Tag: speed

Linear Speed Clinic Series

How Would You Like to Discover the Secrets to Developing Blazing Speed That Will Make Your Young Athlete Faster & More Dangerous on the Field or Court?

In our Linear Speed Clinic, we will unveil all of our speed training secrets that will have your athlete:

  • Accelerating faster than ever without the risk of injury
  • Reaching top speed faster than ever
  • Running with the proper mechanics
  • Improving efficiency to preserve their energy and keep them on the field longer

Space is Limited to the First 8 Registrants – Guarantee Your Athlete’s Spot Today!

The #1 request for performance training is speed. We all know that speed kills and the fastest athletes on the field or court have a huge advantage over their competition!

In our recent poll of hundreds of coaches, the number one thing that they wanted to improve in their athletes was their speed! I have yet to meet a coach that thinks an athlete is TOO fast or TOO quick.

Sprinting is a skill that can be developed and dramatically improved using the right combination of technique and training. Because some people aren’t nauturally fast some parents and coaches wrongly assume there is little they can do about it.

But Think of it like this. While it’s true not every athlete can be an Olympic sprinter, most athletes have never been taught how to run or move correctly, if at all. As you turn their weaknesses into strengths, they will operate at a much higher percent of their full potential. 

And you’ll learn exactly how to do that in our Linear Speed Clinic Series as we breakdown the fundamentals of sprinting including proper posture, proper mechanics, and proper rhythm. 

True Athlete Performance hosts Linear Speed Clinic Series for $59!

Hagerstown, Md

 Sundays, May 13 and 27

Ages 11-13 from 6:00-7:30pm

Ages 14-18 from 7:30-9:00pm

Lifehouse Church (515 E Wilson Blvd)

Frederick, Md

Mondays, May 14 and 21

 Ages 11-13 from 6:00-7:30pm

Ages 14-18 from 7:30-9:00pm

The Frederick Volleyball Club (4451 Georgia Pacific Blvd)

Chantilly, Va

Tuesdays, May 15 and 22

 Ages 11-13 from 6:00-7:30pm

Ages 14-18 from 7:30-9:00pm

The nZone (14550 Lee Road)

Click On The Button Below to Reserve Your Spot in the Linear Speed Clinic Series!

Here’s What Athletes Like Yours Have To Say About Us

Rodney Dorsey (Frederick, Md), University of Towson and Tuscarora High School Football Player

Other athletes in my area were training with TrueAP and that motivated me to get started. I’ve always had great speed but Josh and TrueAP helped me improve even more by focusing on making improvements to my form and technique. From TrueAP, I’ve gained knowledge, drills, and techniques that I’ve continued to use in my athletic career. I am more efficient and explosive than I’ve ever been. 

 

 

 

 

Kaela (Chantilly, Va), Chantilly Youth Association Soccer Player

I wanted to be faster on the soccer field. I knew if I wanted to continue to play at a high level that I needed to work on my speed and reaction. TrueAP’s training was not only only helpful but fun. Improving my speed and athleticism has improved my overall game on the field, it’s the best training I’ve been a part of.

 

 

 

 

Simply Click On The Button Below to Reserve Your Athlete’s Spot in Linear Speed Clinic Series!

Your Season is Over…Now What?

Quick Tips to Re-Charge After Your Season.

If your sport season is coming to a close, it can be tempting to attack the weight room with new enthusiasm. But while you may be itching to hit the ground running, it’s important to take some time for to reflect, rest and recover before you look toward next season. Here are three quick tips to help you re-charge after your season.

REFLECT

Preparation and performance can be categorized in 3 areas:

  • Physical – Cardiovascular fitness, speed/agility, strength/core training, diet and nutrition, injury prevention.
  • Fundamental – Aspects related to the development of the many physical skills specifically related to the sport you participate in. 
  • Mental – Focus, intensity, purpose, trust, strategy formulation, adversity and coping skills, decision-making capabilities.

No matter how good you are in a sport, you can always get better and improve. Few athletes actually take the time to assess, critique, and formulate strategies to improve in an honest and purposful manner.

Try this short exercise…

When answering the following questions, be as specific and detailed as possible in relation to the physical, fundamental, and mental aspects of your preparation and performance.

