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The New Rules of Sleep for Athletes

By Phil White | Mon, Sep 24

For the longest time, coaches have only considered the need for their athletes to get adequate rest from the perspective of “recovery.” While you must pair this with training stimuli to get adaptation, it’s far from the only reason to prioritize sufficient slumber.

Sleep is also imperative if your clients or athletes are going to commit what they’re learning to long-term memory.

A study conducted by Matthew Walker and referenced in his excellent book Why We Sleep compared undergrads who prepared for a test over several evenings and went to bed at a reasonable time versus those who pulled a pre-exam all-nighter. The results showed that “there was a 40 percent deficit in the ability of the sleep-deprived group to cram new facts into the brain (i.e. to make new memories).”

Most of the studies on this topic have been done with classroom students, but the gym is an equally rich learning environment (and perhaps more so, particularly for kinesthetic learners). Every time an athlete does something physical, it’s an expression of skill, and each skill has an intensely cognitive component.

Simply learning a new motor pattern or honing an existing one in the gym or on the practice field is only half the job when it comes to skill acquisition and progression. For it to take, getting enough premium quality shut-eye is imperative.

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Why Understanding Arm Action Is a Critical Factor in Teaching Speed

By Joel Smith | Wed, Sep 19

As a coach with over a decade of experience in the realms of track and field and sports performance, I’ve noticed a common trend when it comes to the arms: people think arms aren’t that big of a factor in how we sprint. 

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Pre-Season Camps Are a Go. Here’s How to Get Your Athletes Through...Injury-Free

By Tim DiFrancesco | Wed, Aug 29

‘Tis the season once again. The pre-season that is!

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7 Mental Keys for Unlocking Your Athlete's Potential

By Micah Kurtz | Mon, Aug 20

Doubt is the cancer that kills dreams and prevents individuals from pursuing and achieving their ambitious goals.

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The Fundamentals of Increasing Strength to Improve Speed

By Bill Parisi | Tue, Aug 14

There are three aspects of improving speed – running technique, muscle elasticity, and strength! The problem is many coaches and athletes aren’t optimizing their speed strength training with the right program design to reap the greatest benefits in speed and force production.

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Training On One Leg Is Better Than Two

By Wil Fleming | Mon, Jul 16

At Force Fitness we work to develop all aspects of athleticism with the hundreds of athletes we see each week. Speed, strength, power, reaction, lateral movement, balance, and even injury prevention all go into this equation to create better, more resilient athletes.

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Youth Coaching: Kids Haven't Changed; Adults Have

By Angelo James | Mon, Jul 2

People are blaming kids for the way kids are these days, but kids are kids. They only know what they have been taught. Kids are like mirrors – they reflect the world they are placed in.

Charlie Applestein, author of There Is No Such Thing as a Bad Kid, says “Life isn’t what you see, it is what you perceive.” If you perceive kids as entitled, lazy, disrespectful, and unappreciative, that is all you will ever see.

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Let’s Get (Beyond the) Physical: Simultaneously Develop Athletes’ Technical, Tactical, and Psychological Traits

By Fergus Connolly | Mon, Jun 25

Professional sports leagues across the globe look at youth talent in many different ways. Sometimes development programs appear very sophisticated and detailed, while in other cases they seem a lot simpler. At rugby and soccer clubs around the world, kids start in under-7, under-9, or under-11 junior teams and either rise through the ranks in the academy system or get snapped up at increasingly young ages by larger clubs offering the promise of a professional career.

In these sports, physical qualities are important. But in successful countries they’re always secondary to the technical and tactical adeptness youth coaches and scouts look for. They’re typically assessing young talent in the most real-world scenario in sports: the game itself.

So, to a large degree, what they’re seeing is what they’re getting, with technical, tactical, physical, and psychological elements being simultaneously expressed through skills on the pitch as players on both teams try to stick to their coaches’ game plans while dealing with the inevitable randomness and chaos of the game as it arises in a dynamic, ever-evolving system.

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Top 5 Additional Valuable Pieces of Equipment for a High School Weight Room

By Micah Kurtz | Mon, Jun 18

Long-term athletic development is one of the many goals for a high school strength coach. Every day we work to transform the young athlete into a robust machine that can squat, hinge, explode, absorb force (land), press, pull, carry, and lunge.

Many of these attributes can be instilled and enhanced by the core lifts that are performed with squat racks, barbells, dumbbells, and benches. But after a high school facility has the staple pieces of equipment in place, there are five additional pieces of equipment to add to a weight room...when the budget allows.

Supplementing your weight room with these pieces will raise the level of training and allow your athletes to maximize their physical potential.

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