Archive for “Fitness Professionals” Tag

Monitoring Readiness in Athletes: Part 1

Athlete monitoring has risen to the forefront of the physical preparation industry over the last several years. Monitoring and readiness is part of a continued evolution in a field that is never static. Athlete monitoring is a way in which sport scientists and coaches are using information gathered from the athlete to gauge how physiologically, psychologically, and emotionally ready their athletes are for training and competition.

Sport scientists and coaches are relying more and more heavily on both objective and subjective measures to help adjust and determine training protocol for both athletes and clients. There has been a steep rise in the implementation of monitoring technology in physical preparation from the professional all the way to the high school level. GPS units, heart rate variability monitors, velocity based measurement, and multiple phone apps have become an integral part of physical preparation programs across the United States. We are going to take a look at monitoring in three distinct parts:

  1. Why we monitor and considerations for monitoring
  2. How we monitor at the high school level
  3. What difference can monitoring make in the development of your athletes?


Part 1 of this blog is going to focus on why we monitor and considerations for monitoring. The “why” is the most
critical component of any method that you may choose to implement in your program. If there is not a clear understanding of why something is being implemented into your program, then I would advise you to immediately pause and determine what that “why” is for you.

I am going to be giving a high school perspective as to why we believe that monitoring has become extremely important with our athletes. The “why” for why we began to monitor became very clear for us before we began to implement any monitoring strategies at Battle Ground Academy.

The demands on today’s high school athlete are tremendous. Many of these athletes are participating in rigorous academic programs, highly competitive high school and club athletic programs, as well as consistent physical preparation training. It has been my observation that this athlete’s readiness levels are some of the most variable a coach will experience. These athletes rarely experience true off-seasons due to multiple sport participation, private skills training, and club participation. This leaves this athlete under a tremendous amount of stress on a routine basis, and it puts the physical preparation professional into the role of a stress manager.

My concern for my athletes ultimately came from growing to understand the intense physiological, psychological, and emotional demands that not only came from their sports, but the chronological and developmental age of the athlete. An athlete’s high school years can be some of the most stressful and challenging of their lives. Once again, they are experiencing rapid changes physically, mentally, and emotionally that can make the demands placed on them through athletics participation a daunting task. Expectations, realistic or unrealistic, have also become a major stressor for these athletes. Our society has set the bar high in term of expectations both academically and athletically during these formative years.

Through the data tracking of our athletes, we would see a great amount of variability in the strength levels on a regular basis. All of our long term trends would be very solid, but we could see that at times there could be as much as a 17% fluctuation either positive or negative in a core lift from one week to the next in what we measured from an athlete!


This was not the standard fluctuation of course, but it was not unusual to see significant weekly fluctuations in strength levels. Looking at this data ignited the “light bulb” moment for me. Most of us who have been in the profession for a while most likely came out of programs with a strict percentage based mentality that did not really take the daily readiness of the athlete into account. We programmed volume and intensity into the program, and hopefully it lined up with where our athletes were that day.

Throughout this process the “why” for us became this: we want to meet our athletes as close to where they are as possible from a readiness standpoint on a daily basis. We want to do what is best for our athletes, and also what will help them achieve their goals in the safest and most efficient manner possible. I typically find that this is the goal of any coach who wants to implement a monitoring program with his or her athletes. The next step was to discern how we were going to implement a monitoring program that can be executed in an efficient manner. We first needed to consider what some challenges or limiting factors may be at the high school/youth level.

The most obvious challenges for most are going to be financial cost, time expenditure, and athlete compliance. All of these can be difficult because they are outside of your control for the most part. Finances are usually set at a certain point by a multitude of different factors dependent upon the situation. Time can be limited by access in an educational and private setting for different reasons as well. Finances and time are usually very scarce commodities in the world of physical preparation, and it must be taken into account to understand what type of monitoring program is right for your situation. Athlete compliance is the third area that is very important. Monitoring and measurement can be useless if the athlete’s in non-compliant. Non-compliance can be a lack of reporting or dishonest reporting by your athletes. There has to be athlete buy in to make all of this work!

