Philosophy

 

The Bobcat Strength and Conditioning Program is based upon proven principles that are designed to reduce the chance of injury as well as improve sport performance. Effective training programs are designed to enhance joint stability and joint range of motion, increase muscular strength and power, enhance movement mechanics, and increase energy system function. The end result is a heightened ability to manage the physical stress of competition.

 

The Bobcat Performance Enhancement Principles

 

1. Mobility and Stability

Optimal performance qualities cannot be reached without adequate joint mobility and stability.  Joint Mobility refers to the muscles ability to contract and relax around the joint to allow fluid movement.  Joint Stability refers to the muscles that assist in controlling movement.  Poor joint mobility and stability can lead to improper muscle length-tension relationships, which can adversely affect performance and can lead to injuries. 

2. Multiple Joint Movements

No single body part works in isolation during movement. The body works synergistically (muscles, joints and proprioceptors work together) to produce complex movements. Running, jumping, shooting and throwing all require multiple joint actions timed in synchronized neuromuscular recruitment patterns. Thus, integrated movements should be trained, not individual muscles, if the goal is to maximize function and performance.

 



3. Multiple Plane Movements

Movement in sport occurs in three planes- sagittal (forward-backward), frontal (side-to-side) and transverse (rotational) - and combinations of all three. Resistance training will include exercises and movement patterns that develop strength and efficiency in each plane concentrically, isometrically and eccentrically.

4. Ground-Based Movements

Most sport skills are initiated by applying force in to the ground, on one leg or two. The more force an athlete can apply against the ground, the faster they will accelerate, the higher they will jump and the more effective they will be in sport. Resistance exercises will be chosen to enhance this ability to generate force. Squatting (single and double-leg) and the Explosive movements (clean, snatch, & jump squats) are recognized as the best movements for this purpose. 

 

5. Rate of Force Development Training

The ability to generate force at high rates of speed (power) is crucial in sport. Power output is the result of motor unit recruitment by the central nervous system. There are two types of motor units- fast and slow- that vary greatly in their ability to generate force. Training explosively, using ground-based, multiple joint movements trains the body to recruit fast motor units at high rates of speed. This, in turn, improves performance potential.

 
6. Periodization

Performance gains will eventually plateau and even diminish if the same training prescription is continually followed. Periodization is a scientifically proven model that uses different combinations of volume, load (intensity) and exercise specificity to progressively overload the body and bring about specific adaptations. 

 


 

7

Speed and Agility Training

An essential link between the weight room and the playing field is speed and agility training. It is taking what the athlete has developed through training in the weight room and links it to sport. Speed (straight ahead) and agility (lateral movement and change of direction) are a crucial component to the training program.

 

8. Work Capacity

Being the best at what you do means not only possessing great strength, power, and speed, but also requires that you have the work capacity to sustain a workload during competition and practice. Each athlete will go through comprehensive work capacity training (conditioning). During the off-season, work capacity will be general, and, as the competitive season approaches, work capacity will become more specific. 




9. Nutrition and Regeneration

 No training program can be successful without a commitment to nutrition, rest and a healthy lifestyle. Decrements in performance can often be traced to a poor diet, poor sleep habits, and/or lack of recovery time.  Through continual education, each athlete will learn what, when, and how to consume food based around training, competition, and on a day to day basis.

 

10. Character

 Becoming the best possible athlete requires more than talent, consistent training and a commitment to nutrition. A foundation that includes resolve, discipline, courage, perseverance and selflessness is essential for true success. These attributes must be emphasized, developed and rewarded during training. 




 

*To view the Strength and Conditioning homepage click here.

Philosophy

The Bobcat Strength and Conditioning Program is based upon proven principles that are designed to reduce the chance of injury as well as improve sport performance. Effective training programs are designed to enhance joint stability and joint range of motion, increase muscular strength and power, enhance movement mechanics, and increase energy system function. The end result is a heightened ability to manage the physical stress of competition.

The Quinnipiac Athletic Development Model

The QU Strength and Conditioning model (developed by Brijesh Patel and Shawn Windle) is based on a Five-Tier Training System – each successive tier is based upon the previous tier and mastery of each quality/component in that tier.

All training components can be performed concurrently but the emphasis on each will vary depending upon the tier and time of year.

 

Tier I

  1. Postural Re-alignment
  2. Learning ABC’s (agility/balance/coordination) – Basic Loco-motor skills
  3. Develop sound nutrition program

Tier II

  1. GPP/Foundation Work – Work Capacity
  2. Develop Core/Torso Stability and Strength
  3. Force Reduction – Gravity Training

Tier III

  1. Force Production – Strength Training – Absolute & Relative
  2. Starts/1st Step Training – Linear & Lateral
  3. Recovery/Restoration Techniques

Tier IV

  1. Rate of Force Reduction (RFR)
  2. Acceleration Training – Linear & Lateral
  3. Pre Season Preparation

Tier V

  1. Rate of Force Production (RFP)
  2. Speed Training – Linear & Lateral
  3. Pre Season Training

Postural Re-alignment – Optimal performance qualities cannot be reached/obtained without correct posture. Improper length-tension relationships can adversely affect performance and can lead to injuries. Flexibility and re-education work form the basis of this component.

Basic Loco-motor skills – Our modern day society has tremendously weakened the amount of loco-motor skills athletes today possess. Technology and early sport mastery has contributed to this fact. All complex sport skills are based upon basic skills such as running, hopping, skipping, and shuffling, just to name a few. Continuous warm-ups and games form the basis of this component.

