by Wil Fleming
I remember vividly 3 years ago at this time Ryan and I were working our tails off to get ready for our grand opening that was only a couple weeks away. It was a really exciting time for us.
We were assembling all the equipment we ordered.
We were trying to figure out how to lay 1500 square feet of turf.
We were holding free workouts in our PARKING LOT to gain momentum.
We knew what we wanted our business to be, and we had a plan to make that happen:
A place that actually promised results to their clients and athletes.
A place for athletes to train to become the best they can be in their sport.
Three years later, we are doing just that, we have put 50 kids in collegiate athletics, we have helped a dozen high school teams reach their best seasons in years, and we have helped 1000’s of kids become better athletes.
In reflection upon the first 3 years of success at Force Fitness and Performance/Athletic Revolution Bloomington, it strikes me that the thing we have done really well, is create a system for success.
Not just a training system of sets and reps and exercises, but a system of athletic development that helps athletes develop and improve in every phase. This system is most important with athletes on day 1. Having a system in place for the first day of training will make developing collegiate athletes a realistic opportunity.
A system of speed and agility development
A system to develop explosive strength.
In these areas and others we have developed a system for introducing new information, and teaching new skills to every athlete in our facility.
Speed and agility development
The development of speed and agility starts with a foundation of technique. For new high school athletes hip extension is typically the limiting factor in developing speed.
A favorite drill of mine to start day 1 athletes on is the “Wall March”. Get athletes to set up standing in with their hip flexed to 90 degrees and their ankle dorsiflexed. Have the athlete lean towards the wall and brace with their arms.
When leaning against the wall the athlete should be at an appropriate angle for acceleration (roughly 45 degrees). The emphasis in this drill is explosive extension of the hip at contact with the ground while maintaining a neutral spine.
Day 1 with strength and power involves a lot of individual coaching and teaching. Training the Olympic lifts is a goal that I have with every athlete, but for some this may come after weeks or months of training.
One drill that we often introduce on day 1 to promote explosive power is the split jump. This movement trains athletes for explosiveness off of 1 leg, similar to sprinting or jumping off 1 leg, while also helping to develop greater stability in the lower body, ankle mobility, and hip mobility.
The athlete should first develop stability through the movement and then progress to decrease ground contact time while remaining upright with the upper body.
These systems are essential to getting results every time and with every athlete. Fortunately the IYCA provides many resources to help develop your own system for producing results. From the IYCA Youth Nutrition Specialist to produce a system for healthy nutrition habits for your athletes, to the High School Strength Coach Certification to provide you with a blueprint of excellent programming, we have you covered.
Wil Fleming is co-owner and Head Coach of Force Fitness & Performance, Fitness Revolution and Athletic Revolution in Bloomington, IN. Wil is also a member of the IYCA Board of Experts