This phase is only different from the preceding one in the fact that taking command of your body is now a major part of your career choice. The margin for error in your training is lessened, as your ability is only as useful to your employer as your availability.
Your personal training responsibilities have now become clearer and more critical. Every day will present its unique set of conditions to work with in the process of fulfilling your job responsibilities in a way that embraces your personal life outside your career. The training program will be dependent on the time of year relative to your competitive season as well as the overall state of your physical health and the needs to optimize in-season performance.
Injury-preventive measures are at a premium, and in-training injuries are unacceptable. Your program will based on getting the best training effect with the least risk. Your being educated on the measures to take beyond the workouts is as significant as the work you put in.
Our objective from day one with any athlete is to build a solid mechanical foundation. The earlier we can start this process the better for the young man or woman. We get asked 2 primary questions by parents: What’s the best age to start? What type of training do they do?
The best age to start a child is on a case-by-case basis. Much of this has to do with the child’s “want to” at an early age as this leads to their willingness to be attentive in a group setting. As an example, some kids are ready at 7 years of age while some may be better to wait until the age of 10.
Then there’s obviously less demand in the workouts at this age, and we allow for more “play”, but we still want to develop good “mechanical habits” that will lead into their future growth into their middle school years. We emphasize basic movement drills that allow for a young athlete to take advantage of their natural strengths while addressing any area that may not be a “natural” asset. This includes dynamic warm-up movement skills, jumping and landing, hand-eye coordination, speed, agility, and basic “strength patterns” of upper body push/pull, and lower body squat and hip hinge.
Everything emphasized and developed at this stage leads into the Middle School phase.
Beyond genetic factors, the difference in a good competitor and great athlete, and a great athlete and a truly elite one are the seemingly minor details that leads to an athlete being more proficient and consistent over an extended period of time.
For any athlete to perform optimally, their body and mind must be prepared to handle the demands of their sport as well as the competition. Making progress in performance, regardless of age or level, there are foundational technical aspects that can be enhanced through proper coaching and training.
At McConnell Athletics, our objective in working with athletes is developing personal relationships and foundational attributes in the way that carries over to the field, court, or other arena of competition in a progressive, constructive process. We understand that the mind, body, and spirit are to work together as a balanced unit to result in the realization of athletic potential. This is significantly different than the current trend in athletic training of simply exhausting the athletes or defining them by some predetermined quota of weight moved on certain exercises.
Simply put, yes, our athletes work very hard. However, all of our work is defined by its quality of the process rather than any single surge of effort. We believe that the work an athlete does should lead to both injury-preventive and performance enhancing optimization over a progressive period of time.
This phase continues the process of mastering technical proficiency of all primary exercises, and also expands the program with multiple variations of these exercises to optimize the development of the individual athlete. In this phase we get more detailed in regards to the specific demands of an athlete’s position in their respective sport. As a single example, there will be subtle, yet certain, differences in how a quarterback in football applies strength principles compared to a lineman.
Also in this phase, there’s progressive emphasis on the athlete understanding how to use biofeedback to take command of their body on a day-to-day basis with a larger repertoire of drills to enhance optimal function of joints and connective tissues.
(2-4 participants) This designed program provides many of the benefits of one-on-one but also with the camaraderie of partner(s) with similar training objectives, and is also more cost-effective. The training program is slightly more generalized than the One-On-One program considering that all of the attention is not on a single individual, but it is still personalized—with progressions and regressions-- for each individual within the program. Also, the workouts can be adjusted according to any of the participants needs on a given day.
(5-10 participants) The Small-Group program is also a designed program that is ideal for those who prefer to train in “group/team” atmosphere with more workout partners.
The group will consist of others with similar training objectives and goals regardless of the current level of fitness of the individual. The designed workouts will have different levels of progressions and regressions so that each individual will be training at their optimal level in each workout.
We expect our athletes to be committed to being their best by understanding our work—and their potential-- is a process of consistent application rather than a temporary experience that ends when the newness wears off. Our goal with our athletes is in line with a similar saying, “Don’t train until you get it right. Train until you can’t get it wrong.” This proven process has never failed anyone.
HOME GYM / PERSONAL FACILITY DESIGN
For those not able to make it to our facility, this option provides direct consultation to help find solutions
needed in your personal training. The advantage of the ‘back-and-forth’ communication is invaluable to
help eliminate any confusion and to clarify any training fitness dilemma you may be facing.
This service is also highly effective for fellow fitness and strength coaches as well as sports team coaches needing to design a program for their athletes.
Available by appointment:
This developmental phase begins the actual “training age” in the sense of learning to externally load the technical foundation developed in the Youth phase. We are still prioritizing the teaching of optimal technique over just loading the body, and begin process of how top select the proper resistance for a designated workload (re: reps/sets). This phase begins the process of “weight room integrity”, where the athlete starts from step one on technique in exercises they will be expected to perform in their respective high
school programs. Also, they will learn how to be a productive training partner to help teammates
get the most out of their training.
This phase also begins more emphasis on functional mobility and speed and agility mechanics.
In addition, we start the process of athletes understanding the significance of rest, nutrition, and
Everything emphasized and developed at this stage leads into the High School/ College phase.
The benefits of one-on-one coaching include a program that is designed specifically for your goals, needs and preferences. That known, even the best training program is only as good as its application.
In one-on-one training sessions, each workout is adjusted according to the individual’s needs on that particular day. There will be unique challenges on a day-by-day basis, physically, psychologically, and motivationally.
As well, the teaching of optimal biomechanics specific to the individual is a more direct process due to the communication and accountability, coach to client. One-On-One coaching is truly an investment not only in your present but also your future as you learn the principles, techniques, and acquire wisdom to make the best decisions for your workouts going forward.
Many of our clients will start with a phase of one-on-one sessions to build a solid technical foundation, before a transition into a semi-private or small-group program. As well, a combination of one-on-one sessions with small-group workouts is very popular.