Archive for “high school athletes” Tag

Preparing HS Athletes for College – Your Role as Coach

How You Can Prepare Your HS Athletes for College

LacrosseDo you have athletes that dream of playing in college?

As performance coaches, you have the opportunity to play a large role in the success of athletes making that “jump” to the next level.

We know that there are many coaches that do this really really well, and one of them is Coach Jim Kielbaso. He is our resident expert on, well – just about everything 🙂

We knew that it was time to sit down with him and talk shop, and you can see the entire video in our Exclusive Insiders All-Access Membership. We spoke about exactly what athletes need from their performance coaches to be prepared to play at that next level.

Usually we keep this pretty exclusive, but some things are just too good not to share with everyone! There are many things that can be done to help make the transition from HS to College Sports a little bit “easier”. Here are 4 from the exclusive video.

Four Ways to Make the Transition from HS to College Sports

#1: Identify goals early on

Try to decipher what your athlete ultimately is striving for. Do they want to play at the next level? Are they committed to the challenges?

#2: Network with college coaches

If an athlete identifies that they want to play at the next level, then it’s time to start networking. Speak with collegiate coaches (ideally at the school where the athlete has applied/is accepted) and start understanding what is “next” for your athlete.

#3: Get your athletes in REALLY good shape

Let’s face it, this is completely your wheelhouse! The best thing you can do for an athlete that wants to take their game to the next level is get them physically ready. The Long Term Athletic Development Model is the best way to get them prepared to perform.

#4: Teach good technique

This goes right along with getting them in “REALLY good shape”. They must be able to perform the fundamentals really really well. Again, it is about the long-term approach.

Realizing that you don’t always have the luxury of training a kid for many years before college, it’s your job to make sure the technique is mastered before moving on to “bigger and better”.

Want access to the entire video—–>Become an IYCA Insiders Member for $1 today.

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Retaining HS Athletes from Sport Season to Sport Season

Keeping HS Athletes from Season to Season

RAW and UNCUT with Jim Kielbaso (seriously…if you want to laugh, you need to watch this video in its entirety…in this video, Jim and Julie get taken by surprise…and it was really worth leaving in)

In this video, Jim Kielbaso talks about an all-too-common issue that High School Strength & Conditioning professionals deal with daily! Retaining athletes from season to season.

High School Strength & Conditioning professionals have the power to educate and coordinate one of the most important programs in a kids athletic career, their Strength & Conditioning Program.

It isn’t always easy, but it IS the best thing for the athlete.

Take the time to talk to other coaches and parents of your athletes to provide a program that is the most conducive to their success. WATCH the video above to learn more about retaining athletes from sport season to sport season.

Want to Help Your Athletes Get Prepared to Perform?


Keys to Unlocking the High School Athlete’s Potential

How to Unlock the High School Athlete’s Potential

(Note: we apologize for the background noise on this video, but please enjoy the content).

There are many responsibilities of the High School Strength & Conditioning Coach. However, when the end-goal is to have a positive impact on your athletes, teaching the “keys” to unlocking their potential is close to #1!

In this video blog, Jim Kielbaso gives you the keys to being a great athlete, and you may be surprised to know that they have nothing to do with talent!

Sure, talent matters. However, when it comes down to it, if a kid has all the talent in the world but lacks these “keys”, then they won’t live up to their potential. Watch the video above now!

Want to Help Your Athletes with the Mental Side of Their Game?




How Resistance Band Training Can Impact a Strength & Conditioning Program – Part 3

Using Bands to Conveniently Impact a Strength & Conditioning Program

Resistance bands are easily the most convenient and effective way to work on first step speed mechanics as it relates to acceleration and deceleration.

Not only are bands easy to attach to the body but their ascending resistance allows athletes to load both acceleration and deceleration phases of running.

7. First Step Acceleration

It’s a well known fact that if an athlete can win the first 3 steps during a play in a game, they are probably going to experience good success continually throughout the game and probably win the event.

Resistance bands make it very easy to train large groups of athletes to increase first step speed and reaction. As a coach, partner-based first step speed training requires minimal setup or space to implement and is relatively easy for athletes to quickly learn.

