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Finish First Insider, Issue #73
September 07, 2009
Welcome Back

Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes.

Reducing Youth Sports Injuries

By Coach J. Hoy, CSCS, NASE Cert., USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Every day, I get requests from parents and coaches about doing a functional screen and joint evaluation on an athlete with a history of sports injuries. I schedule the athlete’s evaluation and am always eager to find out exactly why he/she has been prone to injuries, and to determine what type of injuries are occurring most often. Are they contact or non-contact injuries? Are they bone or joint related? Muscle? What part of the body? Were they caused by muscle imbalances, weaknesses, overuse, poor playing surface conditions, poor movement mechanics, or genetic dispositions?

As you can see, there are a multitude of possible factors that could result in potential injury. It is my duty as a strength and conditioning professional to focus on preventing injuries, especially ones that result from factors that I have control over.

Too many strength coaches underutilize and undervalue the importance of conclusive evaluation and screening assessment. While I would like to indulge more about evaluation tests, techniques, data, results, and correlations to injury rates, I will wait until a later newsletter. I want to focus this article on the basis of youth sports injuries and will address the fact that more and more of the athletes that I am screening (with a history of sports-related injuries) are getting younger and younger.

I’m finding athletes as early as 8 years old with a history of non-contact sports injuries. How is this happening? Either inadequate or insufficient preparedness (poor preparation in the off-season), and/or imbalances due to early specialization. These young athletes are not physically prepared or conditioned properly for the demands of the sport and, because they are typically only playing one sport now (year round), they are developing major weaknesses in the non-dominant muscles related to the sports movements. What that means is that by doing the same thing on a year round basis, you may be getting better at certain movements (sports skills) while you are getting weaker at all other movements—which affects your stabilizers, muscles, and connective tissues. These imbalances/weaknesses need to be addressed in the weight room or by cross-training with a complementary sport (different movement patterns). The problem with cross training, in many cases, is that when choosing a complimentary sport, many athletes will choose a sport that has a negative impact on performance and training for their primary sport (more about choosing the right cross training sport in a future newsletter). Another problem is that, since the level of play at every age is improving in sports, taking a season off of learning and trying to master sport specific skills and the technical aspects of the game could also have a negative impact.

So, what should you do? I recommend utilizing the services of a knowledgeable strength and conditioning professional (one that is certified as a strength and conditioning coach and has a college education in exercise science or kinesiology) to address all of your needs in order to balance out your athletic development. Knowledgeable, certified and specialized strength and conditioning professionals, like the ones at Finish First Sports Performance, are committed to helping decrease the increasing prevalence of youth sports injuries. Many of these injuries are serious, and having seen teammates suffer from similar injuries, I know all too well that these can be very debilitating later in life. You only get one body and one chance: be smart and take care of it. Do whatever you can to keep it in balance.

Female Athletes and Strength Training Myths

By: Emily Novitsky, MS Candidate, CSCS, Assistant Strength Coach, Finish First Sports Performance

Over the next couple of newsletters I will be covering some myths and truths of Female Athletes and Strength Training.

As professionals we are constantly asked our expert advice on performance training. Recently we have been working with more female athletes and the big question we always face is “If I strength train then I will look like a guy.” “I don’t need to train for strength I need to train for long lean muscles so I don’t bulk up like a guy.” So we can set the record straight that girls if you strength train you will not look like a guy.

It all starts with genetics. Female athletes are not genetically made to development muscle like men do. Women also do not have enough testosterone in their bodies to be able to have the same muscle mass that men do. It is literally impossible to look like a guy unless you are taking a substance or substances that would not be naturally in your body. As women we are predisposed to have/store more fat than men. Therefore up until puberty female and males are similar, but once females start to go through puberty they tend to carry more fat than men. The reason for the process of carrying excess fat for the females is because their bodies maturing and changing.

Female athletes are also under the impression that they need to train for “long lean muscles in order not to bulk up.” Like I mention before it starts with genetics some females with have less fat than others it is just the genetic makeup of their bodies. At Finish First Sports Performance we train the individual athlete for their individual sport and needs. If you are a hockey player we are not going to train you to be a body builder. Being a body builder will not help you performance nor will it correct your muscle imbalances and compensations. However if a female athlete is carrying excessive amounts of fat (unhealthy/ performance inhibiting) it will be addressed in their training. Every athlete has an individual goal of enhancing their performance. As professionals we are here to help you become the best athlete that you could possibly be.

There are many misconceptions out there on the internet and in the media. Remember to consult with a professional about these questions. It is not recommended to go online and read what the latest health magazine says to do. Here at Finish First Sports Performance we strive to inform our athletes and parents on the myths and truths about strength training and performance enhancement. If you have further questions pertaining to performance enhancement or truths/myths feel free to contact Emily or Jeremy at or call 412-787-5070.

New Fall-Winter Hours of Operation

The hours of operation at the World Training Headquarters will be changing, effective immediately.

During the week of September 7th, and through the rest of 2009 (except for Holidays), the facility will open at 2pm and close at 7pm, Monday - Friday, and tentatively from 9am - Noon on Saturday (by appointment only as usual)--no walk-ins!

If you have any questions, please call 412-787-5070. We look forward to a great fall and winter sports season for the Finish First Sports Performance athletes who have been working hard all summer!


Due to the volume of athletes currently using the Finish First Sports Performance world training headquarters, all athletes are required to schedule all sessions prior to arrival. In the future, if an athlete shows up without first scheduling for a session, there is no guarantee that s/he will be able to use the facility at that time. If the facility is at capacity, the athlete will need to come back for his/her session at a later time. At Finish First Sports Performance, we are taking all measures necessary to prevent overcrowding and help ensure the safety of the athletes and the quality of the programs. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to continuing to serve you.

How to Schedule Workouts Using the Online System

Due to the volume of athletes currently using the training facility, and the expected returning college athletes over the summer, you will need to begin scheduling your workout sessions in advance. It is recommended that you do so online. The Finish First Sports Performance coaches will have access to the sessions calendar to see when you are scheduled. When you arrive to the facility, it is also important to use your fingerprint to check in to the system. Below, you will find the correct way to schedule online. It is also now possible to make payments online, and check your training history. Please call if you have any questions.

1. Go to

2. Scroll down the left and under “Additional Services” you will see MEMBER LOGIN—click on that

3. A new window should pop up and on that window click on ATHLETE

4. Unless you have logged into the system before, your login ID is: last name-first name, and your password is: last name. So for John Smith, his login ID would be smith-john, and his password would be smith. You will be prompted to change your password so that only you may know it—write it down and don’t forget it—if you do forget it, please let Jeremy know so he can reset it.

5. Once logged in, on main screen you will see a box/button on the right titled “REGISTER FOR CLASSES”—click on this.

6. You can register or change your scheduled time up to 6 hours before the session. Any changes that need to be made within 6 hours of the session need to be made by calling Jeremy at 412-787-5070.

The online system works best with Internet Explorer (most recent version).

Motivational Quotes

"The better a man is, the more mistakes he will make, for the more new things he will try. I would never promote to a top-level job a man who was not making mistakes...otherwise he is sure to be mediocre."
-- Peter Drucker

"Performance, and performance alone, dictates the predator in any food chain."
-- SEAL Team Saying

"The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch. "
-- Jim Rohn

"Just do it."
-- Nike

Thank You for Your Support

Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

For Finish First Insider backissues #1 - 29, click here

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