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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Athletic Development

The hockey season is finally upon us.  The demands on schedule are just starting to ramp up; weekend hockey games, practices, extra-cirricular activities, school work, and travel will all be part and parcel of the process we call hockey season.  In addition to these hectic demands, there are also scheduled strength and conditioning sessions.  The purpose of this article is to educate the reader/parent on the unique demands placed upon the hockey player during the course of the season and how the strength and conditioning staff serves to aid on-ice performance during this time.  

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It’s that time of year again at DSC.  Another long, grinding summer of action packed, electrically charged energy in the weight room.  A time for PR’s, sweat equity, discipline, dedication and a one-day better mentality!  It’s also time for a brand new group of interns to begin their quest in the strength and conditioning field in hopes of gaining valuable hands-on experience and one day becoming a practitioner.   This will be the seventh year since the inception of our internship program at DSC.  The truth is, all interns want to learn, but what they need the most has nothing to do with strength and conditioning methodologies, exercise science, or set/rep schemes, and everything to do with people skills and accountability.   

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The sport of hockey is extremely demanding.  Players reaching speeds of up to 30mph is the equivalent of hundreds of small car crashes occurring throughout the course of a 7-8 month season.  Physiological, psychological and mechanical stressors mount during this time.  It is during this period that the strength and conditioning practitioner faces a major challenge; the law of competing demands; In other words, how to balance stress so that players performs optimally when it matters most on the ice.  This job changes during the off-season when the major stressors of competition are removed.  The off-season, although often limited in time, is paramount in terms of physical preparation and the application of additional stressors that may not be appropriate during the period of intense competition. 

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“Most of the problems that exist in youth sports result from the inappropriate application of the win-oriented model of professional or elite sport to the child’s sports setting (R.E. Smith 1984).”

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It’s about that time of year again!  A time where youth athletes’ are finishing up their competitive seasons and looking forward to the summer.  It’s also a time when parents are looking at enlisting the service of a “personal trainer” or strength coach to aid in the athletic development of their children.  This is a big decision for a parent that warrants a little homework.  After all you wouldn’t give your hard earned money to an investment banker without knowing their background, philosophy and practical experience.   The same can be said for physical conditioning.  Health is the most important investment of all, and to place it in the hands of a competent Coach takes a little investigating.   Below are three pitfalls to avoid when choosing where you’re son or daughter will train this summer.

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Posted by on in Programming

Advanced Periodization & Team Sports

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Posted by on in Youth Strength & Conditioning

Everything comes at a price!  Everything!  The question is: are you willing to pay the cost?  I call it rent, but you can call it mortgage, time, sacrifice, sweat equity, or today’s price for tomorrow’s return!  Success is rented!  That’s right…RENTED!  It’s not guaranteed, promised, or contractually obligated.  There is no allowance, no severance package or golden parachute clause.  Dad can’t pay for it, Mom can’t wish it, and you can’t taste it unless YOU pay the price.  Payment is due EVERY DAY, not at the end of the month.  You can pay rent in weight room hours, film, making good off-ice/field choices, being coachable, a respectable teammate and performing in the face of competition. If you don’t CONSISTENTLY work, you can’t afford to pay the rent.  If you can’t afford to pay the rent things get taken from you.  Houses, cars, businesses, relationships, contracts, material possession and SUCCESS! 

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In school we do what we are taught, in the real world…we do what works.  Today there are countless resources at the disposal of the strength and conditioning practitioner.  Books, DVD’s, lecture series, podcasts and programming manuals all designed with the coach in mind.  Through countless hours of education and enough coffee to kill a small farm animal I have found that many times the real world can be the best teacher of all.  You can have all the scientific reasoning, research and peer reviewed literature behind your program, but if you don’t have the time, resources and athletes’ to carry out your plan, your results will be dead in the water.  Through trail and error, here are three lessons the real word has exposed to me with regards to program design that cannot be found in the pages of a book. 

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Posted by on in Programming

We have had the unique experience of training multiple populations at DSC.  Although hockey is our niche, we have had the opportunity to train a diverse number of field sport athletes, motor sport athletes, and most recently Olympic caliber freestyle wrestlers.  Our goal for all populations, regardless of sport, is to provide a safe working environment and deliver tangible RESULTS!  Bottom line, we are not “married” to one-way of doing things.  We are “married” to best practice. 

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This is just a quick note from me that may not make sense to you until many years down the road. The word “Coach” is synonymous with responsibility. It is a privilege to Coach: to help shape lives, breed character, and expose an “inner potential” that may otherwise lie dormant in the shadows of self-doubt. Beyond the grind, sweat, iron, chalk, and calluses, I hope you found time to embrace the journey. For it is the quality of the effort that true success is found. I hope that you enjoyed the experience and not only became stronger, but learned to seek improvement each and every day of your life: to live with a “One Day Better” mentality. To embrace the grind!

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