  1. What aspects of your performance were you pleased with last season?
  2. What aspects of your performance were you NOT pleased with last season?
  3. What is your assessment of your daily preparation during the past season?
  4. How can your preparation improve?
  5. How have you matured as a person and as an athlete since last season?

REST and RECOVER

After the season your body needs a break. There will be plenty of time to train for your next season, and the best way to start preparing now is to give your body enough time to fully recover. Take two weeks off of high-intensity activity and address any injuries.

This rest period includes all structured high-intensity activity—no strength training and no workouts or pick-up games. 

However, you don’t need to stop ALL activity. 

Stretching (try these 3 mobility moves), foam-rolling (article and FREE CHEAT SHEET on foam rolling), and low-intensity cross-training—like riding a stationary bike, going for a brisk walk—are great options for active rest. 

Resist the urge to jump back into training immediately after the season to take the time reflect, rest, recover, and re-charge!

Peak in the Playoffs

 

Want to help your team peak in the playoffs?

Looking to go on a miraculous run through the playoffs with an average team?

Or are you trying to finally breakthrough and beat one of the elite programs in your sport?

Or are you top-seeded and wondering how your team will handle the pressure of expectations?

Here are five strategies to ensure that your team is motivated, fearless, and focused when it counts the most – the playoffs!

1. Stick to what got you there.
Do what works for you. Don’t feel like you need to change up your whole routine and game plan. Stick to what works for you and trust it to work again during the playoffs. Stay consistent with your routine. Remember that consistent preparation leads to consistent performance.

2. Execute the small things. Don’t beat yourself.
Championship teams are usually the ones who consistently do all the small things necessary to win. Focus your team on the top 3-5 battles you need to control to win the overall war. By focusing on and taking care of these small things, you force your opponents to beat you and often avoid beating yourself.

3. Know how to quickly refocus teammates.

Coaches and captains must know how to quickly and effectively refocus teammates when they are down, distracted, aggravated, or scared. You can’t allow people to go into the tank when you need their focus, confidence, and performance. It’s the ability to keep their team’s competing play after play, rather than succumbing to the inevitable adversity, distractions, and hassles of competition, that determines the outcome of many games.

4. Compete aggressively.
Take it to people, dictate the tempo… Go out and play the game with passion and vigor. Often it is the individual and team that is the most aggressive that comes out on top. 

5. Become a team of DESTINY
Many of the teams that I have been fortunate to witness win championships felt they were destined to do so. No matter what situation they found themselves in, whether they were down with little time left, had a tough injury to a key player, or weren’t getting the appropriate calls, they somehow felt that it was never enough to deter them from reaching their ultimate goal. They persisted on and trusted the process that it was all meant to be. Give your team every reason to feel they are destined for success. Assuming you have paid the price of success, remind your team that the training, your practices, and the lessons you learned throughout the season have all prepared you for this moment in time.

You want your team to feel – “This is our time.”

Developing Mental Toughness in Young Athletes

One of the greatest compliments an athlete can get is the label “mentally tough.” Mental toughness isn’t a quality people are born with. Rather, mental toughness is a skill. Just like any other skill it can be learned.

Coaches and parents are in an ideal position to help young athletes develop a healthy philosophy about success and an ability to handle setbacks when they occur. By teaching mental toughness lessons to kids, adults can give them a priceless gift that will benefit them in many areas of everyday life.

Here are some specific attitudes that can be communicated to young athletes.

