When it comes to sports performance and training our high school and youth athlete groups here at Ohio Athletic Performance, we consider all the factors necessary for these athletes to reach their full potential and become more competitive athletes. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a two-month training block for our high school and youth athlete sports performance programs. Although this training block is just one part of the overall year-long training macrocycle, it’s important to examine because it marks a significant transition point as we enter the summer months with our athletes. Over the next two months, our sport performance goals include:
- increasing overall strength in core lifts
- promoting hypertrophy (muscle size increase) through accessory lifts
- focusing on power development through plyometric exercises
- working on acceleration and running mechanics to teach proper force production while sprinting.
These building blocks will be crucial for the second half of our yearly macrocycle, as they will help us assess each athlete’s sports performance progress.
The first sports performance goal we mentioned is overall strength. To achieve this, we have provided sufficient stimulus to the athletes in the previous months, allowing them to perform exercises and demonstrate their ability to generate maximum strength. In the first month of this two-month mesocycle, we focus on core lifts such as the Hex Bar Deadlift, Chin Up, and Bench Press. It is crucial to establish weight or rep counts for these exercises because we will continue to use them for maximum testing and percentage-based training in the coming months. In month 1, we emphasize good movement mechanics and ensure that athletes can safely perform these exercises. As we progress to higher weights and intensity, it becomes vital for athletes to maintain proper mechanics throughout the exercises. We gradually decrease the volume while, hopefully, increasing the weight as the volume decreases. This transition allows us to move into month 2, where athletes will have the opportunity to perform maximum testing on the listed exercises. During this phase, we focus on familiarizing them with the process of hitting a max strength test by the end of the training period. By utilizing the information gathered in month 1, we can prescribe the appropriate weight and volume moving forward. This process addresses our first goal of increasing overall strength. However, it’s important to note that the journey doesn’t end here. While athletes have the opportunity to increase their overall strength in this two-month period, it’s crucial for them to work on maintaining that strength, as it can slowly diminish over time if not consistently nurtured.
The second sports performance goal involves creating hypertrophy (increased muscle size) through our accessory lifts. After performing our core lifts, the accessory exercises help us work toward increasing our strength numbers in those core lifts. We achieve this by incorporating high repetition sets and tempoed exercises that are less demanding than the core lifts but contribute to muscle size development. Increasing overall muscle size is particularly important for athletes who are novices in training. By increasing muscle size, we provide the body with more muscle fibers to recruit when needed during maximum strength testing. This principle is another crucial component in helping our athletes reach their maximum potential.
Our third and fourth sports performance goals are interconnected, aiming to help our athletes generate the necessary force to enhance their overall speed. Athletes and parents often express their desire to improve speed and agility. While these aspects are essential for sport performance, they are just pieces of the puzzle. That’s why we approach training in a comprehensive manner, ensuring that athletes have the best chance to showcase their talent. As mentioned earlier, we focus on overall strength during this two-month training block. By increasing strength, athletes gain the ability to produce greater force and power, which is essential for any sport. However, it’s important to understand that being the strongest person on the team is not enough if one doesn’t know how to translate that strength into power. This is why we combine our strength training with power development and acceleration mechanics. We provide our athletes with opportunities to express force development and power in various ways. Some of the methods we use include plyometric exercises like box jumps, broad jumps, lying med ball chest passes, and other exercises that emphasize force exertion and power development. Additionally, we can address both the third and fourth goals using our Woodway Force Treadmills. These treadmills are self-propelled, which helps athletes learn proper acceleration angles while also teaching them how to effectively utilize the strength they’ve gained to generate force and power.
In conclusion, as we’ve seen from the information above, training an athlete to be well-rounded requires careful consideration of various factors. All athletes must possess the ability to perform and demonstrate these qualities on the field or court. While the goals we’ve outlined can be touched upon within a two-month timeframe, consistent effort is key to achieving meaningful results. If an athlete trains intensely for two months and then abruptly stops, the training effects will gradually diminish. We want all athletes to realize their true potential, and we firmly believe that through hard work, consistency, and a well-structured training regimen, they can reach new heights they’ve never seen before.
If you are ready to take your athletic performance to new heights, don’t wait! Take the first step towards realizing your true potential. Whether you’re a high school or youth athlete, commit to consistent hard work and a sound training regime and join us at OAP and let our experienced coaches guide you on your journey to success.
Contact us today to learn more about our high school and youth training programs and how we can help you reach your goals. Together, let’s push the boundaries of what you thought was possible and watch as you surpass your own expectations. Embrace the challenge, embrace the growth, and unlock your full athletic potential!