Another factor to consider is making sure that data collection is in line with the amount of data that you can manage successfully. Collecting data for the sake of storing data in your computer is a futile exercise at best. There needs to be a plan in place to both collect and use the data.

It is important to implement any change in your program in stages, and implementing a monitoring program is no different.

It is important to implement any change in your program in stages.

It will be an adjustment for strength coaches, sport coaches, and athletes.

It is important not to place excessive demands on all involved in the early stages of building your monitoring program.

It is also important to help your athletes correctly understand the information you are asking for as well as explain the relevance of the information being collected.

It is vital that you repeat this process with everyone who is going to be involved in the process to ensure its success. This includes sport coaches, administrators, as well as parents.

Part two of this three-part series will look at methods from technology to programming that can be implemented at the high school level to monitor, evaluate, and adjust to help your athletes achieve optimal results.


Check out our Youth Athlete Assessment Certification to begin evaluating and monitoring your athletes.

Learn More

About the Author: Fred Eaves
Ed.S, M.Ed, CSCS, RSCC, IYCA, USAW, USATF, BIOFORCE Conditioning Coach Certified, 2015 NSCA H.S. Strength Coach of the Year, 2013 Samson Equipment & AFM H.S. Strength Coach of The Year

The Fastest Way to Get Quality Leads

We are all looking for ways to get new leads.

Look around, the people in your sessions are your greatest fans, they believe in you and what you do. They may even be, your ideal client. They should be. What if you could have more people just like them?

Is there any client that you would want to clone? Remember— it isn’t just about the kids here, it is about the parents too. How do you get great parents, great kids and long time customers that believe what you do, walking through your door?

Leverage the people you already have to find more leads like them. Here is this process broken down into steps.

Identify 10 Ideal Clients

Identify 10 of your Ideal Clients, these are the parents & kids who believe in what you do, they are walking-talking billboards. They may be other coaches, parents, or staff members. Write down these 10.

Schedule a Meeting

Block off time to spend with each of these clients. It shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes, but it needs to be private. It can be either on the phone or in person. Tell them in advance what the conversation is about.

“Hey (NAME) I was wondering if I could speak with you for about 10 minutes later today or this week?  You are such a great client and member that I wanted to pick your brain a little bit about what we are doing here, but also if you had any recommendations of who would be a good fit for our (Gym/Facility/Family atmosphere)”

Note: If they say yes, schedule the time. If they say no, make a note of it.

Ask & Be Transparent

This is the most critical step.

It is as simple as asking. Be completely transparent about what you are trying to do.

Here is a script for you to tweak :

“Hey __(Customer Name)___, so I think you and  (Athlete’s Name)  are such a great fit for our business and what we are trying to do here. You have been with us for awhile now and I wanted to know how we can improve and what you think about our values and what we offer”  (Let them talk first. Get their feedback and address it)

“Well, we definitely appreciate your feedback, so please keep it coming”

“Since you are literally our ideal client, and I really wish I could clone you and your family, I was wondering if you could possibly help me out?  We really want to grow our business, but not with just anyone…with people like you…are you interested?”   

“That is great, I was wondering if you could give us 3 names of people who you would love to see in this program with you, or maybe even a coach that you think would be open to what we have to offer” (Client gives you a couple names)

Note: It isn’t essential that you get the referrals contact information in this approach

“Thank you so much, would you be willing to bring them to a session in the next week, completely free?  That is essentially all you would have to do”   (Answer: Yes)

Note: A new lead could possibly bale on you the first time, but likely won’t bale on a friend- try to get them to come together for the first time

“You are the best, I will follow up with you in a couple days if I haven’t heard anything (Promotes accountability)– but I really appreciate your effort in this, and the great part is, when your friends come in we will do the rest of the work. If one of them (Purchase/join/etc) we will give you a gift for your hard work every time”   

Note: A gift isn’t essential, but if you are going to give one, you need to know what it is in advance and pay it EVERY TIME

Follow Up

This is a critical component of every referral program, and many ‘drop the ball’ here. Schedule a time to follow up with this client. It can be days later, but no more than a week. If you haven’t seen their referrals in your sessions,  it is now good to ask for contact information.

