Archive for “program” Tag

What Makes a Successful Program – Build a Community

Build a Community to Have a Successful Program

If you want to have amazing success in this industry, it’s all about having the best, most technically sound programming available to you, right?


Take a look at some of the most successful performance training programs. Is each and every single one stellar in their program design, implementation, progressions/regressions, periodization, etc.? Not necessarily.

So what made the program outstanding in developing high performing athletes? It’s quite simple.

It’s all about building a community.

note-881421_640To us, a community is defined as a welcoming, positive training environment that includes supportive coaches and teammates. The community pushes and encourages each other.

Building a community takes effort, that is for sure. But if you have a passion and desire to make your athletes better, you are off to a great start.

I recently had the opportunity to watch IYCA contributors Adam Feit and Bobby Smith present at a clinic. They own an athlete-based training facility in New Jersey, and their energy was incredible – they engaged every athlete/coach in attendance. It didn’t matter if you were participating in the demos or not.

Think back to when you were an athlete and had a coach. Did the ones who spoke to you in monotone and went through the motions make an impact on you? Or was it the ones who engaged with you, high-fived you, and injected energy into the practices or training sessions? My guess is the coach with energy had a much greater impact on you.

Pro Tip: When you can inject YOUR energy into the athlete’s training sessions, they recognize it. They will FEED off of it! That energy starts to resonate, creating a culture that is palpable. Athletes will be excited to train, won’t want to leave, and you will have to tell them when to stop more often than you will have to push them to go!

Once you have that enthusiasm for training, you can build a community.

Here Are 3 Simple Tips to Build a Better Community in Your Program

Tip #1: Swag Up!

Athletes love to wear gear from their teams and places where they train, so give it to them! We just integrated a new process where our athletes advance through a tier system.

Each time they go through our performance testing, they have an opportunity to achieve a new level. Each level has a colored shirt they receive after achieving said level. When they go to school, they sport their swag and brag to their other friends, while also showing it off to athletes we may not train yet.

It’s like we sponsored a race car driver or golfer. They wear our gear that they earned, and when they dominate in their sport, everyone knows why.

Tip #2: Watch Them Play!

This is no joke. Every time I have gone to a game to watch one or more of our athletes, they exclaim, “Wow, that’s really cool you came out to watch. No one has ever done that before.”

We are all busy, I understand. I am no exception to being busy. I do not make every single game for all of my athletes. But I make a concerted effort to catch one, maybe two games a season, particularly big rivalry games or important ones.

Plus, seeing them play helps you as a coach. You can see what things carried over to the sport and what things broke down for your athlete that can be focal points in upcoming training blocks.

Afterwards, you have something to chat with the athlete about and connect with them on a deeper level. Remember, you are a COACH, not a trainer.

Tip #3: Create a Performance Team!

The best athletes in the world have a team of people helping them out. You can do the same for your athlete.

The team may consist of:

  • Parent(s)
  • Coaches
  • Health Practitioners (includes ATs)
  • Athlete

Don’t hesitate to reach out to parents if you feel athletes drifting and lacking focus in the gym. And, ALWAYS let parents know when their athlete has done something particularly outstanding.

Sport coaches can be difficult at times. They think you are trying to steal their athletes. It’s your job to reach out the olive branch and let them know it is your objective to make the athlete better for their sport.

In the very least, ask the coach what things they see need work, and then revisit after some training to see if the coach has seen improvement. If possible, take them out for coffee and have an actual conversation with them so they see you as part of the team, not enemy #1.

Healthcare practitioners and ATs need to have a great relationship with you, your athlete, the athlete’s coaches, and their parents. Befriend them and refer as often as you can. They help keep your athlete training with you and with the team, helping them perform better. They also save your butt from time to time when an athlete presents with something out of your scope of practice.

When you add a solid relationship with your athlete, you have a top tier team, and a community for your athlete to thrive!

Creating a Community Starts With You

Once you have a culture of excellence and engagement from your athletes, making them earn some swag, attending their games, and creating a performance team will have a profound effect on the community, and thus, the success of your program.

Want to read more from Coach Jared? Check out his last blog on Standardization.

ADAPT and Conquer,
Coach Jared

Looking for ways to inject a little fun into your programs and keep your athletes engaged?  Check out the IYCA’s Game Play Performance program created by Dave Jack and Dave Gleason.

About the Author: Jared Markiewicz

JarredJared is founder of Functional Integrated Training (F.I.T.). F.I.T. is a performance-based training facility located in Madison, WI. They specialize in training athletes of all levels: everyday adults, competitive adults and youth ages 5-20+.

The long-term vision for F.I.T. is recognition as the training facility for those desiring to compete at the collegiate level in the state of Wisconsin. Alongside that, to also develop a platform to educate those in our industry looking to make strides towards improving the future for our young athletes.

Find out more about Jared’s gym by visiting F.I.T.




Identify the Goal of a Training Program

By Wil Fleming


Know the goal of your program

Knowing the starting point of a training program is only part of the equation. A clear goal of a training program you are designing must be laid out. If we go back to our marathon metaphor, the finish line must be clearly marked. If no finish line is marked you may not run the entire distance, or you and your athlete might cruise right by the finish line without ever stopping to look at your time and results.

Defining the goal of a training program means that you now have something to work towards. Many athletes step into your facility with a clear goal in mind:

“Play college football” 

“Get a Division I softball scholarship”

“Start for the varsity volleyball team” 

“Make the travel basketball team”

Goal of a training program

It is your job to take this information and turn it into a quantifiable training goal.

Would improving speed in a 40 yard dash help that athlete “play college football?” Would gaining lean muscle mass help the young athlete “make the travel basketball team?” If the answer is yes then you have a clear training goal in front of you.

It is important to help your athletes set “point B” goals. While their goals are often clear as day to them, these goals can sometimes be “point Z” goals.

A prime example is an athlete that I have been working with recently. Jeremy is an outstanding young soccer player, by far the best on his local travel team. Jeremy is only 14 years old but his singular goal is to make the United States men’s national team, a team that rarely ever selects athletes under the age of 20 for their roster and most athletes on the team do not see a lot of action until their mid-20’s. For Jeremy this is a simple point B goal, but in reality this is a point Z goal. There will be too many steps along the way for this goal to happen quickly. With young Jeremy it has become important to set point B goals.

His first point B goal was to move up from the best local travel team, to the best travel team in the state. We decided that improving upon his speed and quickness was a great way to take him to this level. Once this was accomplished his next point B goal was to get invited to youth national team tryouts, to accomplish this his training point B became increasing his lean muscle mass to compete with larger players in the midfield. For this athlete the ability to help set point B goals have allowed him to make consistent progress towards a goal.

Once an accurate starting point is assessed determine the goal of the program, and remember that sometimes it is your job as a coach to help the athlete find where their point B is on the way to point Z.