As for the athlete, they are able to instantly feel the difference it makes on their quickness and agility within only a couple of training sessions. These two factors alone instantly make it successful.

These drills are typically done in a partner attached setup with athletes alternating while performing 3 or 4 sets of 5 reps. Because these drills will emphasize acceleration, the athlete only has to focus on getting out quickly against the band resistance.

Once learned, coaches can build in reaction starts through the use of whistle start hand signals.

Shuffle Acceleration Drill


8. First Step Deceleration

Once acceleration training is mastered, athletes can begin to work on deceleration by training under what is called a pre-loaded band setup. Performing the same drills, athletes now focus on learning how to decelerate under band-driven momentum.

Just like applying weight to increase strength, the band applies a resistance that the body has to overcome in order to become stronger at decelerating or slowing down momentum.

Shuffle Deceleration Drill


9. Partner Resisted Running

Once first step acceleration and deceleration speed drills are mastered, longer amplitude linear speed training can be implemented using a training approach called partner resisted running.

With partner resisted running, partners work together to challenge each other to run under a controlled resistance for 15 to 20 yards.

Partner resisted running allows athletes to now take their first step speed training through longer amplitudes of movement.

Here Is An Example of Partner-Based Forward Running


10. Implementing Non-Traditional Strength Training

The final way that resistance bands can be implemented into an off-season strength program is by using them to simulate non-traditional strength training drills like resisted crawling, towing, pushing or lunging.

In many cases these types of drills are used with specially designed equipment that increases cost and the need for greater training space. With a flat band’s ability to attach onto the body in multiple ways, it allows them to provide resistance to non-traditional movements that, in turn, challenges total body strength and coordination.

Non-Traditional Speed-Strength Training

Flat continuously looped layered bands, like the Quantum Band, provides coaches and their athletes with the ability to train all aspects of performance. They also allow them to simulate specific exercises and unique training approaches that historically required specialized equipment and additional resources.

Resistance band versatility makes it very easy and convenient to implement key aspects of an off-season training program without the need for added equipment, space or resources.

Dave Schmitz – The Band Man

About the Author: Dave Schmitz

Dave SchmitzDave Schmitz (aka…The Band Man) is the Co-Owner of Resistance Band Training Systems, LLC and the creator of https://resistancebandtraining.com, the only website exclusively devoted to training with large continuously looped resistance bands.

Dave has a unique professional background and vast experience as an orthopedic physical therapist, performance enhancement specialist, certified strength and conditioning specialist along with 27 plus years of living fitness and performance training.

All of this has allowed him to turn a simple 41-inch resistance band into an incredibly multi-faceted total training experience for 1000’s of athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the world—while helping 100’s of fitness professionals and coaches get their clients or athletes BETTER with BANDS.

How Resistance Band Training Can Impact a Strength & Conditioning Program – Part 2

Using Bands for Versatility in Your Strength & Conditioning Program

The ability to combine bands with free weights, create efficient metabolic circuits and safely be used to introduce strength training to younger middle school athletes adds to their off-season versatility.

4. Contrast Free Weight Band Training

Most off–season strength training programs are built around 6 or 8 week cycles that are designed to gradually improve absolute strength. In many cases after a cycle of this nature is completed the body needs what is called a de-load week.

This is a week where an athlete is allowed to let their body recover, heal and re-energize after performing a multi-week cycle of heavy gravity-based free weight strength training. It is during this de-load week that resistance bands play a significant role in allowing the body to continue strength training while still allowing muscles and joints to recover.

During this phase, barbell–band contrast training or band only exercises are implemented. This change of pace training allows the body to experience a completely different strength training stimulus while continuing to improve on common strength training patterns of movement.

Here are a few examples of easy to implement contrast band training exercises using bands in conjunction with frequently used barbell exercises.

Barbell-Band Bench

Barbell-Band Squat

Barbell-Band Dead-lift

Barbell-Band Push Press

5. Circuit-Based Metabolic Training

As the off-season progresses, metabolic conditioning becomes increasingly more important in preparing the high school athlete for their upcoming pre-season.