  1. Creating Interest and Keeping It – I use a simple metaphor to build interest. I tell athletes to see sports participation like putting pennies in a piggy bank. Every time they show up to practice, that investment pays off with wins and success in the future. After students see their time as valuable, it is harder for them for them to quit or to give less than 100%. Your athlete will feel like they have invested so much, they will go the extra mile when the time comes to dig deep.
  2. Model/Encourage Consistency – Show your athlete what it means to have a confident attitude by continuing to do what you say you are going to do. Your athletes will see you as a consistent force in their life. They will want to honor that commitment by upholding their end of the bargain. Your athlete will have the tools to avoid the pitfalls of modern life, as they model your ‘show up’ consistency. Your athlete will see you as a model to follow, a consistent hero.   
  3. Proper Goal Setting – Develop the Why – Setting goals with your athlete allows you to define where they want them to go. Without a clear destination, nobody gets where they want to go. Setting goals allows athletes to judge progress and arrive at a specific destination.  Learning goal setting is a tool that carries them far beyond sports. What it would be like to congratulate your athlete for reaching their goals this season?     
  4. Expect and Prepare for and Dealing with Adversity – Learning to handle adversity is one of the key skills a human needs to learn. To become a high-achiever, athletes must learn to use tools for handling adversity. To be honest, achievement equates to adversity. True mental toughness comes from the ability to stay positive and on task at the worst of times. Teaching this to your athletes will be a part of your legacy as a parent or coach.
  5. Process oriented not ends oriented – Accomplishing goals is about achieving tiny things over time. Athletes learn that it’s not all about winning. It’s more important to show up and over time you will win through the application of the process. Focusing on the process rather than focusing on results fosters maturity. Establish a system to deliver small victories on a regular basis. These steps lead to guaranteed achievement.
  6. Having and keeping the right attitude – The athlete with the best approach to his attitude will win every game, even if he gets outscored. Attitude is the foundation of every aspect of sports from training to game-day. Teaching attitude comes before you teach a kid how to score. If your kid has a bad attitude, you don’t have a player, you have a problem. We do not win by accident. Attitude gives birth to victory. It is in those moments where we have to dig into some untapped well of strength that we cross the line between student and champion.

Mental toughness is a skill, and any skill can be learned.  Ultimately, mental toughness is built through habits, just like any other skill.  The habits of consistency and positive attitudes produces mental toughness.  Habit is built through the choices we make daily.  Mental toughness is a choice.  You have to consciously choose to persist until the choice to persist becomes a habit.

5 Ways to Instantly Become a Worse Athlete

Follow these 5 easy steps, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a slower, weaker, burned-out athlete.

1. Don’t Sleep

Arguably the easiest step to becoming a worse athlete, don’t get enough sleep! Most already do this without even trying. But while sleep is important for human beings in general, it is essential for athletes. While you sleep, your body metabolizes glucose, which helps your muscles recover from a hard training session. So if you’re getting less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night, your muscles won’t recover as quickly. Awesome, right? But that’s not all—lack of sleep can also lead to moodiness and anxiety, which can affect your performance on game day. Bottom line: don’t sleep enough, and you will DEFINITELY be able to tell a difference in your athletic performance – the wrong kind of difference.

2. Don’t Rest

Rest refers not to sleep, but to taking a purposeful break from training. And it’s one of the quickest ways to deteriorate your athletic ability. Taking rest days—complete days when you’re not even doing active recovery or cross-training—gives your body a chance to repair small tears in muscle caused by resistance training, and build new muscle tissue from protein ingested after training. Your muscles need a pause from the constant breakdown that occurs when you strength-train in order to rebuild themselves stronger. By skipping your rest days and going all-out in the gym 24/7, you’ll be on your way to developing symptoms of overtraining: extreme muscle soreness, extreme fatigue, depression, and susceptibility to illness and injury. Awesome, right? So build in rest days or you’ll be the coolest athlete wearing a knee brace or missing practice from a sinus infection.

3. Don’t Eat

Yeah, just stop eating. Your body needs the nutrients and energy in food to do basically everything: repair organs, fight off diseases, and build muscle. If you really want to see a decline in your athletic performance, simply stop eating enough calories to maintain your high activity level! Not eating enough is a simple, easy way to sabotage your athletic career—closely followed by eating the wrong stuff. Meeting your calorie requirements solely with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos will definitely leave you not feeling like sprinting for your full 90-min soccer game. 2,500 calories worth of Vanilla milkshake never makes my long runs any easier. Oh, don’t eat after training either. Physical activity depletes muscles of glycogen, made from carbohydrates, so if you want to make your muscles sore and mad, don’t eat anything within 30 minutes to 2 hours after training. 

4. Don’t Warm-Up

Make sure you go into practice, the gym, or the competition completely cold, and you’ll be well on your way to injury and decreased performance. 

