Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Training to Be a Winner

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Whether new to a sport or striving to become the star player, getting there takes team work. The Center’s Sports Performance Program helps athletes play their best …

Warm up, teens, picEvery athlete is important and unique. Each brings his/her strengths to the game or event. When those strengths combine, a team is a powerhouse with an impressive win record. Yet, every team is only as strong as its weakest link, and every player has room to grow. By focusing on the challenges of the individual, the team as a whole improves. A stronger athlete is born. A healthier person evolves.

The Sports Performance Program provides advanced training methodologies taught by top athletes and trainers in the field. The Program is offered to individuals and entire teams to create a powerful unit, one athlete at a time. A sport-specific “game plan” is developed, through which experts navigate athletes to become their best.

The Center’s medical affiliation provides peace-of-mind for athletes and their coaches, teammates, and loved ones. Goals are pursued confidently in this safe environment while being overseen by specialized trainers and exercise physiologists.

Complement Your Training

Take your training to new heights.
Take your training to new heights.

To advance to the next level of performance, often one must advance to the next level of training. This includes incorporating fresh view points and techniques. Time with an additional professional coach helps refine skills and expand insight. It can accelerate progress now and in the athlete’s future. Learn different approaches to play more effectively, and ensure proper rest and recovery.

With the athlete’s time constraints, additional training may seem impossible to manage. Quality is key. By adding the right combination of fitness and skill-building to your current routine, sessions become more efficient. For part-time athletes, meaning those who have other professions or academics, this quality-over-quantity approach effectively progresses the individual and the team. Get straight to the core of your team– its players. Optimize strengths and overcome weaknesses.

Take a Holistic Approach

Sports Psychology. Your body can be a powerful machine, trained to excel with every movement. Before it can execute these techniques, the brain must give direction. The Sports Performance Program nurtures the team and its members with the option of a behavioral health component. Sports psychology counseling builds brain power to enhance how commands are delivered. The outcome has a strong impact on performance.

Learn to eliminate distractions, be a more responsible teammate, strengthen focus, and feed your body the positive messages it deserves. You train hard and play hard. Be your biggest cheerleader and go further.

Nutrition. Whether you are a growing or adult athlete, dietary needs are essential to successful performance. A simple meal can be the different between endurance and lack of stamina. Daily activities are affected, including training, practicing, work, and sleep.

A dietician helps choose foods to energize and improve muscle-building efforts. Proper nutrition varies depending on age, size, and even sport. A runner’s carb count is different from that of a bodybuilder, for example. A bodybuilder may have different protein requirements. Timing is also relevant. A nutritionist can advise the best time to consume nutrients based on your workouts and schedule.

Participation in the Sports Performance Program provides this insight so you can use food for fuel. Power up your workout and satisfy those cravings!

Therapeutic massage. Also available through the Program, athletes can reward a body that works relentlessly with massage. Muscles can heal from everyday tears and strains more quickly. Skills can be learned more easily, without having to adapt to kinks and fatigue common in the driven athlete’s body.

Take advantage of all aspects of this Program and continuously progress to your new personal best.

Skyler Oates: A Young Athlete with a Plan

You may know Skyler Oates as the daughter of  three-time Super Bowl Champion Bart Oates. However, the Center knows her as a field hockey powerhouse. Skyler joined the Center’s Sports Performance Program in August 2014. She had about one month to advance her talents to the collegiate level before leaving for her freshman year at Kutztown University.

Skyler takes to the field at Kutztown University.
Skyler takes to the field at Kutztown University.

“Skyler is a natural athlete. Her goal was to train at the collegiate level so she would be ready to play field hockey at the start of her college career,” informed DeRick O’Connell, Director of Sports Performance. She worked directly with DeRick, whose own background includes an impressive list of coaching accomplishments, including professional and Olympic athletes.

The Program typically is available in 8, 16, or 24 sessions. Skyler trained three times weekly, at about two hours per session, for only five weeks. Despite the time-crunch, she finished strong.  With that intensity, she jokes, her favorite part of the Center is the spa pool and sauna room accommodations, which help revive her tired muscles.

Although Skyler played field hockey since fourth grade, along with a variety of other sports, she still benefited from taking her training “outside the box.” She admits being less intimidated going into her first collegiate season. Skyler worked to enter college as an achieved athlete, and emerged as such.

“Now, my fitness level is where I need it so I can focus on improving specific hockey skills and advancing my academic career,” Skyler says confidently. She is enjoying the results of her performance training, with the energy and healthy habits every student needs to excel in school.

When asked what inspired her to participate in the Center’s Program, she admitted it was Bart’s influence. “My Dad assured me I would get results. I did, and in a short time. I’m stronger, faster, and more agile now.”

Skyler often works out with her Dad, a workout of true quality time. Skyler admits, “He still kicks my butt.” Warning to Dad: She intends to join the Program again during semester breaks.

We are all part of something bigger– a team, family, classroom, corporation, the universe. Don’t train part of yourself. Train your whole self. Your success is part of that bigger picture.

It is never too late to become the athlete you idolized.

For more information about the Center’s Sports Performance Program, please contact DeRick O’Connell at dericko@fitnessandwellness.org. Take advantage as an individual, or with your team at a ratio of one fitness professional for every 12 of your team members. Become your healthiest and excel as an athlete.

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