Resistance band’s ability to simulate any strength exercise while providing unlimited resistance and lightweight portability allows easy station circuit-based workouts to be set up and implemented anywhere.

Posterior Chain Metabolic Circuit

6. Middle School Strength Training

One of the safest ways to implement a middle school strength training program is through the use of body weight exercises. It teaches body awareness as well as core stability while still working against gravity.

Unfortunately not all young middle school athletes can effectively perform simple body weight exercises like squats, push-ups, pull-ups or single leg squat variations.

Resistance bands can supplement a body weight strength training program in 4 ways.

First, they can be used to assist body weight exercises to allow athletes to learn how to properly perform basic body weight exercises through full ranges of motion.

Second, bands can be used to apply added resistance to body weight exercises by quickly attaching the band onto the body.

Third, bands can be used to create unique exercises besides body weight movements that can increase exercise variety while influencing movements body weight exercises can’t.

Last, since most middle schools are not able to properly outfit a strength training room, resistance bands provide a highly cost effective way to introduce young middle school athletes to a simple strength training program.

Part 3 will turn the focus towards using bands as a speed development training tool to enhance both acceleration and deceleration while training both linear and lateral planes of movement.

Dave Schmitz – The Band Man

About the Author: Dave Schmitz

Dave SchmitzDave Schmitz (aka…The Band Man) is the Co-Owner of Resistance Band Training Systems, LLC and the creator of https://resistancebandtraining.com, the only website exclusively devoted to training with large continuously looped resistance bands.

Dave has a unique professional background and vast experience as an orthopedic physical therapist, performance enhancement specialist, certified strength and conditioning specialist along with 27 plus years of living fitness and performance training.

All of this has allowed him to turn a simple 41-inch resistance band into an incredibly multi-faceted total training experience for 1000’s of athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the world—while helping 100’s of fitness professionals and coaches get their clients or athletes BETTER with BANDS.

How Resistance Band Training Can Impact a Strength & Conditioning Program – Part 1

Impacting a HS Year Round Strength & Conditioning Program with Bands

As a strength and conditioning coach of a local high school where I have over 80 young high school athletes training in our weight room 4 days per week, I am constantly evaluating our efficiency and results.

Resistance bands have easily been our most versatile and cost effective training tool to date. Not only do the kids find bands to be extremely challenging to train with, but they also enjoy the ability to improve their free weight training results.

Anytime we can provide a training tool that motivates high school athletes to work harder, train more frequently and enjoy doing it, only good things happen.

I would like to share 10 ways, as a coach, you can implement continuously looped resistance bands into a high school strength and conditioning program.

1. Dynamic Flexibility Training

No question the greatest impact on keeping young athletes healthy, besides strength training, is making sure their joints and muscles are able to move freely through a full range of motion on demand.

A majority of youth injuries are directly associated with flexibility deficits due to frequent growth spurts. Unfortunately athletes do not like to stretch and if they do stretch, it’s often using simple body-weight movements performed poorly.

Band stretching allows athletes to use the band to passively and actively lengthen out key muscles of the hip and shoulder. Using a tool, in this case the band, to stretch seems to provide athletes with an added motivation to routinely perform a dynamic stretching routine.

This series of band stretches performed before every lift or running workout allows athletes to follow a routine program. Over time it creates permanent soft tissue length changes that athletes quickly recognize.

What’s even more interesting is the longer athletes perform the band stretching routine, the more they begin to appreciate the importance of flexibility and how it directly impacts improvement in strength, speed and power. These are not often recognized as flexibility benefits.

Dynamic Band Stretching with Young Athletes

2. Trunk and Hip Activation

The importance of establishing good activation of the trunk and hip stabilizers pre-workout is pretty well documented.

Using the same single band that was incorporated in the band stretching routine, athletes can quickly perform a series of resisted planks or hip stabilization exercises that will optimally prepare them for any running or lifting workout.

