RAW Training Sports Performance – What’s it all about?

Posted: May 15, 2019 in Athletic Development

RAW Training Sports Performance – What’s it all about?

To put it simply, our sports performance program is all about competitive fun. The athletes that participate in this program are here to improve their athletic capabilities in a way that transfers into their sport; whether that be on the field, court or ice. If they are here, they want to be the best and they want to win.

Now that’s not to say that all of these athletes have the aspirations of playing professionally or even into college. Some want to finish off their high school athletic career on a good note and then move onto other goals in life. While others are looking to continue their sport into college, playing at various levels while taking on the demands of their chosen degrees. Knowing the short and long term goals of our athletes plays a major role in how we implement our coaching to them.

In order to explain the what and why to our program, first I would like to break down the slogan used at the beginning of this article; competitive fun. Being competitive is in our nature. But why do we do it? Why do we compete? Why do we do participate in something that requires a lot of sacrifice and hard work? This is a common question I like to ask my athletes. And more times than not, there is no clean-cut answer. But I can give you an answer that almost every competitor would agree with. The beauty is in the struggle! We are attracted to the adversity and challenges we are faced with to improve ourselves. Competitiveness is in our nature because we want to be better and in the end, we find that fun and enjoyable. Once the love and fun of the game is lost, usually you’ll see the competitiveness dwindle.

So with understanding these two facets of sport, competitiveness and fun, we are able to form the basis of our program. And that’s finding ways to challenge these athletes to drive competitiveness in ways that are fun. If they enjoy it, they will be more committed and willing to give full effort. And in return will see progress in their sport.

That does not mean that all we do is play games, tell jokes and goof off. We keep the goal the goal. And the ultimate goal is to improve sports performance. One of the first pieces to our sessions in our High School group athletic development program, Power-Speed-Performance, that follows the preparation phase (term I use for warm ups) is our tactical and technical expression. To the athletes, they feel as if they are playing a game. Almost how it would be in their sport. But to us, we are working on specific perceptual skills and motor learning processes crucial for athletes to improve their game. Not only do the “raw” characteristics of athleticism improve an athlete, but so does their ability to perceive their environment and make calculated decisions that translates into change of direction and plyometric skill work. This is one way we drive competitive fun from the athletes!

Along with the creative expression these athletes get in the tactical and technical piece to the session, we absolutely still work on the main qualities of strength, power, speed, coordination, agility and more that are all demanded by sport. Our mantra is to put quality in front of each of those individual attributes. I’m not talking about getting our athletes to move textbook style as that’s not how human movement is derived. But teaching each athlete that quality movement for them comes first before pushing the intensity. When the time comes, then the intensity will have a solid base formed from habit that will transfer to sport the most. Typically, we follow the order of power work and then into their strength work. But this can be reorganized to fit the theme or the goals and needs of the athletes. You can view some of our strength, power, speed and agility work in the video below.

In the end, if you’re not having fun, then what’s the point?

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