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Cal South E-News | March 2010 PERFORMANCE TRAINING

March 18, 2010

Performance Training and Injury Prevention content provided exclusively by Velocity Sports Performance

Sport-Specific vs. Individualization

by Erik Kasabuske M.Ed., CSCS
Sports Performance Director
Velocity Sports Performance - irvine

Over the years sport coaches, parents, and athletes have often asked me what is the best way to prepare an athlete for their specific sport. Many coaches in the sports performance field debate whether an exercise or drill mimics what that athlete does on the playing field. Why does my soccer player need to do overhead squats when they don't raise their arms above their head during a game? Why does my volleyball player need to work on maximum velocity (top speed) when he/she doesn't move more than 10 feet during a game? The answer is that we need to fully develop our athletes to be better athletes and reduce the likelihood of injury.

When we design an athlete's program we can't just look at what sport they play. Instead we need to train them based on their strengths, weaknesses, body type, and sport movements. Some athletes are going to get a lot of benefit by improving strength while others might need to focus more on reactive power.

I have often come across two athletes that play the same position but have completely different needs. If we trained these two athletes in a generic soccer, basketball or football program, one might have great improvements, while the other might not improve at all. That is the reason we must test our athletes before they start training and design a program specifically for each athlete. When a young athlete is only exposed to the movements of one sport they never have the chance to fully develop because they are overexposed to some movements while being underexposed to others.

If an athlete uses improper acceleration mechanics during a sport specific drill, will they get faster? The answer is no. A movement done incorrectly is still incorrect no matter how specific it is to that athlete's sport. Athletes come to us because we correct movement flaws, strengthen their weaknesses, and give them the confidence to apply what they have learned to be better at their sports. It is very easy to look at an athlete and think that he/she needs to focus on improving one major weakness in performance. There are multiple ways to improve speed and it is our job to find what will work best for you.

About Velocity Sports Performance:
Velocity Sports Performance is a national network of training centers where athletes of all sports, ages and skill levels go to improve their core athletic skills - speed, power and agility. Athletes train in small groups with degreed and certified performance coaches. Velocity Sports Performance is the Official Performance Training Partner of Cal South Soccer. Players who train with Velocity Sports Performance can expect to get to the ball quicker, cover more of the field faster, increase their shot power and reduce their chances of injury. Velocity Sports Performance has training centers throughout Southern California including Irvine, Redondo Beach, Anaheim, Carlsbad, San Diego, West LA and Santa Clarita.