How to Train Like an Elite Athlete
Our primary goal is to make sure our athletes have everything they need to succeed today, this week, and most importantly their career which we hope is very long and prosperous. In order to make that happen we need to address a few things so we will start closer to the end and work our way backwards from there.
The Warm Up
Of the games I have been in the building for I have not yet seen an organized warm up done without Coach Jovon and myself stepping in and making it happen. I am all for players having their own routine to get themselves into the zone either before or after the team warms up but it is critical that these teams warm up the right way. So what makes an effective warm up? To effectively prepare for a game the team needs to address these key areas:
Tissue Temperature (Hint “warm” up)
Nervous System Prep
Mobility: This is the body's ability to be stable at its full range of motion. Stability and mobility need to be synonyms here. I do not recommend prolonged/static stretching. There is study after study demonstrating the decreased strength and stability at a joint that has been stretched statically for a prolonged period of time (20seconds or more). Dynamic stretching is preferred as it mobilizes the joints but actually prepares it for more work rather than rest. All teams and groups who work with us have gone through our dynamic warm up and should be familiar with it. I will upload a video which contains everything we would want them to do this week.
Tissue Temperature: We need them to increase the temperature within their muscular system as it helps promote elasticity, fluid transfer speed, and increase rate of contraction. Key point, throwing the football around or kicking a soccer ball doesn’t get the job done. Doing the Movement Prep will take care of this piece of the puzzle.
Movement Prep: There are a lot of unique and relatively extreme movements that happen at a high velocity during the game so it would make sense for an athlete wanting to perform at an elite level to prepare the body for this. Starting with skips and progressing through more complex movements and increasing the velocity helps to ensure we are firing at a high level which will help the team to get off to a fast start. If you see a team that doesn’t seem to get it in gear until the second period I would bet that their activities prior to the puck being dropped were not up to par.
Nervous System Prep: The nervous system controls everything; reaction time, coordination, heart rate, muscle contraction/relaxation, rhythm, timing, etc..let's make sure we do things or rather, not do things that inhibit its performance. Starting at a phone for any prolonged period of time decreases reaction time and peripheral vision by a significant margin. Also, it is just a distraction. There is nothing going on in the social media world that has any impact on the game at hand so let's leave the phones out of it until the game is over.
Again, I will upload a video this week describing what an effective warm up looks like. What is important here is that the team comes together, does the warm up as a group and not individuals, and does it intent on performing at an elite level every time.
Consistent Training To Maximize Benefits
This email is already plenty long so I will elaborate more on this later in the week but to make a long story short:
If we do not train consistently there is minimal benefit to training at all
Taking days off the day prior to a game decreases nervous system output on the day of the game