category, which is normally indicative of 1 year’s worth of growth! On his 5-10-5 Pro Agility, he shaved .42 seconds off his time, which is quite substantial for a 20 yard increment. He also has increased his plank hold time (core strength) from 32 seconds to 2 minutes. This test shows me that he is not only getting stronger physically, but also increasing his mental aptitude. I am quickly seeing a shift in his work ethic, demeanor, and ultimately his make up as an athlete. Keep up the hard work Andrew, and I look forward to seeing your continued growth. Always remember, the joy is found in the journey.

Coach Kyle Richter, CSCS, USAW, TPI

USC Baseball Alumni, BA Human Performance

Video: Foam Rolling for Youth Athletes

Foam rolling, or self-myofascial release, is a technique used by athletes help break up adhesions and scar tissue to speed up the healing and recovery process after a training session. By rolling out theses knots, blood-flow is increased and muscles can return to their normal function.

At Champion’s QUEST, our athletes foam rolling or use other self-myofascial release techniques both before the start of a workout and also at the conclusion as part of a cool-down to begin the healing process.

About the Author:CQ headshot

Coach Kyle Ertel, Soccer Performance Coach, CSCS USA-W USSF

Kyle@ChampionsQUEST.com       562-598-2600

“The Process” : Mental Approach on the Diamond Part 3

In our last article, we had an in depth look at what the “process” looks like for a ball player. To recap, “the process” is all about controlling only the things that you can control. By understanding that results are out of their control, the athlete can focus in on the things that are important. These things that are important are hitting the ball hard, making quality pitches, putting their bodies in the right position to field on defense, and ultimately, staying completely aggressive with their approach and effort. clayton-kershaw9

Baseball was never designed to be a sport based on accuracy and analytics. If pitchers were only required to throw strikes, and hitters were only required to hit the ball into permanent unchanging gaps, then we could maybe put the heavy emphasis on stats that we do. However, Baseball is so much more than just ERA, batting average, hits, walks, strikeouts, on base percentage, and everything else we obsess over! This game is an art form, and chess match that pins competitors against each other in a ballistic, fast paced, ever changing setting with strict guidelines and a human umpire who can determine their fates. With this thought in mind, how do we set up a pitcher to have the best possible chance of success on the mound? 635982535697601028-ap-rangers-tigers-baseball-m

If you are a pitcher, it is not rocket science to know that “better stuff” (i.e. velocity, movement, spin, etc.) equals a higher likelihood of getting the batter out. This also means that a pitcher that is throwing 95MPH versus a pitcher that is throwing 85MPH can get away with way more mistakes, because the batter is stressed with reaction time. If a pitcher that throws harder can get away with more mistakes, from an odds perspective, doesn’t he have a better chance of getting the batter out? You may be saying to yourself, “well yah of course, unless he’s really wild.” Ok, well now let’s imagine this is the same pitcher that has the ability to throw 95MPH but the coach has asked him to “tone it down” and throw 85MPH with more strikes.

First of all, he is now trying to do something which he has never done in his life, which is throw the ball with less than 100% effort with high pressure to a small target. With that his mechanics will change, his approach will change, and ultimately he will lose confidence in throwing the ball over the plate with conviction. This is because he is now solely thinking about just throwing strikes, rather than competing as an athlete. This leads me to the big take away. The pitcher, no matta0qcber how hard he throws, will compete at a higher level and have higher success, if he is trying to put a hole in the catcher rather than just getting it to the glove. This is because…

  1. His “stuff” is better and therefore the batter has less time to react and adjust.
  2. He is allowing himself to throw the way he has HIS ENTIRE LIFE of playing the game. From an early age, he has honed his craft of playing quality catch in a relaxed state of mind without conscious thoughts, and the demands of high achievement and pressure. So quite simply, practice like you play, and play like you practice. 

I have said it before and I will say it again, baseball players are gymnasts on a diamond. This means that ballplayers have to play the game instinctually with full trust that their countless hours of preparation have established their skill set. If you go out onto the field and try to do something different, by appeasing a voice that is telling you to play it safer, you are only setting yourself up for frustration and suffered performance.

It is time to take a step back as a culture, and not only look at how we are mentally developing our youth ball players, but also how we choose to coach our older elite ball players. Next time we will talk about this mental approach from a position player/ hitting perspective.

Coach Kyle Richter, CSCS, USAW, TPI

USC Baseball Alumni, BA Human Performance


3 Myths About Soccer Speed Training

Each day there are many questions and concerns brought up in regards to speed training. I am going to go over 3 popular myths about soccer speed training.

