Archive for “Niche” Tag

Eric Cressey on Finding Your Niche

Eric Cressey is at the top of the baseball training world.  His company Cressey Performance has become synonymous with high-level baseball training, but it didn’t start out that way.  Early in Eric’s career, he was simply learning about anatomy, physiology and how to train.  Eventually, he had the opportunity to work with baseball players, and over time, he realized that this was his niche.  He loved it.  He was great at it.  And, it was a good market for him.

At this point in his career, and in the grand scheme of the industry, he feels like developing a niche is necessary for long-term success.  “you’re going see more examples of people specializing.  For example Jim Kielbaso is working with football guys, Mike Boyle is working with hockey, Mike Robertson is working with soccer – that’s the direction I see this going” said Cressey in a recent interview.

“With that said, it’s really, really hard to force these things because there are a lot of things you have to realize. You have to realize it’s important to beeric-cressey-3 passionate about something beyond just monetary gains. As an example, I did a little bit of NBA combine prep towards the end of my U-Conn experience, so I had some time in it.  When I got into the baseball world, what basically happens is you’re swamped from the second week in September all the way up until the first week in March. And then you have six weeks to gather your thoughts before you start going with your summer guys.  It’s a tough schedule.  So I’ve had some agents who represent baseball players as well as basketball players and football guys, and they’ve asked me if I’d be interested in doing NBA combine or NFL combine prep.  While it sounds great, that would be walking away from the four weeks of quiet that I get each year. You have to be passionate about it but you have to be passionate about it beyond just monetary gains because if I try to be everything to everybody, it doesn’t work. Our baseball guys appreciate us even more because they don’t see a bunch of 350 pound offensive linemen walking around, and I don’t look like a guy who’s going to play linebacker in the NFL, so you have to be able to want it for more than just money.”

That’s advice anyone in the training world can listen to, because sustaining passion is hard work.  It takes something deep inside to keep going day after day, even when things are perfect.

“You can’t be a 110% on everything. Nobody can read all the journal articles on something like pitching injuries and everything that goes into that, and also know everything about the NFL or the NHL or youth training. I think you have to find something you really like and you’re also really good at. For example,  shoulders and elbows can be really, really complex. I’m a very good shoulder and elbow guy. I’m terrible when it comes to foot and ankle. I probably wouldn’t be a good foot and ankle physical therapist. So, you have to be able to acquire the information easily to really take over a niche.”

Eric also realizes that there’s more to things that just “wanting it” or being good at something.

“It also has to be substantial or sustainable. You’re probably not going have an incredible hockey development program in Mexico, you know? People have to realize that as well. That was something that we wrestled with for a long time.  We weren’t sure if we could build this baseball training mecca in Hudson, Massachusetts. We didn’t really know whether that’d be possible. We had to test the waters.  Eventually, high school guys became college guys, and college guys became pro guys, and then we ultimately decided we could expand our reach by opening another facility in Florida. Your business model has to be able to accommodate whatever you’re trying to do.”

You also have to make the environment friendly to the group you’re trying to attract.  One step into Cressey Performance and you know it’s all about baseball.

eric-cressey-facility“It’s hard to really grow a specific niche if you can’t outfit your facility to accommodate it. When you walk in our facility in Massachusetts, we’ve got two big tunnels for pitching and throwing and now doing video, and stuff like that makes a big difference. If we didn’t have that it would be harder to cater to baseball players.”

There’s also something to be said for being the first at anything.

“It’s also really hard if you’re not one of the first to market. We were probably the first people to be really specific in baseball strength and conditioning. We effectively bridge the gap between rehab and high performance. That’s what you need for baseball and we did it first in our area, so it’s really hard to compete with us if someone wants us to come to Massachusetts and start training baseball players.  It’s a challenge because we’re very well-connected in that area.  If you have an elbow issue we can get you in with an elbow specialist that afternoon. We know who the best physical therapists are. You know we can get guys passes at Fenway before a Red Sox game.  We can deliver a quality experience that goes with the expertise, and while they’re here, chances are they’re rubbing elbow with other big league baseball player in the office. So, from a business standpoint, it’s very, very hard to compete with us in the baseball niche because we were one of the first to market, and we’ve really worked hard to stay on top of things and really nurture that presence nationwide.”HSSC

Eric is a co-author of the IYCA High School Strength & Conditioning Certification – the only certification focused specifically on training high school aged athletes.  Read another article by Eric Cressey on Youth Training.