This process is just that, a process. Write it down and document it for months and years to come.

Do you have a referral strategy that rocks?  

Share it with us on our Facebook Page!

Author: Julie Hatfield

Julie Hatfield (1)Julie is the Executive Director of the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA). She grew up as an athlete and played collegiate softball at Juniata College. She currently owns and operates her own youth fitness business pouring into young athletes. Her areas of expertise are youth sport performance, youth fitness business and softball training/instruction. Julie grew up on a dairy farm and can challenge the best of the best in a cow-milking contest. 😉

Overworked and Underpaid

Overworked, Underpaid and…Exhausted?

If you are reading this, it’s fair to assume it is because you answered “yes” to at least one part of that question.

Let’s be honest here, most of us feel this way at some point or another, no matter what industry you’ve worked in.

Many sport performance coaches spend countless hours planning, preparing and delivering, only to fall short on financial performance and feel exhausted. After all, we wake up before the sun, and go to bed just before it rises again…right?   

tired-418902_640If you are like most performance coaches, passion got you started—persistence keeps you going—and pride keeps you from quitting when the going gets tough. If you are feeling that you are 

overworked, underpaid and exhausted…well, the going has gotten tough.

What to do?

Take a few steps back, and figure out how you can turn your youth fitness business into a lucrative and successful place…afterall…the world NEEDS you!

Here are 3 Ways to avoid burnout as a performance coach:

Take a 30,000 foot view, quarterly:

Sometimes we can’t see what is really going on inside our businesses until we remove ourselves.  It isn’t always physically possible, but what if you could look at your business from the outside…

… what would you see? Would you like it? What wouldn’t you like? Is it what you envisioned when you started? Would you come into your own gym as a client, and why?

These questions serve to spark your curiosity, knowing what your business is really about is probably the most important thing you can do when it comes to being lucrative.

If you lose sight of your vision, your dream and the reason you started in the first place, likely that passion will fade and so will your business.

Know your numbers, monthly:

Many youth fitness business owners hate showing their numbers.  Knowing your numbers is a sure-fire way to gain insight into your business.

Numbers you have to know:office-620822_640

  • Gross Revenue
  • Expenses
  • Profit Margin
  • Leads
  • Clients Lost

There are more than these, but this is a good start.   Do you know these answers? If you don’t, you need to. If you want to make money, you have to know what is coming in and going out.

Don’t have “time” to track them, then keep ignoring them and the result (likely not the one that you or I want for you) will come, or acknowledge them and have the power to create solutions and change the course…and WIN!

It is that simple. Numbers tell the story, get to know your business’s story!

Work ON the business, not IN the business, weekly:

Performance coaches are good at coaching…we are not always businessmen and businesswomen.  Overlooking critical aspects of our business, like sales/marketing, setting goals, our numbers, strategies and systems, etc. can destroy a business.

By working ON your business, you focus on the strategies and systems that optimize your performance.  Spend an hour or two every week (or a timeframe that works for you), focusing on your business.

What to think about?

  • Strategies
  • Systems
  • Priorities
  • What is working
  • What is not working

If you are only working IN the business, you have blinders on to most of these things. You may know them, but they get forgotten. Don’t let that happen…it’s a good way to burn out.

Written By:

IYCA-newsletter-julie sig-v1 (1)



IYCA– Executive Director
Fitness Business Owner

Program design can require a lot of time.

Here is a free video and PDF resource for you to help save you some time (and energy) on program design for long-term athletic development.