 

Nutrition – Modern day society has also affected our nutritional habits. Fad diets and super-sized portions flood our society and only confuse athletes regarding proper nutritional habits for performance. This component is primarily educational and is taught with proactive methods such as games, questionnaires and handouts.

GPP/Foundation Work – Work Capacity is the level of fitness you have. This is one of the most important qualities of sports performance training. Work Capacity forms the foundation of all training that will follow.  Without a sufficient amount of fitness, higher quality skills will be performed improperly and can lead to injuries. A high work capacity allows us to recover quickly from training and work at high intensities for prolonged periods of time. Another benefit of foundation work is the development of tendon and ligament strength. It is known that muscles tend to get stronger more quickly than the connective tissue. This component is vital in the prevention of soft tissue injuries. Circuits and Tempo Runs form the basis of this component.

Core Stability and Strength – All movement begins at the core. The muscles of the core/torso are recruited prior to the limb musculature to help stabilize the spine. Once the spine is stabilized, our limb movements will be stronger and more efficient. Once again societal factors have lowered the amount of work our core does. Too many activities are performed sitting down or lying down which can inhibit and detrain our core musculature. Stability exercises and Medicine Ball Work form the basis of this component.

Force Reduction (FR) – Most athletic injuries occur when athletes are attempting to reduce force or perform braking actions. Athletes must first learn how to absorb and reduce force before they work on applying or producing force. Learning how to use one’s bodyweight also plays a key role in force reduction. Most sporting actions occur with one’s bodyweight and very little external load. It is vital that one learns how to reduce force with their bodyweight before introducing external loading. If you cannot control your bodyweight, you have no business using forms of external loading. This includes reducing force in all three planes of movement. Balance, Isometric, Eccentric and Bodyweight exercises form the basis of this component.

Force Production (FP) – One of the goals of training is to improve the ability of a muscle to produce force. This increased ability to produce force means that sporting movements can be accomplished faster and with less effort than before. Absolute Force Production is related to maximal strength, while Relative is in proportion to one’s bodyweight. This also includes producing force in all 3 planes of movement. Free Weight Training and Maximal Strength methods form the basis of this component.

Starts/1st Step Training - As the level of athletic competition increases, speed becomes a more determining factor for success. Speed and movement is initiated with the first couple of steps. The first step of a movement can set-up one for success or failure. This first step includes training in all three planes. Ladder/footwork drills, and starts form the basis of this component.

Recovery/Restoration Techniques – At the conclusion of a training session, fitness levels decrease due to acute fatigue. It is during rest that fitness improves and ideally rises to a level that was higher than the previous training session. The amount of time to fully recover varies depending upon the athlete, the training session, and recovery methods, as well as other means. Using properly devised recovery routines can decrease this time interval and increase fitness levels sooner to improve performance. This component is one of the most overlooked details regarding most training programs. Most people tend to focus on what will occur during the session, but what occurs after will determine how the athlete adapts, and how quickly this adaptation takes place. Flexibility and various forms of massage form the basis of this component.

Rate of Force Reduction (RFR) – Most athletic movements occur at high speeds and need to be trained in this manner to reduce injuries and improve performance. The difference between this and the previous sessions of FR is the rate at which FR occurs in training. The exercises and techniques used will occur at higher speeds to mimic the demands that occur in sport.  Athletic injuries primarily occur during FR at high speeds and in the transverse plane. Therefore training should include RFR in all three planes. Plyometrics, various agility drills (emphasizing deceleration) and shuttles form the basis of this component.

 

Acceleration Training – Most athletic movements occur quickly and over short distances. Acceleration is the ability to overcome inertia at high velocities. The faster this inertia can be overcome the more successful the athlete. Acceleration occurs until about 40-60 meters, or 4-6 seconds. Athletes must be able to quickly move over these types of short duration and distances in all three planes of movement. Resisted movements and short sprints form the basis of this component.

Pre-Season Preparation – The pre-season requires a high amount of the qualities that were previously developed. Fitness is of utmost importance because practice time should not be wasted upon developing fitness. It should be geared towards developing skills and strategies. That is why it is vital that a high level of fitness involving the previously developed qualities is developed and maximized. Mulitplanar circuits and Power Endurance circuits form the basis of this component.

Rate of Force Production (RFP) – Athletic movements occur at high speeds and require high amounts of force. The difference between this and the previous sessions of FP is the rate at which FP occurs in training. The exercises and techniques used will occur at higher speeds to mimic the demands that occur in sport. The RFP must be as specific to the demands of the sport as possible and should occur in all three planes of movement. Plyometrics and Contrast training form the basis of this component.

Speed Training – Speed is one the most elusive and sought after qualities of performance. When we refer to speed training, our main goal is to enhance the contraction ability of the muscle fibers and recruitment of the CNS. In most team sports, top speed is very rarely obtained. It is expressed in “highlight” plays, and even though it is more important to train the “fundamental” plays, this quality cannot be overlooked. Speed Training is the next step in our movement progression, which is geared toward improving mechanics and reducing injury. Longer Sprints, and various chase sprints form the basis of this component.

Pre-Season Training – The pre-season may arguably be the most important time of the season. This is the time of the year that game plans and strategies are put into place, and where the most “sport-specific” work is conducted. Much of training should be spent on slightly improving qualities obtained during the off-season, and focusing on injury preventative measures. Sport Specific Conditioning and injury preventative modalities form the basis of this component.

*To view the Strength and Conditioning homepage click here.