Tag Archives: Youth Soccer

Hitting the Brakes: The Importance of Deceleration

Speed is one of the most common athletic improvements asked for. Thus a lot of time is spent on teaching the athlete how to speed up. However, in the game of soccer, soccer players need to sprint, stop, and change direction. This speed comes from being able to transition in and out of various directions efficiently. To improve this part of speed a soccer player must train deceleration.


Champion’s QUEST athlete Amanda Jones changing direction with the ball

Deceleration is the process of slowing down and hitting the brakes.

Deceleration is just as important as acceleration due to the demand in soccer to cut and change direction.

Proper deceleration is important for two reasons:
1) Injury Prevention
2) Enhanced Speed

Injury prevention causes a high neural demand that puts a lot of stress on the body. Proper deceleration occurs when our muscles contract to come to a stop safely. Learning to coordinate the movement of the hips, knees, and ankles properly will allow for less injury to occur.

Enhanced speed is due a soccer player being able to decelerate and change direction quickly. This will allow for the soccer player to free up space and win 1 v 1 battles.

It is important to teach youth athletes how to slow down and not leave an emphasis on only speeding up. Here at Champion’s QUEST we emphasize proper deceleration mechanics for our athletes to ensure optimal soccer performance.

CoCoach Angela ach Angela Garcia, Soccer Assistant Coach



Soccer Parent Testimonial

“Kylie had a good season. She has really improved her confidence on the field and her dad and I are really impressed with this. My husband and I are incredibly happy with our decision to have Kylie train at Champions Quest.” -Tracey Heiman

ChampionsQUEST Kylie HeimanKylie began her journey at Champion’s QUEST in December of 2014 with the goals of becoming faster, stronger, and to obtain better balance. She developed long term goals to make the varsity high school team at Wilson High School and to play soccer in college.

Kylie has made a 117% improvement in her athletic score since first attending Champion’s QUEST in 2014.

Keep up all the hard work Kylie!

CoCoach Angela ach Angela Garcia, Soccer Assistant Coach



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


3 Specific Needs for Speed: Part 3- Speed Endurance

Last month MAXIMAL VELOCITY was discussed. This month the third component of speed is: SPEED ENDURANCE. Speed endurance is the soccer player’s ability to repeatedly perform maximal or near maximal

ChampionsQuestSpeed (1)

Champion’s QUEST athlete Aniyah League in action.

sprints at near-maximal speed. Soccer players must obtain speed endurance for the ability to maintain speed over multiple speed bouts. This is due to soccer players having to repeat high intensity sprints.

Three mechanics to focus on for speed endurance for soccer players are:
1. Leg Action
2. Arm Action
3. Posture

Leg action refers to the relationship of the hips and legs relative to the torso and ground.


Champion’s QUEST athlete Sierra Adams-Gregory doing a resisted sprint.

A soccer player must learn to sprint continuously in a coordinated movement by extending the hip, knee, and ankle. When the leg action is in a coordinated movement it produces the greatest force possible against the ground to allow for an increase in speed.

Arm action refers to the range of motion and velocity with which a soccer player uses their arms.

The arm action coordinates with the leg action to help keep the body in alignment. The legs are able to produce loads of force, but the body will not develop all the power without the arm action. This is due to the arms counteracting the forces produced by the legs.

Posture refers to the alignment of the body.

The head should stay in alignment with the torso and the torso in line with the legs. Often, soccer players will allow their head to sway or lift their chin up. This will cause their speed to decrease due to the misalignment.
In the Champion’s QUEST speed clinics, the program is dedicated to increasing Speed in Acceleration, Maximal Velocity, and Speed Endurance through the emphasis of proper mechanics.

Athlete Spotlight:

  •  Joely Blair, 15 year old soccer player
  • Dropped her 10 yard time from 2.09sec (11/17/15) to 1.97 sec (1/12/16)
  • Regularly attends the Speed Clinics
  • Champion For Life since November 2015

Coach 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

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



Soccer Success Story: Devyn Yuhashi

Devyn Yuhashi is a 15-year old soccer player who makes Champion’s QUEST her home for training. Devyn plays midfield and goalkeeper for her club team, Greater Long Beach Surf and attends Ernest McBride high school. Since McBride doesn’t offer athletics to their students, Devyn is 100008739_largegoing to be using this Winter season to bump up her training at Champion’s QUEST and make significant strides in her athleticism.