This series of band stabilization drills makes it convenient and easy to flow directly from stretching into a muscle activation series of exercises.

Simple Core Activation Exercises

3. Auxiliary Training

Free weight training should be a key part of any high school athletic-based strength program. However, regardless if that type of program emphasizes the use of kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells or sandbags, the type of resistance remains the same in that it is a gravity dependent constant resistance.

Resistance bands provide an ascending resistance that is not reliant on gravity. As a result, continuously looped bands can be used to create auxiliary exercises following different planes of motion or movement patterns while impacting muscles significantly different than free weights.

Combining straight plane free weight movements with multi-plane, multi-resistance vector band strength training allows the body to eliminate weak links in what is a total kinetic chain, tri-plane structure.

5 Best Lower Body Band Exercises for Youth Strength Training

5 Best Upper Body Band Exercises for Youth Strength Training

Stay tuned for Part 2 which will cover how to use resistance bands to improve barbell strength and sport specific conditioning as well as using them to develop a safe and effective middle school strength development program.

Dave Schmitz – The Band Man

About the Author: Dave Schmitz

Dave SchmitzDave Schmitz (aka…The Band Man) is the Co-Owner of Resistance Band Training Systems, LLC and the creator of https://resistancebandtraining.com, the only website exclusively devoted to training with large continuously looped resistance bands.

Dave has a unique professional background and vast experience as an orthopedic physical therapist, performance enhancement specialist, certified strength and conditioning specialist along with 27 plus years of living fitness and performance training.

All of this has allowed him to turn a simple 41-inch resistance band into an incredibly multi-faceted total training experience for 1000’s of athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the world—while helping 100’s of fitness professionals and coaches get their clients or athletes BETTER with BANDS.

Loading For High School Weight Training

By Wil Fleming

Much of the time spent in the weightroom will be dedicated to the coaching of athletes on the proper movements, positions, and providing general technical info needed to safely complete the movements with maximal return on the time invested. The other portion of the time of the strength coach will be spent on determining and helping to select the weights that athletes use.

The beginning stages of the high school athletes‘ career in the weightroom should be spent teaching athletes the right way to lift and train, cueing the right movements, and ensuring technical proficiency. Building these foundations with minimal external loading is extremely important.

Movements, and more importantly, proper movements form the foundation of a good program. Gyms and weightrooms with individuals moving poorly, will limit athletes from getting stronger and staying healthy.

high school athletes

Once the movements have been taught, drilled and perfected, it will be time to load the movements to create more strength. I will outline two effective strategies to do just that. One will be quite intuitive and allow for novice lifters to get great benefit from your program. The second is based on the athletes’ 1RM and require careful planning on your part.

The work up method

The work up method is one that can be used for any athlete for whom you do not know their current 1 RM. This method allows for great freedom in the weights used on any given day, but will always dial in to the perfect weight on a given day.

There are no specific percentages at which an athlete should be working when using the work up method. Instead it uses the ability of an athlete on a given day to reach the proper level of difficulty.

First, work up to your best set of the given reps on any day you are training. Some days will be better than others, but athletes should always work up to the best set that day with perfect form. Counting their sets backwards and count any set within 10% of your best as a work set. So for instance, let’s say snatch was prescribed for 4 sets of 3 reps and the athlete snatched the following sets:

40k x3 
50k x3 
60k x3 
70k x3 
80k x3 
85k x3  92% 
85k x3  
90k x3  
92k x3  100%

On this day you would count the highlighted sets. Each of these sets falls within 10% of the highest load on the snatch that day.

If for instance an athlete did the following sets on a snatch workout you may have to add another set below your highest weight to get the right number of work sets in.

40k x3 
60k x3 
70k x3 
80k x3 86% (do not count) 
90k x3 
92k x3 100%

Because only 2 sets were within 10% of your best on that day you could do the following to get the appropriate number of work sets.

85k x3 
85k x3

The work up method allows for high intensity training at the best level an athlete can reach on any given day. For large groups of athletes with varying levels of confidence and competence in the strength training this is an ideal method to use.