5. Don’t Train on a Periodized Program

Periodization programming peaks athletes for their sport at just the right time. DO NOT do this if you hate being amazing. Don’t train on a periodized, customized, sport-specific training program. A periodized program means that your workouts change depending on the day, week, and season of your athletic year—off-season training looks a lot different from pre-season training, because your body needs different types of conditioning for these phases. To train to perform during a given season, you must be using a periodized training program. If you go into the gym and do the same workout, same rep count, same weight, over and over again, your body will stop responding to the stimuli of training and you will plateau!

And there you have it! 5 easy ways to instantly become a worse athlete. Practice each one faithfully, and I promise you will never be the best athlete on your team—and that’s a guarantee!

Basic Nutrition for Sports Performance

Young athletes have very unique demands – school, sports, and training.

There is a way to improve each of those 3 things – FUEL the body with proper nutrition!

===> DOWNLOAD [Daily Meal Guideline] Cheat Sheet

Here’s some more specific nutrition tips for Young Athletes…

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates should be the staple of a athletes diet. The key is to focus on quality. There is a huge difference between white bread and whole grain, high fiber bread; a sugar coated cereal and oatmeal; French fries vs. sweet potatoes. Focus on the quality of the carbohydrates. 

For example, definitely eat breakfast, but try a whole grain based cereal with some fresh fruit for the nutrients and fiber. Something like oatmeal instead of Fruit Loops or Cocoa Pebbles.

Sandwiches should be made with whole grain bread, rather than white. Snacks can be whole grain crackers with peanut butter, fruit or veggie sticks with peanut butter, etc. The list can go on.

The focus of carbohydrates should always be on foods that provide a few grams of fiber per serving (exception is milk and yogurt, which are very healthy and carbohydrate based, but provide little, if any fiber). 

Fruit and vegetables are also critical for a high performance athlete. Kids often shy away from them and parents don’t always push them. However, research has suggested it can take as many as one dozen times to determine if a child likes a particular food. The key for a parent is to introduce kids to as many of these nutrient dense, colorful foods as possible! 

Protein 

Of course protein plays a very important role! One important message is to make sure you always focus on food first – not protein supplements. High quality protein sources include:

  • Fish and other seafood
  • Low or non fat milk or yogurt
  • Chicken and turkey breast
  • Lean red meat
  • Mixed nuts
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Natural peanut butter

Should young athletes take a protein supplement?

The better question is:

  • Do they need a protein supplement? No.
  • Will it make them into the next college or pro athlete? Of course not!
  • Can it be beneficial and a healthier option than many of the alternative high sugar, high fat foods marketed directly towards children? Absolutely!

But food first as whole foods provide more nutrients than any supplement does or ever will be able to provide.

Fat

Fat is another crucial nutrient for athletes. The key, once again, is to focus on quality. Fat also provides a lot of calories, which can be important for very active, young athletes who need more calories than most to develop healthy, strong bodies.

Here are a few fats to choose:

  • Fish
  • Whole eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Raw mixed nuts
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Avocados and more

There you have it. Nutrition basics.

Feed your body. It’s a machine. To be the best player, you need to train and eat like the best athlete in the world.

===> DOWNLOAD [Daily Meal Guideline] Cheat Sheet

10 Most Common Problems with Sprint Form and How to Correct It

Common Problems and Corrections of Sprint Form:

Problem: Upward Emphasis or Not Swinging Arms Back Far Enough.

  • Correction: Have the athlete pretend he/she is holding a hammer in each hand and pounding nails into a wall directly behind him/her.
  • Main Point: The faster the arm is swung backward, the faster the leg will pull forward.

Problem: Shoulders Shrugged/Upper Back Tension.

  • Correction: Have the athlete consciously relax the traps and shoulders to allow more natural movement. Practice in place looking into a mirror.
  • Main Point: Upper body needs to stay relaxed. Tension can inhibit the free motion required for optimal speed.

Problem: Side-to-Side Arm Movement.

  • Correction: Have the athlete practice in front of a mirror to help him/her understand that this movement is causing excessive trunk rotation. The path in which the arms travel begins with the fingertips even with the chin. The hand should reach the midline of the body, but does not cross. The hand will then travel backwards until it is completely behind the hip.
  • Main Point: There should be limited lateral movement, as the focus should be on forward and backward movement emphasizing the backward motion.