Devyn has been training at Champion’s QUEST since July and has been attending strength and speed clinics. In just 3 months, Devyn has made huge improvements in her speed, agility, and overall strength!

Perormance Tests 7/22/15 (Initial) 10/23/15
Linear Agility 13.22s 8.61s
Lateral Agility 13.94s 9.38s
Single Leg Agility 7.62s 4.72s
5-10-5 Change of Direction 5.65s 5.19s
10 Yard Sprint 2.09s 1.80s
Plank Hold 1.00 min 2.32 min
Pull Ups 0.5 1.25
Overall Athleticism 7.7 21.4 (178% Improvement)

Devyn is also interested in attending college to receive her Bachelor’s degree in engineering. Keep up all the hard work Devyn!

M.E.N.T.A.L – T.O.U.G.H.N.E.S.S “The Secret Ingredient of an Athlete’s Success”

M.E.N.T.A.L – T.O.U.G.H.N.E.S.S
“The Secret Ingredient of an Athlete’s Success”

In sports the difference between good and great is a very fine line. Many athletes spend time on their bodies,their skills and their techniques;however many forget to take the time to develop the mental muscle. Why you might ask, the answer is simple because they cannot see it or touch it and it is very difficult to attain mental toughness. But, the greatest athletes from Jackie Robinson, to Misty May-Traynor, or even Tom Brady always took the time to be the best and yes, that included being mentally tough. All great athletes want an edge and that edge is 100% mastering the mental game.

They master a common trait, M.E.N.T.A.L -T.O.U.G.H.N.E.S.S. and it provides confidence,belief and a sense of calmness that they will be victorious under the most difficult situations. The athletes’ mind is the most vital tool because it establishes the foundation of success on and off the field of life. Let’s take a closer look at the strategy of building M.E.N.T.A.L. -T.O.U.G.H.N.E.S.S.

“I’m invicible and nobody can beat me”—Kevin Gastelum

The M stands for: having the mindset of a champion —the foundation of life
The E stands for: creating your edge over competition
The N stands for: never giving up
The T stands for: trusting what you learn form your coach,parents,teachers and training
The A stands for: having a positive & fearless attitude
The L stands for: being loyal to your purpose

The T stands for: time to adjust and reflect
The O stands for: organizing priorities—what is important
The U stands for: understanding the situation
The G stands for: setting goals for guidance to build greatness
The H stands for: remaining humble in your victory and pursuit of excellence
The N stands for: staying in the “ now” because this is the best moment to grow
The E stands for: engaging and embracing the experience
The S stands for: showing self-control and managing emotions
The S stands for: strength—the athlete’s ultimate reward

Now every athlete has a clear understanding of the meaning of M.E.N.T.A.L -T.O.U.G.H.N.E.S.S. But,here are a few questions that each and every athlete must ask himself-“Am I willing to do the hardwork? Am I willing to persevere through challenges
and most importantly, Am I willing to build a champion mindset?” When that athlete answers these questions with a resounding YES,that athlete receives the true essence of being great!!!!

“Keep Living Like A Champion”,

Coach Reggie Ward

Soccer Success Story: Claire Bolton

Claire Bolton is a 12 year old soccer player who was eager to put in extra work outside of her regular practice Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 3.36.48 PMtimes. Claire first joined Champion’s QUEST in January of 2015 looking to improve her acceleration, balance, and power. Claire has been attending both performance clinics and skill clinics to obtain her goals. Claire currently plays for CDA Slammers FC Cerritos G02 as a defender and is doing very well!

Every three months, Claire is re-evaluated on her athletic ability and has shown great improvements. Claire’s dedication, consistency, and hard work has allowed her to improve as an overall athlete. She has improved in multiple areas of her athleticism (see below). Claire is an example of what a coachable athlete is. She always comes in with a positive attitude and ready to train at her best ability. Claire Bolton Improvement

Claire BoltonAs a highly motivated athlete Claire has long term goals to play as a Varsity starter in high school and to eventually play college soccer. As Claire continues to push herself to be the best athlete she can be, I am looking forward to seeing more of her success. Keep up the good work Claire!

Coach Angela Garcia, M.S., CSCS