Your Youth Fitness Business Operating System


Youth Fitness Business Systems

youth fitness business operating systems


By Pat Rigsby

To run a youth fitness business that functions at a very high level you need the following Business Operating System components in place:

An Overall Business Growth Plan – Most fitness businesses approach growth very arbitrarily. They randomly try to do things and don’t really have a plan. It’s very much like the difference between designing a program based on a client’s assessment and goals versus just giving them random workouts.

It might work out ok – but the odds of it doing as well as the planned approach aren’t very good.

This plan should include:
Knowing who you want to serve
How you intend to reach those people and get them to become clients
A Marketing Calendar to put this into action

Specific Business Targets – You need to have targets for the number of leads that you need each month, the closing percentage for those leads actually becoming clients, specific revenue targets and specific profit targets at minimum. There are any number of other target metrics that you can (and should) track, but those are the basics.

Trackable Lead Generation System – For you to grow a successful and sustainable business you need to have several lead generation strategies that you can consistently execute and track for effectiveness. You need to be able to know that:
You’re getting enough quality leads per month.
Where those leads are coming from.
The cost of getting those leads, both from a money perspective and a time perspective
This way you can focus on what’s working and improve or replace what is not.

Trackable Lead Conversion System – You must know how effective you are at turning prospects into clients. You should know which prospects are higher quality (convert better and stay longer) and which aren’t.

Client Value Maximization System – You can call this what you want, but you must have a systematic way to:
Retain clients
Maximize their value to your business
Provide them the most complete solution for their goals possible
Most fitness professionals do not have this System in place and leave up to half of their potential revenue on the table.

Business Operations Systems – The systems for what go on ‘behind the scenes’ in your business, from how you answer the phone or respond to emails to how you clean your facility. A business might get away without these when it’s a one person operation, but they’re critical if you have a staff or want to.

Finance Systems – You must have systems to address:
Automated billing
Taxes & Payroll (if you have staff)
Financial systems routinely either get overlooked by fitness business owners or are handled in a way that eventually costs the business a lot of revenue. Remember, it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.

Hiring & Staff Training Systems – Almost every business owner aspires to have staff, whether it’s adding more trainers or coaches or it’s hiring someone to handle some of the administrative tasks that go into running the business.

If your going to have staff, then you need to have systems in place to hire the right people and develop them to do the job that you need done at the highest level possible.

Hopefully this gives you some more clear insight into the components of the Business Operating System you need to have in place to run your business at the highest possible level.

Obviously, there is far more to it than what I can address in an email, but these components should be present in your Youth Fitness Business. If not, you should immediately start working to build each of these systems.

They’re that important.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you with your Business Operating System and in providing you all of those components, click on the link below and let me know. That’s exactly what Athletic Revolution was built to do:

Help great coaches build great businesses.

You can learn more about Athletic Revolution here:

Youth Fitness Business

Also – with Athletic Revolution you can maintain your own brand while leveraging the best business systems in the industry. A true WIN/ WIN.

IYCA Member Spotlight: Melissa Lambert

IYCA Youth Fitness Specialist Spotlight

IYCA youth fitness specialist


I am licensed professional counselor in the state of Connecticut
and work as a child and adolescent clinician at Natchaug Hospital.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Eastern
Connecticut State University and was a four year collegiate soccer
player earning All-Region and All-New England accolades as a
defender. I completed my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental
Health Counseling with a concentration in child and adolescent
psychology at Springfield College.


My experience includes working inpatient, partial hospital
programs, in-home therapy for children and adolescents in crisis, facilitating
parenting classes and writing articles for parenting magazines. I
enforce the importance of movement and play with both children
and their families. I also work on youth nutrition with children

who are currently taking psychiatric medications that often
cause weight gain.


