As a parent, athlete or coach, this is a very important question. And one that isn’t all too often pondered. Yet we look for the latest and greatest athletic shoe, pay exorbitant amounts on “skill” camps and private lessons as well as play and pay for the sport year round. This undoubtedly improved your athlete, but to what extent and at what cost?
The CA Speed & Strength program has been improving athletes from Day 1 to D1 for over 15 years. Our coaches are certified Strength & Conditioning Specialists with more combined experience than any other facility in southern NH, including all the high schools. The program is designed to PROGRESSIVELY improve the athlete by:
Identifying & correcting flaws in both athletic (running/cutting) and mechanical (squatting/push/pull) movements. We do this PRIOR TO EVER PICKING UP A WEIGHT or CUTTING AT SPEED!
Baseline Testing to get an idea of the athlete’s greatest needs
Comprehensive Instruction by coaches who have been trained and certified to do exactly this AND have the years of experience to ensure the job is done right.
CA has trained every type of athlete, both male and female. All ages, from 9 to 75. All levels, from beginner to Pro. Injured/Recovering athletes, athletes who at first couldn’t make their high school team only to go on to play D1. Athletes who are extremely skilled, but are always sidelined due to nagging injuries. Athletes who were at their highest level, but needed more to compete. Every kind of athlete.
We take that athlete, evaluate their needs and level of ability and assign the correct program to improve their athletic ability. They are not lumped into an over-crowded, under-supervised, group program.
Our results have been amazing. And for all the good we do, here are even better reasons why you should choose CA. The following might seem a tad harsh, but’s let's remember who we are generally speaking about, CHILDREN.
Are you aware of who is training your young athletes? Here are two prime examples of the dangerous and ineffective methods used in two area high school football programs. The first is the use of Max Lift testing (how much an individual can lift in one or more reps). High School One tests incoming freshman on their Max Lift in the Squat, Bench Press and unbelievably, the Hang Clean. The latter is one of the more technically advanced lifts in weight training. It requires numerous prerequisites and near flawless execution. These freshmen, as well as most of the upperclassmen, have never even had weight room experience, let alone instruction on the Hang Clean. Yet, here they are, day 1 on their intro to HS football and required to perform this lift. Unreal. What is the benefit?
High School Two is a better example. A football coach attempted to teach his athletes the Snatch lift by VIDEO! This is one of the most technically advanced lifts and one of the most dangerous. Yet it was attempted to be taught by an inexperienced coach on kids who had never correctly performed the dozen prerequisite exercises prior to such a movement. This goes on right under our noses here in southern NH.
Complete Athlete has allowed less than five of our most advanced athletes to perform this lift as the risk is much higher than the reward.
Even seemingly simple exercises involving the core, chest and back are done mechanically incorrect. This puts more stress on the lower back, shoulders and elbows which can lead to over-use injuries and reduced results.
As mentioned above, area coaches are using a “group” style program instead of training each athlete as an individual. Simply said, most athletes are in either a lifting program that is too difficult and unsafe or more advanced athletes are in a program that doesn’t meet their needs.
I get it, the programs are free, well intended and the coaches require you to attend. I hear it promotes “camaraderie.” Please, it promotes injuries, ineffective results and frustration. And overall, it promotes mediocrity. These athletes deserve the best training available and at least, safe and effective training. I would like to point out that there are some very good strength coaches out there but the problem of overcrowding is hard to overcome. Therefore the program is good, but watered down to meet the needs of the masses. CA offers the only 90 minute session that delivers on all needs with closely supervised & individualized workouts. It would greatly benefit your athlete to attend CA simply to prepare for joining these teams. At least they would have learned how to correctly and safely perform these exercises.
How about joining the local gym? Anyone who takes the initiative to improve themselves gets a pat on the back. But ask yourself these questions. Is it safe and is it effective? Several of our former female athletes, three who recently signed their letter of intent, are currently working out at a commercial gym. I recently asked them, are you doing a dynamic warm-up? “No.” Are you doing non-machine based core? “A few.” Are you doing 30 minutes of Speed, Agility and Quickness Drills? “Never.” Are you doing non-machine based lifts? “A few.” Are you doing non-machine based, anaerobic conditioning? “No.” I didn’t bother to ask if they are doing jump and power exercises as we know it just isn’t being done
Let’s face it; you get what you pay for. Sure it helps, but the results are minimal and it’s not how an athlete trains. I often boast that CA has trained more D1 athletes than all the area high schools combined. But the majority of those athletes have been with CA since the 7th or 8th grade. We progress each athlete by knowing their needs and training them at the level best suited for their age, sport and experience.
One of our best examples is a UNH hockey player who we have been training for 6 years. Yes, he is a stud and he gives 100% effort 100% of the time. So he is a physical specimen. But, prideful boasting here, he has won the UNH Iron Man Award (20 event competition) two years running. In his own words, he couldn’t have done it without the CA program.
To sum up this blog (rant), if you are looking to improve as an athlete, stop and think what is required of a good athlete. Skill is obvious. But actually being strong and athletic is vital and that is CA’s area of expertise. And please, don’t be fooled by the local high schools & club sports teams who say they are doing “Strength & Conditioning.” It’s a fraction what we do (correctly & safely) and done by certified, experienced coaches.
We have never posted anything like this, but I felt it’s about time parents begin to realize who and how their children are being trained. Ask to observe the weight room program or ask specifically what credentials their coaches have in this area. I am not a basketball coach; therefore I do not attempt to train a kid on how to do a lay-up. Yet, as mentioned in the two examples above, coaches are making your children do dangerous exercises without the proper credentials to do so.
Please feel free to stop by and watch a CA session or debate me on this windy & lengthy post. I’d love to have the chance to convince you that CA is the way.
Gerry Scaccia BS, CSCS