As youth sports become more demanding, both of the kids and the parents, I'm providing my expertise as a resource for the highest level of personal training for youth athletes; and helping parents navigate youth athletics.
Over 30 years in athletics as well as raising 3 collegiate scholarship athletes, my dynamic background helps position me as an expert in the health, fitness, and professional industries. I specialize in speed, quickness and jump training for youth athletes.
Along with being a personal trainer in the Bay Area's Silicon Valley, I'm a Premier Health and Wellness Consultant, former Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Francisco 49ers, John Maxwell Certified Teacher, Speaker, and Top High-Performance Coach to business executives and youth athletes.
Testing for Linear Speed with Carl Valle
We’ve all heard the shortest path from A to B is a straight line, but HOW we measure linear speed isn’t as clearly understood. My guest on this episode, Coach and Sport Technologist Carl Valle, has honed his expertise in performance data as well as an understanding for practical application of equipment and software.
In this first of a four-part series with Coach Valle we discuss linear speed and how to most reliably and validly test it. We began first with how we currently measure speed – in America we tend to think in terms of 40-yard dash times, but in other countries it’s generally in meters per second or kilometers per hour. Either way, sport performance testing usually consists of picking an arbitrary distance and measuring the speed to see how fast someone can run.
It’s not quite that simple though because usually the testing protocol itself can be learned and/or taught. For example, take into consideration a laser timer: if an athlete’s initial hand motion crosses the laser before their core body even begins movement, have they started “going” yet? Regardless of the testing protocol, there needs to be just that – a protocol – to ensure consistency and fairness across measurements.
Another facet of testing is the human error side of things (think reaction time to start and stop a timer). Coach Valle states that a human should oversee the testing process, but the testing process should not be dependent on the human. In this regard, a proper testing protocol can help eliminate human bias and error.
An additional expert tip from Coach Valle is that a good sprint test should be long enough to get you peak velocity and precise enough to understand acceleration. We reviewed a few sport specific tests for speed and their respective pluses and minuses.
We finished up the episode with a conversation around the differences and implications of peak velocity versus acceleration. After all his years of experience and expertise, Coach Valle firmly believes peak velocity indicates someone’s trainability capacity and true talent more so than acceleration. Acceleration is far more coachable and trainable, and as such, a good coach can mask a lot of talent issues by coaching acceleration well. When we’re able to raise peak velocity, we’re able to accelerate more efficiently, which in most sports is where majority of time is spent (relative to peak velocity).
Using Force Plates to Measure Performance
Force plate testing allows us to measure ground reaction forces - think running, jumping, stopping, etc. It’s a newer technology for the private industry and high school sports, but here at Carlisle Performance we’re using it to maximally develop speed, quickness and jumping in our young athletes and clients.
As a parent it’s a struggle to watch our children fall short of their athletic goals. And we know it’s unavoidable that there will always be someone bigger, faster, stronger, more explosive or more skilled. But with this force plate technology we’re able to help and it may just give our kids the leg up they need to achieve that next level of success.
Just as medical doctors rely on medical tests to “see inside” and help determine maladies, we use the force plate testing to “see inside” someone’s force production to determine where they may have weakness or improper mechanics. From there we can prescribe proper training to address those weaknesses or faulty mechanics, whether it’s in their force production or force absorption.
Measuring force brings advantages such that the Sacramento Kings use what’s called a force velocity profile to determine how their players produce force – before every game they do a jump test to collect this data. And now that we’re able to measure it, we’re giving our athletes a training advantage. Force wins in sport. Period.
With force plates we’re able to gain information not available to the naked eye. Not only does this help with maximizing sport performance as mentioned above, but we can use it to help determine readiness to return to play after sustaining an injury. When we have consistent measurements, we’re able to compare pre- and post-injury metrics, as well as comparing right to left asymmetries.
Lastly, we’re boosting self-esteem and confidence in training. When athletes know exactly what they need to work on to improve, it gives them direction and therefore confidence when they realize improvements in those areas. They’re able to dunk when they hadn’t previously been able to; they’re able to get that first step off the line to beat their opponent; or they can stop faster to change direction to grab that tough ball that previously would have gotten past them. Seeing improvements in numbers is what gives athletes that extra boost of confidence in their own performance.
Here at Carlisle Performance we’re taking full advantage of this technology and developing force plate programs for our young athletes. We’re seeing all around improvements in performance – speed, quickness and jumping – as well as safer return to training protocols, and increasing confidence in our athletes.