This method of loading is similar to the idea of rate of perceived exertion (RPE), or the Borg scale, that is typically used for aerobic training. While the Borg scale uses values from 6-20 (correlating roughly to heart rate when multiplied by 10), an RPE scale for strength training can be used in a 1-10 range (correlating to percentage used when multiplied by 10).

An RPE scale for strength training based on 1-10 would look something like the following.

Interesting Image

Modified from Tuchscherer, Michael (2008). The Reactive training manual.

For training in the work up method using weights on a given day that are between 9 and 10 will ensure the maximum training effect. Lifts in the 9-10 zone for a given rep scheme, will challenge athletes no matter the day.

In line with our need to promote recovery, on some weeks it will be important to coach athletes to train with the work up method, in the 6-7 zone. This will ensure complete recovery prior to a more difficult week of training.

The percentage method

The percentage method is most commonly used with higher level athletes. This method uses known 1 repetition maximums and specific percentages to prescribe training loads.

In a given training period the goals for the completion of the training cycle should be known. That is, what numbers would the coach and athlete like to hit by the end of the cycle. From these numbers all weights will be based.

The model for both linear periodization and undulating periodization that I used earlier both use percentages to estimate the appropriate load to be used on a given day. In that way the percentage (%) method is the most studied and established way of determining loads.

Prilepin’s table, designed by former Soviet weightlifting coach A.S. Prilepin can be used to closely predict the sets and reps used at differing levels of intensity.

Interesting Image

These two methods of loading can be used to accommodate nearly all high school athletes in your gym.

High School Strength Program: Why Copying Is A Mistake

A post on High School Strength Programs by Jim Keilbaso

Strength program by Jim Keilbaso

Trying to copy some big time college strength program is common mistake made in high schools. I’ve been engaged in a series of e-mails with a coach about his situation at a high school, and I thought it was worth sharing.

He has been asked to implement a high school strength program for a football team, and the coach has started to voice some strong opinions before anything has even begun. The football coach feels like he’s under some pressure to win because the team has been average for the past three years. He has told the new strength coach that he likes Penn State’s program and wants him to implement it. He also wants to make sure that each kid is getting an individualized strength program program.

The member explained the situation to me, asked for some advice, and here is how I responded:

“First, I would explain to him that your high school strength program can’t copy a college program because you don’t have the staff, equipment or athletes to do it at the high school level. Second, seeing a 5 minute video doesn’t really give you a complete understanding of a college program. Just say that you’re taking things from several colleges and list the ones he wants to hear – Penn State, LSU, Alabama, etc. And, if he wants you to run it like Penn State, ask if he’s going to give you everything it takes to run it like Penn State?

Will he have 5 more coaches there every day?

Can you demand 100% participation from a kid or he’s kicked off the team?

high school strength program

Can you dog-cuss kids left and right if they’re not doing exactly what you say? Can you train them all in small groups instead of all at once before/after school? Will he stand behind you no matter what? Can he tell the parents not to ever talk to you so you can focus on doing your job? Can you spend $500,000 on equipment? Will there be ATCs present at every conditioning session in case kids go down?

That’s what Penn State has available. I’m guessing you don’t. You’re high school strength program just isn’t going to be a college program. More importantly, it doesn’t have to be.

What A High School Strength Program Does Include….

Tell him that you’re going to create a team-wide high school strength program, then individualize from there. There is no need to create a completely different program for every kid.

high school strength program

These are high school athletes. They need BASICS.

So, you create a “workout template” then make adjustments for any kids who need it. Most kids will be just fine with a basic high school strength program, but you have to play politics and say the right things.

Instead of doing complete individual assessments on every kid, you might want to start with some basic strength testing. You can get predicted maxes on a couple of lifts, maybe max chin ups, get numbers on vertical or broad jump, 40s, shuttles, etc. so you have baseline numbers. You want to be able to document progress, so you need to test them periodically to show that your program is working.

