Ultimate Strength and ConditioningAccess Membership

Are Your Athletes Doing Their Homework?

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When we get new clients signed up at our facility, I am always sure to explain a few things very clearly to the athletes and the parents.

First, our program is not a “come in and get kicked in the stomach” training program. Our program is about teaching movement mechanics. As the technical proficiency goes up, so does the intensity. Just like when you teach an athlete to squat, it’s how to before how much, the same goes for our movement training, how to before how fast and how hard.

The second point is, our athletes have home work when you leave this facility. Our homework comes in two parts.

#1. The first assignment is the top 5 exercises on their strength training sheet. For most of our athletes these include:

• OH squatting
• Multi-directional lunging (fwd/lateral/rotational)
• Single leg squatting patterns
• Single leg hinging patterns
• Single leg glute bridge

All together that is a 10 minutes of work. It is expected of all of our athletes that these exercises get completed at least 4x/week, either at our facility, at home, or at as a warm up at sport practice. I tell you what, after even two weeks, I can always tell who is doing their homework, and I will be very open with the athlete that if they aren’t doing their homework, they are wasting their time at our facility.

#2. I am also very clear with our athletes and parents that, the people who take the most out of our program and show the greatest improvements, are the ones who are practicing their movement training on their own either in their front yard or as a warm up at sport practice. I tell our athletes that, I want them showing up to practice 10-15 minutes early, doing their warm up and then completing something along the lines of:

• 10 yard acceleration x 4-6
• Short plant and cut work x 3-5 reps
• Shuffling/crossover run work x 3-5 reps
• Maybe some single leg vertical/broad jumping

Again, this is not a tremendous amount of work. But we need our athletes to be thinking about these things on their own and not just relying on us to coach them up. When they can go out and do 5 great 10 yard accelerations with good technique on their own and really pay attention to their positions, now we are going to achieve a meaningful carry-over. Now their motor programs are really getting wired, and when they hit the field for practice or a game, they should be more fluid and powerful.

I understand that, as a business, it is counter-intuitive to tell your athletes to do work on their own, instead of relying on you. But the reality is, our business is based off results. Our kids come back, and their parents tell friends about our business, when they start seeing the results for themselves. This also serves as a little marketing ploy. You better believe other parents in the stands are going to take notice when they see the fastest kid on the team practicing speed and agility work on their own before practice.

Teach you athletes. Get them engaged. Hold them accountable. Get results.

Work hard.

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