Preparing for sports means getting your student-athletes in motion

As the summer months approach and kids take that much needed break from school, sports still need to be a major focus for student-athletes. The Valley News sports department recently reached out to local high school coaches and received some great feedback on what it takes to excel at the varsity level and what it takes to get there.

The following articles was submitted to us by the coaches from ‘Athletes in Motion’, a local sports performance training company, as a way to prepare your student athletes, not only for high school, but any level of sports for kids of all ages.

  • Coach Tate Hess:

I own and operate a small sports performance training company called Athletes In Motion. I have trained athletes from all sports and ages in the Temecula and Murrieta area for the past 10 years and would therefore like to share some knowledge on how to prepare student-athletes.

Over the past decade our valley has made quite a name for itself. The Southwestern League is highly competitive in every sport and multiple CIF championships have been won by a great deal of our local schools. Every coach and athlete knows if they want to compete in the Southwestern League they will be required to put a lot of time into strength and conditioning throughout their careers.

With success comes attention. Our athletes are earning more Division 1 scholarships and signing more big league contracts simply because more scouts come to watch our players and the level of play has really put our schools on the radar screens of many recruiters.

When I first started my company back in 2004 there were not a lot of sports performance companies in our valley. I started off with a few clients which turned into landing a few teams and I eventually became busy enough where I was able to hire a few trainers and work with athletes on a full time basis.

The main reason I am writing this article is to help educate the parents and athletes in this valley about what they should look for in a sports performance coach. It is the hope of all of my trainers that every athlete will seek out and participate in safe and effective training, even if it’s not with our company.

Parents and athletes should be proactive when searching for strength and conditioning coaches and need to be equipped with the right knowledge and questions.

At first, I knew very little about words like specificity, energy systems, progressive overload, volume, intensity, and many other vital variables needed for a well rounded training program. The ability to motivate and inspire athletes to train hard is something I knew I could do and that is the most crucial component any strength and conditioning coach must have. Being able to connect with the athlete and have the ability to keep the athlete on track and focused on their training goals is so important. A coach can have the greatest training program in the world but if they lack the ability to connect all is lost.

There was no doubt I was getting results with my athletes early on, granted I was not an expert and still to this day I am not an expert, but the basic drills I was doing and the passion I was developing was making my athletes better. During this time I also received my B.S. in kinesiology with an emphasis in strength and conditioning. Earning a degree like the one I have does not automatically make you a strength coach, but it gave me the foundational knowledge and science to how to build an athlete correctly.

Overall, when picking a trainer make sure there is a connection and make sure the coach you are considering is properly educated and trained. I see a lot of trainers bypass the multiple year commitment a degree requires and attempt to fast track earning a training certificate in a few weekends.

Something else that separates strength and conditioning coaches from trainers is a CSCS or a NSCA certificate. These certificates can only be earned if you already have a kinesiology degree and from experience are ten times harder than any weekend training certification out there.

Training companies have sold this idea that the harder you work the better. Their athletes are drenched with sweat, use bad form because of fatigue, and training the wrong energy system all because the public think “if it’s really hard then it must be really good.”

Over the next year I plan on releasing more articles that will focus on various training topics that parents and athlete should be aware of. Again, the sole purpose of this article is to help educate parents and athletes about sport specific training. I truly believe we should always be learning and after the next few articles hopefully you will have the knowledge to find a great coach for your child.

Starting the first weekend in June, Athletes in Motion will host classes and camps for athletes of all ages. Contact Tate Hess via email at [email protected] or Ryan Tukua at [email protected] for more information.

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