Fitness Training For Youth: What More Do You Need To Hear ?

 

 

Fitness Training For Youth Is Booming

 

Short and to the point.

 

I may even say something that offends you.

 

But in the end, trust me when I say you need to hear this…

 

You don’t make enough money.

 

You simply don’t earn what you’re worth.

 

That’s not a matter of greed or indulgence.

 

It’s just a fact.

 

The fitness training for youth and youth sport training niche is the fastest growing
portion of our entire industry.

 

Worth more than $4 billion annually in the United States alone.

 

Parents are willing to pay top dollar for Personal Trainers who
can rid their children of excess body weight.

 

Parents are happy to shell out thousands to qualified Performance
Coaches in order to improve their child’s athletic ability.

 

And yet there you sit.

 

Wondering why you’re still working from 5am – 8pm as a Fitness
Professional, training unmotivated and unhappy adults.

 

Jealous as you read the stories of other professionals who
have found the fitness training for youth ‘system’ to success and are now working
less hours for more money.

 

Concerned if all your effort and passion for this industry is
ever going to be enough and finally provide the career you
so desperately want… and need.

 

All religious aspects of this story aside, I’m sure you’ve heard
this tale before –

 

A town was flooding and its citizens were evacuating with
great haste.

 

One man decided not to.

 

He opted to stay in his home and wait for God’s help.

 

As the water rose, he was forced to climb on top of his roof.

 

While there, another man in a row boat came by.

 

"The town is flooding. Here, get in my row boat and I’ll take
you to safety."

 

"No thanks" said the man. "God will help me. I am waiting
for Him."

 

A few minutes later, an emergency craft sailed by.

 

"The town is flooding" the officer said. "Let us throw you a
line and we can take you to safety".

 

"No thanks" said the man. "God will help me. I am waiting
for Him."

 

Several minutes later a helicopter flew by and paused over
the man’s house.

 

From the speaker, the pilot called down.

 

"The town is flooding. Let me cast down a rope for you. I
will fly you to safety."

 

"No thanks" said the man. "God will help me. I am waiting
for Him."

 

Not too long after that, the man drowned.

 

When he arrived in Heaven, he said to God, "I believed in
you. Why didn’t you save me?"

 

God answered.

 

"I sent you a row boat, an emergency ship and a helicopter.
What more do you want from me?"

 

You don’t earn the living you deserve.

 

You don’t have the career you want.

 

And yet the youth niche is flourishing.

 

You need new information, a fresh perspective and exact
blueprints of success from some of the most successful Fitness Training For Youth
professionals in this industry.

 

I write you emails.

 

I tell you what you’re going to be missing by not coming to
the IYCA International Summit in February.

 

More than 150 other professionals from all over the world
have already registered.

 

What more do you need to hear?

 

– Brian

 

 

P.S. – Click on the link below to register for my International Summit now –

 

https://www.iyca.org/2009summit

 

 

Youth Fitness: Are You Making a Huge Mistake?

 

 

Youth Fitness Industry Is Booming

Sometimes the signs all lead in the same direction –
Does that make sense?

 

The Youth Fitness and Sport Training niche is the fastest
growing in our entire industry.

 

Entrepreneur Magazine has cited this specific demographic
to be one of the most lucrative and expanding markets in the
world.

 

From private practice and franchising to government agencies
and consulting, the opportunities within this niche are
absolutely endless.

 

Very few professionals actually specialize in the area of
Youth Fitness or Sport Training making your ability to
become a local or worldwide leader all-but guaranteed.

 

That takes care of the whole ‘supply and demand’ equation
related to business success.

 

But there are ‘X Factors’.

 

Other realities that make taking the ‘Level 1 – Youth
Fitness
Specialist’ certification more than worthwhile
for you.

 

Any educational pursuit you take should have cross-over.

 

Even if the course is ‘niche-specific’, it should still
carry with it valuable information that you can use in
all facets of your business and career.

 

Check out this email I received earlier today from a
newly certified Youth Fitness Specialist –

 

"I loved your course. My whole training staff has gone
through the program and I can say unequivocally that
this is the best training tool we have EVER used – and
we don’t even focus on youth"

 

They don’t even focus on youth.

 

And still say it was the best course they ever experienced.

 

How many other certification courses offer that kind
of educational cross-over?