 1.You can’t train speedChampions Quest Youth Soccer

This is a popular belief that an athlete is born with a certain amount of speed and you can’t get faster. WRONG. Many youth athletes’ muscles are weak and they have not learned how to move properly and efficiently. Therefore, improvements in speed can be gained by training proper technique and gaining strength.

2.Training slow makes you fast

Soccer requires a high aerobic component and a high anaerobic component. Running long and slow intervals of continuous running will get the athlete in shape. However in a game of soccer, a soccer player will jog, then sprint 20 yards, jump, jog, and sprint again. In order to get to the ball faster or chase down an opponent a soccer player must improve their top speed and acceleration. This is not done by running at a slow pace, but rather training explosive movements.

3.The harder the workout, the Champions Quest Youth Soccer (1)better the result

Some soccer players, coaches, and parents have this mentality that if a workout or training session doesn’t cause exhaustion that it wasn’t an effective workout. Constantly training to exhaustion can lead to injuries and declined performances. The purpose of a workout is to instill an adaptation in the body. If the purpose of the workout is to get faster, then how do you get faster when your muscles are exhausted and you can’t produce the force to run fast? If the body takes too much work, then the adaptation or purpose of the workout is lost.

Here at Champion’s QUEST, athletes at any age and any level can improve speed when implementing a complete speed training program designed to improve and develop the athlete as a whole. We focus on stimulating the proper adaptations in the body to prevent diminishing returns. 

Angela Garcia Champions Quest

Soccer Success Story: Jordan Serrano

In December of 2014, Jordan Serrano made the decision to become an even better soccer player by walkinChampionsQuestBeachFC.jpgg through the doors of Champion’s QUEST. At the age of 11 Jordan obtained goals to get stronger, faster, and enhance her soccer skills. 

Jordan has made significant improvements  in her athleticism and has increased her athlete score by 305%!

In order to obtain her goals, Jordan attends the strength and speed clinics for her age group. Jordan Serrano ImprovementJordan also is at Champion’s QUEST after school. Jordan always drops in the office with a smile to give an update on what she is doing and then heads into the gym to get her workout in. She comes in after school to work on her soccer skills and to utilize the myCQ app, a downloaded phone app that athletes use at Champion’s QUEST to workout in the gym or anywhere to gain that extra edge.

Jordan’s dedication to training  has been acknowledged through the recent making of the Beach FC ’03 club team.

Jordan is continuing to grow mentally and athletically to become the best soccer player she can be. Jordan is beginning to demonstrate more leadership in the gym and this leadership role has transitioned from the gym to home with the new addition of her little sister, Rowan. 

We are proud of you Jordan! Keep up all the hard work and we are excited to see what else is in store for you this year!

Enjoy your Play It Again Sports $20 “Fun Bucks” coupon at the Los Alamitos location on KatellaLosAlamitosPlayItAgainSportsCoach Angela


Contact Coach Angela Garcia to do a speed clinic or for soccer specific speed training

Soccer@ChampionsQUEST.com  562-598-2600


Soccer Success Story: Dean Robertson

Dean Robertson walked in the door of Champion’s QUEST back in December of 2015 wanting to increase his speed and agility. Dean currently plays midfield on the frosh/soph soccer team at Milikan High School and also plays club soccer for Beach FC.Dean Robertson

Dean often comes into Champion’s QUEST after his soccer practices to attend the Speed, Strength, and Flexibility clinics.

He has made a significant improvement in his athleticism and increased his athlete score by 175% in just 1 month!Dean Robertson Success Chart

Dean made a big stride in improving his speed and Dean decreased all of his speed and agility scores, while also improving his upper body and core strength.

Dean’s long-term goals are to make the Varsity soccer team at Milikan High School and earn a college scholarship. Keep up all the hard work Dean. We’re looking forward to you doing amazing things in 2016!

Enjoy your Play It Again Sports $20 “Fun Bucks” coupon at the Los Alamitos location on KatellaLosAlamitosPlayItAgainSports

About the Author:

CQ headshot

Coach Kyle Ertel, Soccer Performance Coach, CSCS USA-W

Kyle@ChampionsQUEST.com       562-598-2600

“It’s In The D.E.T.A.I.L.S”

Many athletes want success, recognition and even fame, but few understand the importance of D.E.T.A.I.L.S. The true athlete not only understands the value of D.E.T.A.I.L.S, but embraces the smallest aspects of preparation and thus, realizes the ultimate success of an athlete is becoming a Champion.


