"Why do you do this?" The other day I was working with a team of 13 year-old softball players. You put a bunch of 13 year-olds together and sometimes they get a little goofy. So I stopped them and asked them a simple question, "why do you do this (strength and conditioning)?" Here's the list of their not-quite-right answers:
"To get stronger"
"To be more conditioned"
"To have more endurance"
"To be more flexible"
"To run faster"
I wanted to jump off a bridge when I heard their answers.
And then felt a little bit like this when I realized I wasn't by a bridge.
Sure, all of those things are going to happen because of what we do in their Strength and Conditioning program, but that's not why we do S and C. We "do this" to become better softball players. Take a peek at these videos showing one of our athletes who gets it. She is a 12 year-old softball player who understands what it takes to get better.
Video #1 is shot 8 months ago and shows Tera working with Kristen (a phenomenal softball skills coach). Watch her approach to the ball, her little choppy steps, and how she awkwardly moves her body. Also watch her throw and see how she has to tilt her body (called the tea-pot according to Kristen) to get more velocity on the ball. Keep in mind, she is 12 years-old, so she's still really good for her age.
Video #2 is shot just a few days ago. Watch Tera's body control as she dives for the ball. Then half way through the video you can see a few shots of her fielding and throwing home with much better running mechanics and strength then before.
These videos show what happens when an athlete is dedicated to improving their sport-specific skills and also their strength and conditioning. The other day, I got asked if I worked with any famous athletes. I just laughed and said nope, I work with the soon-to-be-famous athletes. Just wait 5-10 years and these are the kids that will be big names in athletics.