Problem: Cross-Over Knee Drive (crossing the knees inward over the midline of the body)

  • Correction: Explain to the athlete that the legs travel in one plane of movement, it’s like riding a bike. Working in front of a mirror may be helpful.
  • Main Point: Knees need to travel in a straight path.

Problem: Lack of Knee Drive (During Acceleration 10-20 yards)

  • Correction: Likely needs to strengthen hip flexors and core. Hip flexors raise the thigh and core stabilizes the pelvis.
  • Main Point: Need to forceful knee drive getting hip 70-80 degrees in relation to the body.

Problem: Toes Point Inward or Outward

  • Correction: Likely needs to improve ankle flexibility, hip flexor strength. Muscles imbalances in hip internal and external rotation may all need attention.
  • Main Point: Toes need to point forward and should be in line with the knee and hip.

Problem: Over-striding (plant foot too far in from of the body)

  • Correction: Explain that the athlete needs to keep a tighter knee bend as the knee drives during each swing phase.
  • Main Point: During acceleration (first 10-20) yards the foot should strike the ground slightly behind the body. After the first 10-20 yards, the foot will strike slightly in front of the body.

Problem: Under-striding (short, choppy steps)

  • Correction: Cue the athlete to increase the distance between their thighs on each stride. Likely needs to improve hip flexor flexibility.
  • Main Point: Stride length comes from by pushing off the ground harder and fully extending hip, knee, and ankle and driving the forward knee to high knee position.

Problem: Landing on Heels (many larger athletes have a hard time with this)

  • Correction: Make the athletes aware of the issue. Coach athlete on proper foot strike through high knees drills, wall drills, etc.
  • Main Point: The heel will almost make contact with the ground, but athletes should be coached to stay on the ball of the foot because no weight should be taken by the heel.

Problem: Ankle Plantar Flexed (pointed down, leads to over-striding)

  • Correction: Coach the athlete to pull the toes to the knees. Coach the athlete to barely keep the heel from hitting the ground. Practice with high knees, butt kicks, wall drills.
  • Main Point: When foot strikes the ground, the ankle needs to be dorsiflexed (pointed up) in order to deliver a high force into the ground.

 

 

3 Moves to Maximize Your “Off Day” [Cheat Sheet]

Here’s 3 mobility moves to make the most of your training so that you’re faster, stronger, and fitter when you go to your next training session.

Think rest days are for resting? Then you’re doing them wrong.

Now, I’m not saying you need to do an hour-long workout on your days off. I’m just saying you need to move.

If you’re serious about changing your body, feeling better, and making serious gains in the weight room and on the field/court, then “mobility” moves are a must.

After all, you’re only as strong as how well you allow yourself to recover.

Here’s how to do it: 

===> DOWNLOAD [Mobility] Cheat Sheet

Perform the following 3 moves in a row. Do a movement for 2-4 minutes (or 1-2 minute per side for single-sided movements) before moving on to the next one.

  1. Overhead Squat
  2. Worlds Greatest
  3. Pretzel

If a move feels extra challenging, spend more time on it. It can take 2 to 5 minutes to fully release a restricted muscle.

Here’s what these mobility moves will do:

  • Address common problematic areas such as poor thoracic (upper-back) mobility, bad ankle mobility, tight hip flexors, and a weak core and glutes 
  • Promote additional blood flow to sore or stiff areas 
  • Prepare your body for its next training day without causing fatigue 
  • Make you feel like a million bucks

Do this circuit two times a week for one month and I guarantee you’ll see a difference in your training. 

===> DOWNLOAD [Mobility] Cheat Sheet

Foam Roller Flow Routine (FREE Cheat Sheet)

Grab your foam roller and flow between 10 self-massage moves that hit your whole body. 

This routine will improve tissue quality and break up scar tissue, adhesions, and knots.

It’s ideal for tight muscles and achy joints and best performed pre/post-workout and anytime of day.