The definition of D.E.T.A.I.L.S lies in the 7 Pillars of Success. The 1st letter “D” stands for Determination, the 2nd letter “E” stands for Education, the 3rd letter “T” stands for Timing, the 4th letter “A” stands for Action. As the athlete continues the quest of becoming a Champion he displays the 5th letter “I” which stands for Integrity, the 6th letter “L” stands for doing the Little Things and the 7th letter “S” stands for Separation. Let’s take a closer look at this simple, yet powerful word: D.E.T.A.I.L.S.

The “D” in D.E.T.A.I.L.S stands for Determination.  Every athlete that pursues victory needs a driving force to inspire him to achieve success. When an athlete begins this journey he must display determination to move and push beyond difficult challenges, failures and hardships. Determination defines the athletes’ purpose, keeps focus and thus, provides the 1st pillar of becoming a Champion. The “E” in D.E.T.A.I.L.S is the 2nd pillar of success and stands for Education. Education is the foundation for learning on and off the field of life. Education gives the athlete knowledge, skills and the ability to prepare for the quest of being the best.

The letter “T” is the 3rd pillar of success in D.E.T.A.I.L.S and stands for Timing. Timing is so very important because it offers opportunity. Opportunity is defined as when preparation and achievement connect to reach a common goal. For example when a football player scores the winning touchdown and the top College Football Coach is in the stands watching. The player seizes the moment, timing is perfect and now he is in the position to receive the coveted football scholarship. The “A” in D.E.T.A.I.L.S stands for Action and represents the 4th pillar of success. Action is the energy, hard work and fuel that moves the athlete toward his goal. Action is the invaluable resource for all athletes because without it nothing happens but with it, extraordinary things can happen.


The 5th pillar of success in D.E.T.A.I.L.S is the letter I which means Integrity. Integrity is essential in the character development of an athlete who wants to become a Champion. Integrity establishes honor, standards of excellence and sportsmanship. As a result, the athlete understands, it is far more important how you play the game, than the result of the game. Bottom line, the integrity of an athlete is far more valuable than victory, and this my friend, is the essence of a Champion.  As the Champion’s quest continues to develop integrity and attention to the smaller things become a major priority.

The letter ” L” focuses on the Little Things which is the 6th pillar of success in D.E.T.A.I.L.S.  For example, the routine, what you eat, how you train, who trains you, what you think about, and how you feel are the beginning stages of building uniqueness. When athletes pay attention to the little things the Champion now, sets himself apart from the crowd. When separation occurs in athletics recognition, awards and the praises increase almost overnight. But the true Champion, understands that being different creates separation.

Separation leads directly to the final letter “S” which is the 7th pillar of success in D.E.T.A.I.L.S.  Russell Wilson, Super Bowl Quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks stated, “Preparation Builds Separation”.   This statement is powerful because it embodies the essence of a Champion. All Champions know that it takes supreme dedication, exceptional work ethic, passion and a disciplined mindset to achieve greatness. These qualities appear very simple, but are very difficult to do consistently on a daily basis.   As a result, separation is in the D.E.T.A.I.L.S and this, is the difference between good and great.

Now young athletes, to acquire the 7 Pillars of Success you must remember D.E.T.A.I.L.S is a LIFESTYLE. When you prioritize determination, education, timing, action, integrity, the little things and separation you will receive the ultimate reward, becoming a Champion. Now young athletes you have the formula, go out and realize your dreams!!!!!


“Keep Living Like A Champion”

Coach Reggie Ward

Director of Football Academy



Soccer Article: 5-10-5 Pro Agility Test

At Champion’s QUEST, testing and assessment is an essential component of designing an individualized sports performance program for our athletes. We test all of our athletes within the first two sessions at Champion’s QUEST on their speed, strength, agility, power, and endurance. When athletes enroll at Champion’s QUEST, they begin a custom program that is specific to their athletic needs and goals.ChampionsQuestChangeDirection

Soccer is a dynamic sport that requires a combination of physical and technical abilities.  Speed, agility, and quickness are all characteristics essential to the successful soccer athlete.  Most athletes are proficient in one or two areas, but fall short in others.

Soccer players don’t always run in a complete straight line and “soccer speed” needs to be gauged differently. 

In the game of soccer, it is necessary for an athlete to be proficient at starting, accelerating, and cutting for 15 to 25 yards, but also stopping at high speeds as a player approaches the ball or an opponent.

