Be better: Training tips from Carson Wentz and Sanford POWER
Pro quarterback Carson Wentz and Sanford POWER are teaming up to offer ongoing insight and education into athletic performance over a variety of topics:
What’s the importance of working with certified strength and conditioning coaches? Does that really matter?
“To get certified, you have to know what you’re doing, and you can tell who does and who doesn’t. I think that certification speaks volumes to athletes and parents. Parents can feel comfortable taking their son or daughter to a coach who is certified.”
Certification is important to ensure that the strength and conditioning coach is educated to at least the minimum standard. Athletes, coaches and parents can feel comfortable knowing that their coach is up to date on current research, methods and practices. Properly certified coaches are trained to take athletes through logical progressive strength and conditioning programs to maximize results, to help to decrease the likelihood of injuries and to program proper movement mechanics whether they are working with middle school athletes or the most elite. Reputable certifications in this field include: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Strength and Conditioning Certified Coach (SCCC) and weightlifting certifications through the United State of America (USA-W).
What is your least favorite workout?
“There’s some different lower body lifts that can really make you work, make you exhausted – some that’ll make you think, ‘I’m not really looking forward to that.”
Lower-body movements can be very difficult due to the amount of physiological and psychological stresses being imposed on the body. The benefit is that they yield high amounts of systemic neural, mechanical and hormonal adaptations that can results in great force development – the basis for most sports performance.
However, these movements are all in a systemic progression that allows the body to adapt and recover from the demands placed on them. The role of the strength and conditioning trainers is not to cause the athletes to fail or make them nauseous with the workload. Trainers increase athleticism by improving movement efficiency, increasing work capacity, force development and power output. All of that can be done without running the athlete into the ground.
How do you balance skill work with strength and conditioning work?
“It’s a huge balance between the skill development and the actual physical development. Like for me, I’m making sure I’m quick and agile, making sure my core is rock solid to take on all the hits.
It all goes together. You can’t just go outside and throw all day everyday if you’re not taking care of your arm. You have to be proactive on properly strengthening it and keeping it healthy so it all ties together.
Strength and conditioning is one vital piece in the development of an athlete. Consistent effort is important in the progression of an athlete whether it be game intelligence, skill development, recovery, nutrition, mental health or strength and conditioning. Balance must be found and maintained during different times of the year with each one contributing to a well-rounded athlete. During pre-season and in-season, the strength coach’s job is to work on injury prevention and recovery, piggybacking off the strength gains made during the offseason.
What’s the importance of pre- and post-training nutrition?
“Nutrition is a huge part of being able to play and perform at your best. It’s something I didn’t necessarily take seriously when I was younger like I should have. I was always just eating whatever, and you can get away with it when you’re working out. But I’ve really noticed it as of late – when I do make sure I’m eating healthy and nutritious meals before I work out and then really after I work out. You can go work out and then go eat a terrible meal and you almost defeat the purpose of the workout. The meal before a game is a big part of how I can perform at my best.”
Proper nutrition and hydration plays a critical role in the success of an athlete on and off the field. Often, younger athletes are lured to the newest pre-workout supplement or mass-gaining protein product. Athletes should first focus on making sure they are consuming a well-balanced diet consisting of colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. In addition to a healthy diet, athletes should focus on making sure they are unplugging from modern-day electronics and getting enough uninterrupted sleep. Focusing first on a well-balanced diet, sleep and hydration from a young age can significantly improve athletic performance.
For more information and assistance on proper pre- and post-training nutrition please contact Lizzie Kasparek, Sanford Sports Institute Dietitian at (605) 312-7878.