===> DOWNLOAD [Foam Roller] Cheat Sheet

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Perform each move for a minute with no rest between moves for 10 total minutes. Switch sides at the halfway 30-second mark for all single-sided exercises:
  1. Quadriceps L/R
  2. Hamstrings L/R
  3. Adductors L/R
  4. TFL/IT Band L/R
  5. Glutes L/R
  6. Calves L/R
  7. Shins L/R
  8. Shins (Lateral) L/R
  9. Lats L/R
  10. Thoracic (Upper/Mid-Back)
  • Pay attention to which areas of your body are most sore and tight and be sure to spend extra time on these areas at all other times pre/post-workout. Prioritizing your self-massage in this manner will provide you the biggest bang for you buck.
  • For knee pain, focus on #1, 4, 5 
  • For shoulder pain, focus on #9, 10
  • For back pain, focus on #2, 3, 5, and 10. #10 is also great for improving posture.
  • If you run/jump a lot and/or suffer from shin splits, focus on #6, 7 and 8.

I simply cannot stress enough the importance of daily self-massage. It will make you feel better, move better, and perform better.

If you’re serious about changing your body, feeling better, and making serious gains in the weight room and on the field/court, then “self-massage” days are a must.

After all, you’re only as strong as how well you allow yourself to recover.

===> DOWNLOAD [Foam Roller] Cheat Sheet

“More is Better”…You’re Doing More Harm than Good.

The world of youth sports is as competitive as ever.

The notion that “more is better” is being forced down the throats of young athletes in an effort to be at the top of their game.

The problem? It’s not producing the results that were intended.

Coaches, parents, and trainers are pushing over-scheduled children into more specialized programs. Improvement is marginal and children are burning out and suffering from over-use injuries.

The result is an increase in non-trauma related injuries due in part to a lack of fundamental skill and athletic development.

According to the NCAA an average of only 0.16% of all High School Athletes move on to play in the professional ranks. With these kinds of odds, one would think the primary focus of activity for our young athletes would be overall development and fun. In most cases, it’s not.

Seriously, think about an average day or week of your young athlete…6 to 7 hours of school followed by 1 and sometimes 2 separate sporting practices, homework and then off to bed. All to be repeated the next day. Add in lack of sleep, poor nutritional habits and no social outlet and this paints a very scary picture.

Yes, times and society has changed. Yes, there is a lack of free play and more emphasis on academics. Yes, there is a shift from recreational sports to high pressure club and travel teams.  But, all in all, there is one constant…Kids are still developing and constantly changing human beings. They need be dealt with accordingly.

So parents…what’s the solution?

1.)  Slow and safe before fast and fancy. Beware of any program, team or skills clinic that is not based in a well-rounded variety of fundamental skill development.  The younger the athlete, the more basic the activities and should have the most emphasis on encouragement and fun.

2.)  Age appropriate. Look for programs that treat your young athletes right.

  • 6-9 year olds should be exposed to outcome based coaching. Outcome based coaching utilizes very little cueing or technique modifications if any.
  • 10-13 year olds should be introduced to outcome based coaching as well with about 25% more actual coaching of skill sets with simple instructions. 
  • 14 year olds and up should be coached with more emphasis on skill development with injury prevention and long-term success and the primary goals.

3.)  Back off. 3-4 games in one day is needless. Practices 6 days per week for 2-3 separate sports teams is a very real scenario and needs to be avoided. A young athlete in this situation engages in more structured practices than professional athletes and they are no doubt headed for injury. Reduce an over-loaded schedule and allow for rest, recovery and…wait for it…time to be a kid.

4.)  Think long term. Over scheduling and over specializing will place a premature cap on achievement and will cause over use injuries. Developing even the most talented young athletes takes time and no short cuts can be taken. Allow and encourage your athletes to play multiple sports to minimize repetitive motion injuries and over compensation.

To hammer this home. Let’s use our education system as an analogy. A child who seems to be skilled in mathematics would not be encouraged to drop other subjects and only concentrate on math. In addition, having great success in math in 1st grade would not result in skipping grades 2-6 to engage in 7th grade algebra.

Skipping steps will only result in a lack of ability and increase the risk of injury.

When in doubt, think of moderation and variety and create as much time for un-coached play time as possible. No matter the age…play and fun is a great way to stay active. As stated above, the odds of “going pro” are limited so make sure you are setting your children up to live an active life, loving exercise.