Training Tips

Victory Sports Performance

In this ongoing series, VSP’s Training Director will share a variety of training tips to help athletes ages 12 and up, in all skill levels and in all sports, physically outlast and out perform their opponents.

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Training Tip

♦ Coordination & Agility

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As a performance coach and professional athlete, I’m perplexed at how little importance and emphasis coaches and parents give to fundamental motor skills based training for our young burgeoning athletes. And yet it’s one of the most important things we can do for them in preparing their bodies (and minds) for the physical rigors of their chosen sport or sports.

“Countless scientific studies have proven that there is a positive interrelationship between neuromuscular motor skill competence (fundamental motor skill / FMS) and muscular strength in youth athletes. Vern Gambetta, considered to be the Founding Father of Functional Sports Training, defines athleticism as ‘executing athletic movements at optimum speed with precision, style, and grace.” 1

A common misconception is that children naturally attain proficient levels of FMS; however, many children do not. The consensus among professionals is that a higher exposure to physical activity provides more opportunities to promote neuromotor development.2

At , athletes as young as eight years old train with us every day. We provide young athletes a fun and encouraging environment in which they can learn proper movement patterns that will set them up for success in the future! Check out the video above to see one example of how we teach quick feet and body control to our youngest athletes!

To learn more, sign your child up for a free trial now. Together, we’ll unleash their full potential!

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1Rick  Howard, MED, CSCS,*D, USAW. Integrative Neuromuscular Training for Youth. National Strength and Conditioning Association.
2Stodden, D, and Goodway, JD. The dynamic association between motor skill development and physical activity. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance 78(8): 33, 2007.”

♦ Post-Game Stretching

As a performance coach and professional athlete, I’m continually baffled by how many athletes push their bodies to the limits in games lasting up to 60 minutes, but DON’T STRETCH OR COOL DOWN AFTER.

Competition naturally brings about reaction, quick changing direction, forceful slamming of feet into the ground for explosiveness. These movements require the muscles to contract, contract, and contract! As you perform contraction after contraction, your muscles are left in a shortened state. If you continually beat down your muscles, practice after practice, game after game, and don’t stretch… the muscles will start to become a liability to themselves and to the tendons and ligaments supporting during the reactive nature of competition. Studies have shown that 70 percent of ACL tears are non-contact. By implementing consistent dynamic warm-up programs and post-game static stretching programs, we will be able to decrease risk of ACL injury by 50-80 percent.

Most people say, “it’s okay, I’ll stretch later!” Victory Sports Performance will help educate athlete’s as to why that mentality is not in their best interest, and what they should be doing pre and post exercise. To learn more, sign up for a free trial now, click here. Together, we’ll unleash your potential!


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♦ Power: Slam Harder

Correct running form will automatically get you faster, and it takes focus and hard work to master. But what happens after your form is perfect? How do you get faster then? It’s simple, FORCE PRODUCTION! Great Running form + Powerful Force Production = one EXPLOSIVE athlete.

At Victory Sports Performance, we are on a non-stop journey to perfect our athletes’ running form. With form comes forceful function, we will emphatically emphasize slamming feet into the ground like you’re killing that spider about to crawl up on you!

There are many ways to increase Force Production and Power! Take a test run with us to learn more, sign up for a free trial now, click here. Together, we’ll unleash your potential!

Exercise: A-MARCH with a Vertical Leap. Pausing at the top of the A-March, on the go, the athlete will slam their foot hard into the ground so their body is projected upward into the air.

There are many more tips and tricks to learn about getting faster! Find out by signing up for a free VSP trial, click HERE. Together, we’ll unleash your potential!

VSP Athlete_Power Running example

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♦ Speed: Agility: Maximum Explosiveness

It’s a simple statement with a whole lot of weight management behind it: Lean the way you want to go.

One of the most admired attributes in the world of athletics and competition is quickness or the ability to change directions explosively! Quickness is so highly valued by coaches because if their athletes can move and react in a multiplanar direction faster than opponents; chances of success are sharply increased!

When it comes to change of direction, the name of the game is body control. Many athletes are thrown off guard when required to change directions on the spot as their body weight continues to go the same way. At Victory Sports Performance, we teach our athletes the importance of being prepared to shift body weight to lean the way you need to get to next!

Exercise: 5 yard cone touch. On the go, the athlete shuffles towards the cone. With the hand closest to the cone, the athlete touches the cone, leaning back towards the start, and sprints back with a controlled stop.

There are many more tips and tricks to learn about changing direction, FAST! Find out by signing up for a free VSP trial, click HERE. Together, we’ll unleash your potential!


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♦ Speed: Maximum Velocity

How can you get faster?! One way to improve your speed when running, at what you may think is your max velocity, is FLEXIBILITY.

One of the key movements during a maximum velocity sprinting leg cycle is “heel to butt”. Watch footage of Jamaica’s two sprinting superstars Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Observe the flexibility of each runner’s quads, the range of motion through which they take each step!

At Victory Sports Performance, we begin and end every workout with intensive flexibility training, making sure our athletes experience optimal range of motion while sprinting! We want them to get fast and have those explosive steps on their opponents. Together, we’ll unleash your potential!

Girls training video pull

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Training Tip

♦ Ankling – Quick Steps Drill

Want to take your game to the next level? Victory Sports Performance shares this quick tip on speed that will change your game with a little training. We all want to get fast and have that first explosive step on our opponent, here is how. The objective of this exercise is to limit time spent on the ground and develop and elastic response in the ankle joint.

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In today’s tip a group of middle school boys demonstrates the Ankling – Quick Steps Drill. Click on the video above to watch.

Beginning with a walk, with each small step taken, step no higher than the top of the opposite ankle. Emphasize the ankles remaining dorsiflexed throughout the drill. The look and the feel is a quick-shuffle action. As the tempo increases, an elastic response in the ankle increases. Arms and legs should be active with the elbows loosely positioned at 90 degrees. The focus is on limiting the time spent on the ground. Athletes should be instructed to listen to their step and try not to make a scuffing noise with their shoes.

Verbal Cues: “toes up,” “quick feet,” “hot ground,” and “fast shuffle.”

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Training Tip

♦ Increase Speed: The “A March”

Want to make the varsity? Make that break out play? Create space to take a great shot or out run an opposing player? Playing smothering defense? Victory Sports Performance shares this quick tip on lower body mechanics, step one to becoming faster and more explosive; taking your game to the next level.

Objective: To improve efficiency of movement and establish the best mechanical position in which to begin the next stride.

Exercise: A March – The toe, heel and knees should come up simultaneously. The calf should have some space from the hamstring and the thigh should be parallel with hip when driving the knee up. The A March is the first progression of the A series we use in our performance training classes at Victory Sports Performance. The march should transition in to a skip and end with a run. In the video we put the medicine ball over head to get the hips forward. I only recommend using the medicine ball when an athlete has mastered the first progressions.

A group of Major League Lacrosse players demonstrates today’s Increase Speed tip. Click on the video below to watch.

Training Tip_The A March

All Victory Sports Performance training classes focus on the right muscle group and technique to improve your speed and quickness.

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» Check back frequently for more Training Tips From VSP.