All sports carry an inherent risk. As an athlete, parent, or coach this is a factor that must be considered no matter the activity. What is important is how we manage that risk, and that we take steps to mitigate those risks when we have the opportunity. How can we best do this?

One of the largest barriers we run into when coaching athletic performance is helping athletes find the proper level of engagement for their level of commitment. There is no wrong answer, some athletes are more committed than others, some youth are more interested in the experience rather than winning, that is the beauty of youth sports – “participation” is an acceptable level of commitment.

 

As athletes become more involved in their sports, as they transiti...

February 16, 2016

If you know me, you know that I don’t just “like” baseball. I really, truly, love baseball. This is only exemplified by the fact that my dogs Mickey, Roger, and George, are all named after Yankee greats (Mantle, Maris, and Ruth). My love for baseball started when I was young. For me, like so many other kids, baseball was the first organized sport that I participated in. Growing up in an area as rural as Chiloquin, OR, our Babe Ruth League baseball program w...

February 9, 2016

 

In 1990, when Track and Field was probably at its most popular, a young man from Klamath Falls named Dan O’Brien burst onto the national stage by winning the Decathlon at the Goodwill Games. Nearly immediately and from that point forward, Dan O’Brien became one half of the Reebok marketing juggernaut that was “Dan and Dave”.

 

Until 1992, nobody had actually cared about a decathlete since Bruce Jenner. This was primarily because even though the USA had domin...

January 19, 2016

With the season nearing an end, many sports fans have ALREADY started to look toward the upcoming NFL draft. If you follow the NFL, one constant is the pursuit of speed. Though there are many factors that play into making the active roster, a bad 40-yard dash time may influence whether an athlete even gets an opportunity. As little as one-tenth of a second can be the difference between a roster spot with a minimum salary of $435,000 and missing the opportun...

January 21, 2015

Hitting the Sweet Spot

 

The Sweet Spot is the effort zone just below threshold, where you get maximum aerobic benefit with minimum stress on your body, also commonly referred to as the Training Heart Rate (THR). Endurance and interval training within the sweet spot, is the most effective way to increase your ability to train faster, longer and easier. Try to maintain 75-80% percent of your threshold effort. You should be able to talk, but only in short state...

In a conversation with a colleague this week, we discussed the lawsuit recently filed by Mitch Potterf, owner of CrossFit Affiliate Fit Club in Columbus Ohio, against an Ohio State University researcher and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. The discussion closed with the two of us in agreement and my own brand of glib sarcasm “Science? Who needs science? These people are completely in denial … they are the (expletive) Creationists of Fitne...

February 17, 2014

Of interesting note is the argument regarding strength training and stunted growth. In the event of bone or growth plate damage (which is unlikely during strength training if the program is designed correctly), growth can in fact be stunted. But, if proper strength training parameters are utilized then it can often have the opposite effect. Muscle pull (which refers to the tension or ‘tugging’ where the muscle attaches to the bone and is incurred during mus...

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