Tag Archives: Champion’s QUEST

Three Cheers For ASU & Nicole

 

asu-commits

Nicole, Amanda, Emma

Three years ago, goalkeeper Emma Malsy verbally committed to play soccer at Arizona State University. A year later, midfielder Amanda Jones verbally committed to play soccer for the Sun Devils and now, our third athlete and defender, Nicole Soto, has verbally committed to play soccer for Arizona State Sun Devils.

In November 2014, Nicole was featured in one of our blog posts as we talked about the dedication of a group of soccer girls that were training to have the best opportunity to make their high school Varsity teams.

“…Nicole continually works on her strength and using her mental toughness to shut down her opponents….”

nicole-soto-socal-bluesSince that blog post, Nicole has had a lot of changes happen in her soccer career: joining the So Cal Blues ECNL team, earning a spot on the Los Alamitos high school Varsity team as a Freshman, being scouted by the Mexican Youth National teams, and actively taking a hold of her college recruiting process.

Nicole is the athlete that every coaches wish they had on their team. She pushes her teammates in practice from start to finish and always is one of the first to finish all fitness tests and training. Nicole has open, frank conversations with her coaches about her performances in games and the steps she needs to take to raise her ability to play at her best. Nicole invites constructive criticism and does not shy away from an opportunity that she knows will only make her a better soccer player.

nicole-sotoIn Nicole fashion, playing soccer in college was not a choice but a goal waiting to be conquered. Watching her older sister Ashley go through the process and verbally commit to play soccer at USC, Nicole wanted to forge her own path and be in control of the process. After looking at several colleges on the west coast, Nicole weighed out the options between academics, athletics, and the social culture of each college. Then last month, Nicole decided that Arizona State University was the right fit for her.

It doesn’t surprise me (Coach Brittany) that every goal Nicole has set for herself, she has accomplished each one with a strong belief in her abilities and the fight to push herself as far as she can go. That’s the Nicole-way of accomplishing goals: Go 100% with honesty, perseverance, and strength -and- of course, she’ll come out on top!

BRITTANY GONZALES COLLEGE RECRUITING

 

 

Advertisements

Soccer Game Changer: Thomas Pighin

At Champion’s QUEST, we are always excited to hear from our parents about how much their athlete has improved and the changes that they have seen in their athlete since beginning their journey at the Athlete Academy. Sometimes the improvements are physical, other times the changes are mental but it is always amazing to hear when it is both.

thomas-pighin“I’ve seen Thomas become a more confident and competent soccer player. He only played one season when he was six and some loosely organized play at school. He wanted to try something other than baseball so we set him up with the CQ Soccer camp and a Coerver camp to help him at least have some soccer skills. I’m very happy with the conditioning Thomas is getting at CQ. His endurance has really increased and this is very important on the bigger soccer field. He has improved his speed, which had always been an issue for him. At school they are preparing for fitness testing and Thomas is well above most other kids. In fact he and Cameron (another CQ athlete) kinda leave the others behind.” -Chris Pighin

When Thomas comes to train at Champion’s QUEST, he attends the B.A.S.E, Soccer, and Baseball clinics to develop his athleticism along with the technical skills needed to excel in his games. Currently, Thomas plays forward, defender and goalkeeper for his AYSO-Cypress team. Thomas has short-term goals of improving his speed, strength and dribbling for soccer and a long-term goal of playing soccer professionally.

“He’s doing well so far with his team. Thomas has to play up because his birthday is three days before the cutoff so his friends are all U10 and he’s a U12. He’s hanging in there playing multiple positions, including goalie and forward and even scored the tying goal in a game. We will transition to baseball soon. One of the things I love about CQ is that he can get quality instruction in a variety of sports- along with conditioning. He’s excited to his re-testing this week and can’t stop talking about improving his scores!” -Chris Pighin

I’m also excited to see how much Thomas’ hard work has paid off and also to continue to follow his success on the soccer and baseball field. Keep it up Thomas!