In addition, I’m an assistant soccer coach for the U-16 girls’
Southeast Premier Soccer Club and run high school soccer
strength and conditioning clinics. I currently have the following

certifications: Youth Fitness Specialist 1, High School
Strength and Conditioning, Youth Nutrition and Youth Fitness

for children with Special Needs.

The IYCA certifications have Impacted my work as both a therapist and coach.


I feel the overall philosophy of the program can be utilized when
working with any group of kids, whether it’s fitness related or not.
The IYCA emphasizes building upon the child’s current strengths
while empowering them to become better athletes with a focus
on injury prevention. I like the break down on how to work with

specific athletes based on both the level of skill and motivation.


The course material is easy to understand and can be applied
in various environments. I use many of the youth nutrition
handouts with both children in therapy and my high school
athletes as well as incorporating the games from the youth
fitness certification into group therapy.


In relation to coaching, my strength and conditioning clinic
sessions were based on the principles provided in the high
school strength and conditioning book (mobility, dynamic
stretching vs. static stretching, speed and agility with emphasis
on decelerating and accelerating properly, etc.) I would recommend
any professional working with children and adolescents (coaches,
various teachers, therapists and other childcare providers) to
become certified through the IYCA organization.


Give Yourself the Coaching Edge…For Just $1

Right now, you have the opportunity to give yourself the competitive
edge over every other coach in your area.


You have the opportunity to make your athletes better. You have the
opportunity to make your career better. You have the opportunity to
join a team of motivated, like-minded trainers and coaches that are
committed to being the best in the industry.


All by becoming part of IYCA Members.


So the question is this:


Are you committed to being the best coach you can possibly be?


If the answer is ‘Yes’ then don’t wait another second… Join IYCA
Members For Just $1 Today!

Olympic Lifting & Young Athletes

Olympic Lifting Educational Opportunity

I posted this article on my blog back in 2009 but decided to re-hash it for a very good reason…


On Monday July 11, the incredible Wil Fleming of Athletic Revolution will be joining me for a free educational event:


Olympic Lifting – Technique, Programming & Progressions


You can join us live (Monday at 7:30pm – EST) OR you can register now and enjoy the playback whenever it fits your schedule.


Click below right now to register for absolutely no charge:


Now, read this to see the depth of Wil’s knowledge of this subject:



Organized Chaos in Kids Training Programs


Kids Training Programs Guest post by Phil Hueston


Most sports performance kids training programs (yes, maybe even yours) have 2 fatal flaws:


1) they don’t look anything like sports


2) they’re B-O-R-I-N-G!



Consider these questions:



Coaching Young Athletes Back in the Trenches: Part 3

Coaching Young Athletes – Here’s the last part of what you need to know to become a great Coach…


(3) Constant Praise


This one is something I wish more Fitness pros understood when Coaching Young Athletes .


If your young athlete performs an exercise that is 90% incorrect, the only option you have in terms of making sure he or she eventually gets it, is to comment on the 10% that was right.


I know… The urge is to correct the mistakes, but as I’ve been saying for years now:


The human body comes equipped with an auto-regulatory feature that knows where proper versus improper functional execution lies. 


The goal is to ‘allow’ the body-brain to relax and find proper execution for itself.



Coaching Young Athletes Back in The Trenches: Part 1

Coaching Young Athletes – Teaching Again

The funniest thing happened 3 weeks ago…


I decided to go back to the grassroots of where I started

Insert/edit linkCoaching Young Athletes



Now make no mistake, although my ‘full time’ coaching days are about 7 years in the rearview mirror, I’ve maintained a coaching schedule through the entire thick and thin of both developing and running the IYCA.


I’ve worked with volleyball clubs, high school football, soccer, track and baseball teams and even moonlighted occasionally as a guest speed and agility instructor for local youth sporting associations.


But this summer, I’m heading back to the trenches.



I met a very young (23), ambitious and capable Coach who owns his own facility not more than 15 minutes from my house – we started chatting and 3 weeks ago, I agreed to take a position as a ‘Coach’ at his up and coming training center.


