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Orleans Athletics

Your Sport Specific Training is [email protected]

John Twirt and Matt Clod were two young hockey players with dreams of playing pro.

Their parents supported their desires with year-long hockey programs, along with the endless ice time and hockey camps, one after another.

Everything was going fine until they reached a certain level of play.  Their troubles began in PeeWee where they were constantly getting hurt from minor injuries and they were gassed after practice.  One of their coaches, Sean Notsofar noticed their skills needed some work and recommended sport specific training.
Curious to learn more about sport specific training and how it could be of help, they and their parents sought the help of their local gym. Their parents were a little nervous about the boys’ new endeavor, but upon entering into the facility they were greeted with warm words from the owner, Big Hos.

“Hey folks, how’s it going?” Hos said.

“Great, we’re here to see if you guys have a sports specific program for our boys?” John and Matt’s parents said.

Big Hos looked at the two boys and said, “Sure thing, we have Skie over here with his other young athletes warming up, he’ll hook you up.” Big Hos pointed toward the far wall with a group of young athletes hoisting heavy weights overhead effortlessly.  “Skie, got some clients for you,” Big Hos yelled.

Skie was an Army veteran who had served oversees in a variety of different positions and had a passion for helping young athletes get better at sports and lifting heavy weights.  He jogged quickly over to the group of boys and parents.

“Hey, how’s it going?  What can I help you with?” Skie asked.

“Well, we’re looking for a “sports specific program” for our two boys here, this is Matt and John,” one of the parents said pointing to the two boys in sequence.

“Oh, I see,” Skie said.  “What do you two boys want to do?”

“Well, we’re playing hockey,” John said.  “And our coach said that we should start doing some sport specific training to help improve on the ice.”

“Yeah, we want to go pro someday,” Matt said, puffing out his chest.

“Oh well that’s awesome.  And yes, your coach is definitely right,” Skie said.  “Training with weights and conditioning methods is a sure fire way to help out in your sporting endeavors.  Let me ask you a question though…how old are you?”

“I’m 14,” Matt said.

“And I’m 15,” John said.

“Okay, perfect, you’re at a great age to start lifting and gaining strength,” Skie said.  “How do you guys feel about barbell training?”

“Never really done any of that before,” Matt said.  “It looks cool, but isn’t it dangerous?”

“No, not necessarily.  In fact, lifting is safer than playing sports as long as you’re supervised and taught to do the lifts correctly,” Skie said, turning more to the parents.  “I know what you’re thinking.  How can lifting heavy weights be safer than playing sports?  Well, let me tell you sport has a lot of different demands upon the body –high velocity impacts, jumps, sprints, changes in direction, collisions, you get the drill.  Young athletes these days are thrown into these high impact sports without any training and it often winds up in injuries that could have been easily avoided.”

“Really?” a parent said.  “We just played sports when we were younger and ended up fine.”

“Sure, some people do fine when they just play, but if you’re going to be competitive that requires a lot more training and preparation than your average everyday play.  And even a small amount of training would help improve anyone’s physical abilities for sports,” Skie remarked.  “We just didn’t know what we didn’t know back then.”

“Okay, so how do we get started,” John’s dad asked.

“Well, we generally start off with an assessment to see where you’re boys are at currently in their physical abilities.  Then we can train for those specific requirements that the boys need.  They’re still fairly young so they’re going to want to get a good deal of GPP or General Physical Preparedness,” Skie said.

“Okay,” Matt’s dad said a bit confused.  “What’s GPP?”

“Well, here’s the deal.  Young athletes nowadays are thrown into a particular sport that they favor and that’s all they do.  This is often a mistake at this young age.  The boys are still developing and forming new skills and ability all the time when they’re growing.  The problem with having them only do one sport ALL THE TIME is that they don’t get a chance to develop those new skills.  GPP is basically the sum of all the basic fundamental things that humans can do.  Things like running, jumping, agility, coordination, strength, endurance, stamina, and all those traits that we gain as we mature and age.  These abilities sometimes come about naturally, yes, but for most they have to be trained in order to be enhanced for sport,” Skie finished his little ramble and then turned to yell something at his other athletes finishing their Olympic lifts.

“Okay, that makes sense,” John said.  “I guess we were just so enthusiastic about the boys hockey that we may have skipped over that detail.”  “We were under the impression that playing the sport was better for developing that sport than anything else.”

“That’s a great point,” Skie said.  “And in some cases yes, that’s really the necessary evil when you get to a certain stage of development.”  “Once you’ve matured and developed all of your necessary talents and skills you can simply play a sport and fine tune it entirely.  In fact the terminology sport specific training is taken completely the wrong way.  The only real way to get sport specific training is playing and practicing for that particular sport.”

“Okay, now I’m confused,” Matt’s dad said.  The boys looked equally confused.

“Yeah, didn’t you say you had a sport specific training program here,” John said.

“Well, we do, but I’m just saying that sport specific training is mainly done in practice or on the ice,” Skie said, “the training we do here is designed to help improve those primary abilities that you need for enhanced play.”

More confused stares.

“Maybe I’m not defining this correctly, the training that you get here in the gym is going to develop your GPP and focused abilities.  It’s going to make you stronger, better conditioned, increase your toughness and help give you that mental edge you need in competition.  The type of sport specific workouts that we do are very closely related to whatever skills you’ll need on the ice or field, but they are all encompassing.  You essentially become a better athlete because you’re more physically prepared to perform.”

“Okay, that makes a little more sense,” Matt’s dad said.  “You’re basically saying what Coach Notsofar was implying was the boys need more physical stamina and strength to be able to play better?  Not necessarily skills for hockey.”

“Yes, something like that,” Skie said.  “The boys are probably just under performing because they’re weaker and not conditioned to play at a high level.  The only way you get that is through training with the basics and enhancing the GPP.”

Nods of understanding finally.

“Don’t get confused by the word – sport specific – as it doesn’t mean what you might think,” Skie said.  “Look at it like training to get bigger, stronger, fitter, tougher and essentially more awesome!”  “From there you can take on anything and get good at playing whatever sport you like, whether it’s hockey, football, soccer or even badminton.  Training makes a huge difference in any sport.”

“Got it,” Matt and John both said.  “So where do we sign up?”

“Right over here,” Skie motioned the boys and their parents back to the front counter.  “We’ll get you guys an assessment to know what we really need to work on and then we’ll focus on getting your movements correctly.  You’ll be out playing everyone in no time!  But remember, don’t forget to focus on other sports too.  You guys can often take some time off from hockey and play other sports to develop new skills that will make you a more well-rounded athlete.  And getting stronger and fitter will play a huge role in helping get you there.”

“Awesome, can we come in tomorrow?” both boys asked.  Their parents nodded approvingly while they started filling out paperwork.

And Matt and John started their journey into weight training and conditioning.


-CPT SMASH –Remember sports specific training doesn’t mean that the training is any different from sport to sport.  Certainly there are small (SMALL) differences in sports, but most of those come at very high levels of play and performances.  To get better at sports you have to first increase your overall abilities, strengths, and build up potential weaknesses to get better for sports.  That’s sport specific training.

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