|We Are All Great Athletes|
By Todd Durkin
Todd is the founder of Fitness Quest 10 & Todd Durkin Enterprises in San Diego, CA. He leads a staff of 26 employees, trains over 25 NFL athletes, and motivates companies, teams, and conferences throughout the country.
In many ways, we are all athletes. We want to be challenged, we need feedback and coaching to get to the next level, and we love to feel like we have accomplished our goals. As personal trainers and strength & conditioning coaches, we have the wonderful opportunity to positively influence “athletes” everyday of our lives. Whether our athletes are young athletes or professional athletes or whether they are corporate desk jockeys or normal, everyday people looking to lose weight, get in-shape, and feel great again, we as trainers have the ability to teach, coach, motivate, and inspire these people to greatness in life. Whether your goal is to run faster, become stronger, hit harder, and improve the efficiency of your game or to lose weight, improve posture, and become more flexible, systematically structuring a properly designed sports performance enhancement program is critical to reach success. The purpose of this article is to expose you to the methodology used in many progressive sports performance enhancement programs to improve overall athleticism.
When it comes to programming, there are several areas of emphasis within one’s fitness routine to assist them get to the next level of performance. For all clients, the 7 components I incorporate for all my clients include:
Regardless of one’s level, in some way shape or form, most healthy clients that are looking to improve their performance in life are going to have some dimension of these 7 major areas in their routine. Dependent on their goals, this may dictate as to exactly how much time is spent in each area. But if you were to watch me train a 65 year old healthy senior that is looking to stay fit, improve her tennis game a bit, and have some fun, you can bet your bottom dollar you will see all of these areas represented in a workout.
When it comes to speed, there are different components of speed training to understand. These are:
It is important to understand this because it should affect your choice of drills and way you teach your clients proper form and techniques for each area. Here are a couple key points to each of these areas.Acceleration
In designing a program for speed training and athleticism, let me share a few drills broken down by category for you:Technique Drills
Top End Speed Drills
Change of Direction Drills
These drills will all directly affect your speed, agility, and quickness. They should be worked at least 2-3 times per week. If a client is slow of foot and needs more emphasis on speed and foot work, you want to devote 2 days per week of just speed training and 2 days per week of strength training. If time is a factor and you only see a client two or three days per week, you may want to include SAQ drills as part of your overall program for the day. In this scenario, your SAQ section may only last 15-20 minutes. If you devoted a complete day solely to SAQ and plyometrics, you would spend about 45 minutes on the SAQ section.
By focusing on flexibility of these areas, you will help someone become faster and more flexible. This particular pro football player I was working with improved his 40 yard dash close to .3 of a second in 6 weeks. I attribute this to an improvement of technique, the implementation of plyometrics into his routine, and an emphasis on flexibility. We don’t spend enough time stretching our clients. Personally, all of our clients at Fitness Quest 10 get manually stretched on tables for 10-15 minutes after their programs. The program we incorporate is part of my Optimal Performance Bodywork & Stretching routine. Get your hands on people and be sure to give them a great, thorough stretch when done with their workout. Additionally, provide them with a 10-15 minute stretch routine they can do on their own everyday. Like anything in life, if you want to be great at something, you need to do it more than 2 times per week for 10-15 minutes. If you want to get more flexible, it will take daily effort to see the improvement you hope for. Frequency and consistency is key. By incorporating flexibility though, you will not only feel great and experience more freedom from pain, you will see much improved results in your athletic performance.