5-10-5 AgilityThe Pro Agility Test (also known as the 5-10-5 or 20-yard Shuttle) is used at Champion’s QUEST to assess an athlete’s speed, agility, and ability to change directions. The Pro Agility Test assess all of these characteristics as well as power in small areas and body control. It can also be used as a tool to identify any imbalances that an athlete might have with one side of the body being more dominant than the other. Any significant imbalance can put a soccer athlete at an increased risk for injury.

Every quarter, we re-test and evaluate our Champion’s QUEST academy athletes to see their progressions and also determine if any changes need to be made to their current training program. Our athletes also review and set their goals for the upcoming months and formulate new game plans to help them reach those goals.Makayla Champion 1


Athlete Spotlight:

  • Makayla Romo, 9-year old soccer player
  • 5-10-5 Agility Test: 2/3/15: 6.95s (Left) 1/11/16: 6.02s (Left)
  • Almost 1 second off her 5-10-5 Agility Test
  • Champion For Life since February 2015

Click here to watch a video on simple agility drills your athlete can be doing on their own.

About the Author:CQ headshot

Coach Kyle Ertel, Soccer Performance Coach, CSCS USA-W

Kyle@ChampionsQUEST.com       562-598-2600


Soccer Parent Testimonial: Zoey Knibb

“Zoey loves training and she had a good season. She has decided she is ready to try-out for a club team. She was asked last year but her own insecurity and nerves got the best of her. Training has definitely helped Zoey Knibbwith that. We are doing a lot of talking and extra processing with her ability to really apply what she learns when she leaves Champion’s QUEST. I am optimistic that she will continue making progress.”

Zoey first walked in the doors of Champion’s QUEST in August with the goal to be the best on her team. Since her arrival, Zoey has made GREAT improvements in her athleticism and has increased her athlete score by 233%. Zoey currently attends the speed, soccer, and strength clinics.

We are very proud of you Zoey! Keep up the hard work and we look forward to seeing you grow mentally and physically!

CoCoach Angela ach Angela Garcia, Soccer Assistant Coach



Why Is “Core” So Important? Part 1

1092672031_5a3196371cToday’s discussion is centered around core training for rotational athletes and why it is such a crucial aspect of athletic development. The definition, (and even translation) of “Core” has been lost in this digital age of fad fitness, and mis-information. The “Core” does not comprise of just the abdominals, but rather defines the entire thoracic region. In this discussion we will start by focusing on the the trunk. In later discussion we will get into the importance of the Gluteals, Lower back muscles, and pelvic/ hip muscle groups which all contribute to the efficiency of the core. The “trunk” consists of the Rectus Abdominus muscle group, Transverse Abdominals, Internal and External Obliques, Intercostals, Rhomboids, and Erector Spinae.

core-strength-for-golfingAs a society we have gotten caught up in the development of the Rectus Abdominus muscle group which almost exclusively works the sagittal (linear based) plane. If we are being honest with ourselves, we spend our effort on this muscle group for the classic “six-pack” look that will come from concerted effort. While an athlete with a “six-pack” will certainly look the part, and be very strong in that linear plane, they will undoubtedly have deficiencies when it comes to developing rotational force.

troutweb28s-webThe Core is the undeniable connection point between the upper and lower body. When we talk about movement patterns, and strength development, I always like to put it into perspective of how the athlete is developing force through the ground. Whether it is a sprint, a squat, a lunge, or a jump, from a bio-mechanical point of view we are looking at how much force is being produced in the ground, and in which direction it is established. The entire body is involved in this process, which is a point that is commonly over-looked.

Also, in terms of a rotational sport specific point of view, the entire body is used as a giant whip. The force is developed through the ground, up the legs, through the core, and finally out through the upper extremities. Without the engagement, strength, and ability to conduct this force effectively, the core serves as the weak link that is holding back the rotational athlete. Going back to how we defined “core,” this means the athlete needs to pay attention to the other smaller muscle groups (especially the external obliques) which are involved in producing rotational power. Not only do we want to build these muscle groups, but we want to do so through the transverse plane, and without engaging the lumbar spine.

example_hipsrotatingbeforeshoulders_timlincecum_2007_035The ability to maximally transfer energy from the legs through the core in a transverse (rotational) plane to the arms, is arguably the most important factor of development in rotational athletes. This ability can make a substantial difference when we start talking about power numbers and velocity gains. At Champion’s QUEST we focus on the details, which means there is no guess work in how we train our athletes. Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will begin to spell out the details of this rotational specific core training.

Coach Kyle Richter, CSCS, USA-W, TPI

USC Baseball Alumni- BA Human Performance