Kyle Ertel Champions Quest

Soccer Star on the Rise: Cameron Smalls

Cameron Smalls walked through the doors of Champion’s QUEST back in May of 2016 with goals of improving his speed, power, and agility. Cameron is a 10-year old multi-sport athlete, who plays soccer, baseball and basketball. His long-term aspirations are to play soccer or baseball in high school, college, and eventually professionally.fullsizerender-24

In just over 2 months of training, Cameron showed a 119% increase in his total athleticism. Cameron showed his biggest improvements in his agility, strength and speed. He lowered all three of his agility scores by 4 seconds. Cameron improved his linear agility from 15.39s to 10.69s and his lateral agility from 16.70 to 11.64, however his biggest improvement was shown in his single leg agility on his SST (shark skill test) by reducing his time from 12.59s to 7.88s! Single leg agility is crucial to soccer athletes as many technical aspects such as passing, trapping, dribbling, and shooting require one foot to be elevated off the ground while the other leg stabilizes the body.

cameron-smallsCameron also made huge strides in his strength as he improved his push up score from 45 to 51 repetitions in a minute and his pull up score from 4 to 7 repetitions! Cameron showed his biggest improvements in his core strength as he increase his plank hold time from 2:27 minutes to 4 minutes! Core strength is essential in soccer and other sports that require athletes to body up against opponents without losing their balance and center of mass.

All soccer athletes know how important speed is out on the field and it can be the difference between betting your opponent to the ball or gaining an extra step to be able to get off a shot on goal. Cameron improved his acceleration in his 10-yard sprint from 2.06s to 1.83s. He also showed improvements in his change of direction as he lowered his 5-10-5 test from 6.07s to 5.46s!

Cameron has recently joined the FC Premier club soccer team , where he plays for Coach Eddie Chavez’s 2005 flight 2 team. Cameron is a 2006 year birthday so he regularly plays against other soccer players who are a year older than he is to challenge him. At Champion’s QUEST, Cameron attends the B.A.S.E and Soccer clinics to develop his athleticism and skills out on the soccer field to compete against the older kids.

Keep up the hard work Cameron and I’m excited to watch your continued success!

Kyle Ertel Champions Quest

College Prep: Will attending College Camps help me with exposure to College Coaches?

The most valuable outcome you should expect from a college camp is that you will become a better overall athlete.

Champions Quest Camp

College camps are strongly recommended for all high school level athletes to attend, as many benefits can come out of the experience. Athletes experience an increase in physical and mental aspects of their sport.

At some camps, college coaches are extremely involved in helping and teaching the athletes about their sport and position. Athletes will get better in their sports through the drills and instruction the coaches lead.

Check out our Champion’s QUEST Alumni competing in College and Professional Sports!

As athletes compete alongside their peers, athletes can get a sense of the competition and can compare their abilities to others at the camp. This helps athletes when being realistic about the college and if it is a “right fit” for them.

On the mental side, playing on a college campus is very valuable in increasing confidence in an unfamiliar environment. It can be very intimidating to play in front of college coaches. Camps give the athlete the opportunity to get used to being in front of coaches and interacting with them.

One of the best Recruiting Coordinators of all time, Bob Chmiel, has told families that he discovered only TWO players at summer camp in his 30 years of recruiting.

Champions Quest College Camp

Many recruits attend college camps with the expectation of being discovered by the college coaches. Typically, the only athletes who receive “true” evaluations are the recruits that the staff was already aware of and actively recruiting.

It is imperative that athletes contact coaches ahead of time via email and a phone conversation. Each camp can hold between 50 to hundreds of athletes. If contact with the college coaches is not established before the camp, it is likely that they will not know who you are and you will become a number instead of a name at the camp.

Don’t know what to write or say?… Email Coach Brittany for guidance

BRITTANY GONZALES


 

The Importance of Sports Performance Testing

Sports performance testing and evaluation is the first component of designing an individualized training program for an athlete. Speed, strength, agility, power, endurance, balance, coordination, and biomechanics in an athlete can all be assessed through testing. The testing provides the sports performance coach with immediate information and feedback on the individual’s baseline athleticism that can be used to create an optimal training program.jump1

At Champion’s QUEST,  all of our athletes go through our benchmark testing and assessment within their first two sessions. This initial testing session gives the athlete an idea of where their current fitness levels are at, so that all future testings can be compared to this and changes can be noted. When athletes enroll at Champion’s QUEST, they begin a custom program that is specific to their athletic needs and goals.

One of the many benefits of sports performance testing is to establish the strengths and weaknesses of the athlete. Testing results can be compared to other athletes of the same or similar sport to distinguish areas for improvement. Also, by repeating tests at regular intervals, the sports performance coach can see the effectiveness of the current training program or what adjustments need to be made.

ChampionsQuestSTRENGTHEvery 3 months, all Champion’s QUEST athletes are re-tested and evaluated 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. Goal setting is a very important component of our testing as it is used to give the athlete incentives as they put in the hard work to reach their goals and also positive reinforcement when their goals are accomplished.

October is re-testing month at Champion’s QUEST and all athletes will be going through their testings with their counseling coaches. All soccer athletes can email Coach Kyle by clicking the image below to schedule their re-evaluations.

Kyle Ertel Champions Quest

 

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