The reality of a high school strength program is that you have to get the biggest “bang for your buck” and hope for as much support from your coaches and parents as possible. Anyone who has coached in both college and high school should understand the differences. I hope this helps. Feel free to forward it to your football coach if you think it will help.”

high school strength program

The strength coach had a talk with his football coach, and talked him down from the ledge. It turns out the football coach is stressed because he feels like his job is on the line, and he wants to make sure the kids are getting stronger. The talk this strength coach had with him reassured the football coach that things are going to be OK and that the program is going to work.

Sometimes, we just have to talk stressed out coaches down so they understand we’re on their team, and we want to win just as badly as they do. A conversation like that can go a long way to establishing a relationship with a sport coach, and I think this high school strength coach has done just that. Once this relationship is established, everyone can work together toward the goal of helping the kids reach their true potential.

Ultimately, that’s what this is all about: Developing a High School Strength Program that really works!

Learn how to become a Certfied High School Strength and Conditioning Coach by Clicking Here.


Drug Testing for High School Athletes


High School Athletes on Steroids?

High School Athletes steroids


Should all high school athletes be subject to mandatory drug tests?


Because they are ‘role models’ for the student body at large and should therefore be held to higher standards with respect to drugs and alcohol…


Because steroid use is potentially dangerous and something that must be lessened in all sports, including the high school level…


Because creatine use is considered ‘unethical’ in amateur sports by many people and users need to be ‘uncovered’…


Your thoughts are critical to me… Please leave them below:


– Brian


Kids Coaching: My Memories – Part One




Kids Coaching teaches us

Blake came to me as a quiet, shy and terribly uncoordinated
8th grader.


13 years old and quite tall for his age, I knew the second I saw
him that I was going to like the kid.


He never said much and certainly had a great deal of difficulty
learning how to perform even the most basic of exercises, but
he was steadfast in his work ethic and always brought a good
energy to the training center.


I learned a lot over the years from kids coaching and from Blake.


Mostly, how to enjoy and appreciate the very small things in life.


His last training session with me was on a humid and sweaty
Chicago-style, August afternoon.


Walking into my facility, I noticed an unfamiliar bounce to his
stride and a larger than usual, ear-to-ear grin on his face.


"What’s goin’ on, my friend" I greeted him.


"Why such a perky smile?"


"Tomorrow, football tryouts start and I’m geared up!" he replied.


I tend to get tunnel vision as the summer months dwindle down.
I have dozens upon dozens of college athletes returning to play
fall sports and even more high school kids phasing up for
football and basketball.


"That’s right! What position you trying out for? You expecting
a ton of playing time, I assume?" I asked.


"Don’t care to be honest. Just looking forward to strapping on a
helmet and being part of a team"


His answer struck something in me that I didn’t quite understand at
the time, but would be overwhelmed with a few short months later.


Fast forward.


Late September, same year.


Blake was attending the same high school that I served as Head
Strength Coach at.


Great bunch of kids all around.


Dedicated, hard working and a Coaching Staff that truly valued the
kid inside the athlete.


And I’ll be honest…


I ADORED Friday nights.


I got to patrol the sidelines.


Home games especially.


There is just something magical about high school football in the cool
autumn air.


So there I was.


Patrolling as usual.


Laid back as I am in my daily life, I get ultra-serious and intense when
it comes to competition.


My own or my athletes.



The Truth About Training High School Athletes




High School Athletes



If you want to see more on high school athletes don’t worry


P.S. – The complete IYCA International Summit DVD’s are coming soon…
VERY soon. The experience was incredible, the atmospehere electric and
the information unbelievable.


Your front row ticket to all of it is coming soon.


Watch for an email announcement over the next week or so…


The Trouble with High School Athletes




High School Athletes Training Programs

Okay… So the ‘trouble’ really isn’t with high school athletes, per say,
it’s with the training programs they’re often forced to use.


And frankly, they don’t know any better.


But then again, neither do many high school Coaches.


Not a targeted shot, just reality.


So here are some of the problems I’ve seen –


1) Train Versus Teach


From Day 1, many incoming high school athletes are asked to ‘perform’.


Using lifts they are often unfamiliar with and receiving little to no
technical instruction, they are often left to their own devices.