No pay.


This time, ‘In the Trenches’ is because I love it, feel obligated (in a good way) to give back and don’t need the money in order to pay my bills.


So the summer of 2011 for me, will be back doing what I love most every day:


Making young athletes better people.


Job #1 has been to review this facility’s current training system and attend live sessions as an observer.


To see if there are holes.


To understand what is expected of the athletes and staff in this facility.


To appreciate what will be expected of me.


My first inspected conclusion was simple… For a 23 year old Coach, this guy has got his stuff together very well!


In fact, the experience of ‘watching to determine’ got me thinking that I should chronicle to you what this 23 year old does so well… Because most of it is inherent to his personality and not something he’s learned from a textbook, conference or DVD.


So consider these heartily as potential inclusions for yourself and your own coaching young athletes habits…


(1) Specific Instruction Time


Although not IYCA certified when we met, this particular 23 year already understood, embraced and implemented perhaps the most critical of all IYCA Tenants:


Don’t Train… Teach.


By simply feelings his way through the coaching process, this young man knew instinctively that young athletes are ‘works in progress’ and that the urge to ‘make tired through hard work’ must be tempered by the undeniable need to teach proper execution.


His facility is not ‘numbers’ oriented.


He does not appease the symptomotolgy requirements for what most consider the hallmarks of quality training with respect to young people (breathless, sweaty, can’t walk the next day).


Every one of his training sessions is methodical in the way he teaches complexity through simplicity, prior to implementing an exercise into a given routine.


I’ve been very heartened watching this and believe fully that more Coaches need to take an honest look at there programming methods with respect to proper instruction.


Come back tomorrow for ‘Part 2’…


Everything I Learned in 15 Years In the Trenches… Working With More Than 20,000 Young Athletes:


Click Here:


– Brian


Coaching Young Athletes


The Rest of the ‘Long-Term Training’ Story…

Long term training for sports

I’ve spent this week giving you the details and insights on my presentation for the upcoming Perform

Better conferences. 

Long-Term Training Models


You’ve read all the important factors…


… Now it’s time to receive the rest of the story (the stuff that will REALLY (more…)

Training Young Athletes: Concept vs. Cool

Training Young Athletes: exactly what the IYCA is all about.

Specifically related to our Concepts when training young athletes long-term development.


There are certain core values as it relates to training young athletes and people that we disclose within our ‘Youth Fitness Specialist – Level 1’ certification course, and you either need to hear them or hear them again…


These centralized principles extend to the entire litany of IYCA material, at large.



(1) Concept vs Cool (more…)

Young Athletes & Changing A Generation

How can we ‘convince’ young people to become more fit?


Is ‘convince’ even the right word?


You know, it’s interesting… I’ve been carrying the ‘Youth Fitness’ torch for so long, it seems that my opinions on what we REALLY need to do for and with young athletes tends to counter what we see in mainstream media and even governmental policy.


Watch this video and tell me what you think –




Preventing Youth Sports Injuries

Is there a difference in ‘Injury Prevention’ for soccer versus baseball with young athletes?


How about hockey versus volleyball?


Interesting topic…


Watch this video on Youth Sports Injuries and see what you think:




Now Available: IYCA Youth Kettlebell Instructor Course

Over the past 3 years with the IYCA, I’ve spent a lot of time considering this subject.


Are Kettlebells safe for young athletes?


Are they just a fad that our industry is embracing right now?


Are the reputed performance gains you get from using Kettlebells real?


I considered it all.


And then I asked the 2 people I trust more than anyone else in the world with respect to this topic:


Owners of the incredibly popular, Kettlebell Athletics.



Becoming Indispensable to Young Athletes: Part 1

It’s important for me to hear what you have to say about this topic on young athletes… 

Read this short (but hopefully powerful) ‘Part 1’ and then chime in to let me know what you think…


Young Athletes