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Ardor How We Forge Athletes

by Del Jenkins

Ardor Elite Training Academy

ARDOR Elite Training Academy is the premiere training program for New Mexico athletes.   We provide functional Agility, Speed, Strength and Power training for athletes to concentrate on improving an individual’s neuro-muscular system.   ARDOR Elite seeks to partner with coaches in the complete development of the athlete in pursuit of their athletic goals.

Today we are speaking about how to customize a training program and approach that athletes receive in conjunction with their on field practices and also with their school lifting program for sports like football.   When we start to develop sport performance programs for athletes, we first begin by identifying what sport they are doing.  It sounds simple, but I have seen many trainers start workouts without knowing exactly what sport the individual athlete is participating. When it comes to sport specific training, each sport requires a different training approach.  Keeping in mind how they move, what they move and what strength patterns are required.  Next we consider how long they need to do these movement patterns, what if any rest they receive during their games and how long the games are themselves.


Once we know the sport, we need to look specifically at the position they are playing or the events that they are participating in.  Finally, we need to know where they are in their season, and if unfamiliar with the sport and or particular program, we need to find out about that sport and how their coach is training them.  Finally, we need to look at where they are at in their training periodization cycle. Thinking through the periodization cycle of Pre-season, season and post season, is the starting point.  Preseason is a time to build strength and power, but not always mass or size.  During their season, they often need to maintain their strength, but not always.  Some athletes need to work strength during the season to operate at their maximum capacity.  However in those situations the game schedule must be considered as well as their recuperative capacities. Post season is an entirely different approach, where we maintain as much strength as possible, but work different movement patterns as they did during their season.  It is also a great time to heavily emphasize flexibility and core.  While we always work these areas this is a great time to further advance their levels in these two areas.  Once we clarify where they are in their periodization cycle, we move on to what each sport will require of the athlete.   Next we look at what each sport needs most in terms of strength application, use of speed and movement and any supplemental movements like jumping, swinging, throwing, etc. then by taking into consideration traditional weakness in each sport, ie (Back side of legs for distance runners and wrist & elbow issues for tennis, etc. so we can address those issues in their training). Once we address muscle imbalance or overuse issues, we turn our attention to the areas where the most strength or power is required.  For example, sprinters need tremendous leg strength, while swimmers need powerful shoulders and hip strength.  Those areas need special attention in their training program. All along while addressing power and strength, we must address their movement patterns.  Not just any patterns, but those they use most often and in many instances those opposing actions, or those they don’t use as frequently.  The opposing action and cross training approaches, may not show immediate results, but they are often the best approach to avoid injury, so we often need to incorporate both of those. It is a fine balance, but ones we must achieve as trainers and coaches to develop the ultimate athlete.   Once we have addressed sport specific training approaches, and depending of the level of the athlete, we look at position and event specific training approaches for each athlete.   Now we are getting down to the nitty gritty, really specific training for our athletes.  For certain positions in say football, for example we do not train the offensive and defensive lineman, the same as we would the receivers and defensive backs, nor the linebackers and running backs the same as the other two groups.  Why?  Well they do different things on the field.  Their movement patterns are different and their abilities as far as strength and need are also different, so we train them differently here, just like they are coached differently in practice. We want to work the skills and specific usage strength patterns that are used in their sports.  This carries on to event specific training. We would not train a distance swimmer the same as a sprinter or a thrower in track the same as we would a sprinter, you get the idea. With the understanding of which position they are playing or event they are participating in, we have a realization that they are doing different things within their sport. Usually something in a Power &/ or Speed approach, and in some instances other things from an Endurance &/or Relative Speed.  Here is an example; a soccer player sprints for 3 seconds, then jumps, then jogs back and forth for 3 minutes and then sprints for 2 seconds and then kicks with extreme force.  We need to address these issues with their training as well. Hope this insight in how to approach sports performance training helps your athletes in training.   Del Jenkins, Master Trainer Ardor Elite Training Academy  

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