 

‘Coordination Development’ and the functionality of
training balance, kinesthetic differentiation and
movement adequacy has application with kids, young athletes,
senior citizens and everyone in between.

 

Our ‘Coaching and Communication’ material is absolutely
indispensible for understanding how to best inspire and
teach clients of any age or ability.

 

Our ‘Programming’ portion shows you how to create
progressive training routines that cycle through intensity
and loading parameters guaranteed to keep your clients
ascending without concern of over-training or burnout.

 

Who isn’t that applicable to?

 

And as you found out yesterday, the Level 1 course
is soon to be re-priced in order to betterreflect the high
quality of information it provides.

 

And your reasons for not thinking the youth fitness course worthwhile
are starting to seriously dwindle.

 

Here’s your exclusive link –

 

www.iyca.org/fitspecialist1

 

‘Till next time,

Brian

 

Peaking for Young Athletes?

Peaking for Young Athletes. Should we do it?

 

At a seminar I presented this past weekend in Canada,
I opened my day-long presentation with an introduction
filled with passionate and thought provoking insight into
the Art of Coaching, the need to TEACH and the necessity
we have as an industry to steer the youth conditioning niche
a different direction such as Peaking for Young Athletes – specifically, to stop creating short-term
training programs within which biomotor improvement
(speed, strength, flexibility etc) is at the top of the priority
list and in lieu of developmentally sound sequences and
adequate instructional time.

 

Although largely well received, one attendee asked an
interesting question during this particular portion of the seminar:

 

‘I understand that you think we should teach more and train
less, but then how am I supposed to have my athletes peak
for the big competitions at the end of the year?’

 

Excellent question… and one of the largest concerns in our
industry!

 

Let’s go through this step-by-step:

 

Vernacular-Crazy

 

We have all read textbooks from heralded scholars and
have learned to pontificate words such as ‘peak’ and ‘periodization’.
The problem is that we have become comfortable with their
theories and have forgotten that their application is next to impossible.

 

Peaking for Young Athletes for a competition is an in-depth and systematic
process that is too involved for this article. It requires a constant
and dynamic approach to programming and necessitates that the
trainer or coach looking for this ‘peak’ have an innate understanding
of all the physiological processes that go into such an engrossed practice.

 

More over, it requires the trainer or coach to have control
over these physiological considerations – and that is simply
not possible in today’s youth sports society.

 

For instance, proper ‘peaking’ is based on nutrition, sleep,
emotional/mental stress IN ADDITION to proper training
application.

 

Not only can we not control these factors in young athletes,
most trainers and coaches who preach about such methodologies
don’t even consider the aforementioned extraneous factors
in there ‘peaking’ procedures.

 

The coach who posed this question (who for the record was
intelligent, energetic and clearly passionate) mentioned that in
an effort to ‘peak’, he would add and take away exercise stimulus
from his athletes’ training programs during the course of a season
in accordance with standard ‘peaking’ protocol.

 

Again, the problem is that multiple interactive concerns associated
with over stress (and therefore Cortisol secretion – which is
terribly catabolic and renders an organism virtually unable to get
any stronger or faster) and over training are issues that must be
factored into any training procedure that is focused on:

Peaking for Young Athletes Case Study. 

A young athlete wakes up at the crack of dawn and heads to school…

 

They sit in class all day and consume next to nothing in the way of food…

 

After school they have soccer practice for 75 minutes…

 

They come to your training session and workout for 60 minute –
because they are trying to ‘peak’ for the final track meet of the
season…

 

They come home, and eat a nutritionally devoid dinner…

 

They spend 2 – 4 hours on homework…

 

Watch 1 – 2 hours of TV…

 

They are in bed by midnight, having to wake up at 6am the
next morning to start it all over again.

 

Just think about common sense for a second… is this the kind
of organism that can be physically manipulated to ‘peak’ at
the right time???

 

Concepts such as Peaking for Young Athletes and periodization were designed for
elite level athletes who enjoyed little to know extraneous stress
outside of their sports and were often pharmaceutically
enhanced (use your imagination!).

 

These theories were never intended to be used on children
and average everyday adolescent kids.

 

The sooner we realize that our role as trainers and coaches
should be focused on enhancing self-efficacy, decreasing injury
potential and providing just enough of the right kind of stimulus
to aid in the body’s natural developmental processes, the better
off we are going to be.

 

Put down the big words and high-end theories…

 

… Think common sense.