Importance of Routines
As an expert personal trainer for the athletes of Silicon Valley as well as a few Fortune 500 CEOs, I've been lucky to be surrounded by some very successful individuals. In addition to Carlisle Performance Systems here in the Bay Area, I've also trained the highest level sport referees and thousands of collegiate athletes.
Drawing on experience with all of them, I've carefully dissected the routines of the most successful and learned the five areas where they're the most disciplined. Helping your young athlete find healthy routines surrounding these five areas will set them up for success in not only their sport of choice, but also in life.
1. Sleep - growth requires recovery (both body and mind).
2. School - procrastination = STRESS!
3. Nutrition - you can't out-train bad nutrition
4. Preparation - feeding your skill set
5. Competition day - successful pros have this dialed in
The old saying "failing to prepare is preparing to fail" rings true for routines! Failing to establish healthy routines creates unnecessary stressors for your young athletes. My wife is amazing for many reasons, but speaking to this topic, she established a 'no phones after 9pm' rule for our children as part of a healthy evening routine to prepare for bed.
As parents of young athletes we can do wonders for our children's success by helping establish healthy routines in these five areas.
This episode is sponsored by Carlisle Performance Systems, visit coachcarlisle.com for more information.
Parents as High Performance Directors
A high performance coordinator orchestrates the various disciplines that support athletes - strength and conditioning, sports medicine, sports psychology, sports nutrition, sport coach, sport science. It is quickly becoming a critical position across professional and collegiate sport organizations.
As a parent of youth athletes, you serve as your child's high performance coordinator, especially as the demand on young athletes continues to grow. I offer these three tips for improved success as your kid's high performance coordinator:
Prioritize and control the schedule. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Detach emotionally from performance outcomes. Ultimately your #1 goal as a parent of a young athletes is to do what's best for your kid. Thinking of yourself as their high performance coordinator to manage it all will better set you and your child up for successful performance.
This episode is sponsored by Carlisle Performance Systems, visit coachcarlisle.com for more information.
The Five Components of a Successful Fitness Program with Alwyn Cosgrove
If you want to get your biggest bang for your buck in the gym, tune in to Alwyn Cosgrove's five components every workout should consist of to obtain optimal results.
A sought after expert for several of the country’s leading publications including a regular contributor to Men’s Health Magazine.
Born in Scotland and initially exposed to fitness training through an intensely competitive sport martial arts background, Alwyn Cosgrove began reading and studying any training related material he could get his hands on. This led Alwyn to formal academic studies in Sports Performance at West Lothian College and then progressed on to receiving an honors degree in Sports Science from Chester College, the University of Liverpool.
During his career as a fitness coach, Alwyn began with assisting in martial arts lessons in 1986 and teaching fitness classes in 1989, and has studied under all of the top fitness professionals and coaches in the world and has worked with a wide variety of clientele, from general population clientele to several top-level athletes, World Champions, and professionals in a multitude of sports.
A sought after expert for several of the country’s leading publications including a regular contributor to Men’s Health Magazine, Alwyn has co-authored five books in the “New Rules of Lifting” series and currently spends his time consulting on fitness training, training clients, training his staff at Results Fitness, speaking on the fitness lecture circuit, and coaching fitness trainers worldwide in their businesses. For the past 13 years, with his wife Rachel, Alwyn runs Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California – which has been twice named One of America’s Top Gyms by Men’s Health Magazine, a gym which specializes in programs for real-world, busy people and prides itself on “changing the way fitness is done – period!”
The Key Pillars to a Successful Coaching Career with Doc Scheppler
Have you ever wondered how some coaches win consistently, year after year? Doc Scheppler, legendary girls basketball coach at Pinewood High School in Los Altos, Ca shares his valuable insights on how to bring the best out of his players. His teams have won over 600 plus games and he possesses an uncanny ability to make the game fun and create an incredible atmosphere of togetherness. In this episode, Doc shares his daily processes for improvement, his zeal for learning and his unique and proven team building strategies.
Coach Carlisle continues to provide us with relevant content. I’m looking forward to some new material soon!
Great material covered!
Great content! I thoroughly enjoy these podcasts by Coach Carlisle!! He never ceases to drop knowledge bombs! I enjoy listening to the wealth of knowledge from the high level professionals he speaks with. Highly recommended!