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Finish First Insider, Issue #74
September 14, 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.

Coach Hoy interview for high school sports web site

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

The interview below was posted on the Lewistown Area High School Strength and Conditioning web site. Lewistown is a small town that often gets trapped, like many small towns, with small minded people making decisions for forward minded people! (For more information, please contact Jeremy at 412-787-5070.) Enjoy!

Interview for Lewistown S & C Website

Coach Haubrick (Lewistown): Coach thanks for taking the time to answer some of our training questions. Talk about the philosophy of Finish First Sports Performance and how you are different than just any “sports performance” company.

Coach Hoy (Finish First):Since you said to talk a little bit, I’ll try to keep this short. (I think that was hint). Finish First Sports Performance has a philosophy that the best prepared athletes will always prevail. Athletic preparation consists of physical training, mental training, technical training, and tactical training. As a performance coach, I focus primarily on physical training, but sometimes delve into mental training as well. A sports coach is responsible for teaching the athletes proper technique for each position, and tactical (plays, strategies, etc.) specific to the game, position, etc.

We systematically train athletes using a variety of programming methods, training apparatus, and specific exercises for each ATHLETE. The key here is that each athlete undergoes a kinetic chain analysis and functional performance assessment to determine any specific weaknesses or imbalances that need to be addressed IN ADDITION to specific programming for athletic development and performance enhancement for his/her sport. All of these factors make us different.

Also, our facility is designed to resemble a major college weight room—no distractions, no fluff, no gimmicky or catchy equipment—but rather all training, all the time. At any given time, there may be pro athletes working out at the same time as a 10 year old soccer player and a 16 year old basketball player. When an athlete sees how hard the pro athlete pushes himself and how determined he is, it really motivates everyone else to elevate their game. The training environment is one of the best I’ve ever been around.

Coach Haubrick: You mention on your website you also assist athletes with vision and sleep. How important are these to an athlete.

Coach Hoy:Vision training and sleep are extremely important to athletic performance. It used to be believed that some athletes just had better awareness or vision during competition, and that it couldn’t be trained. Research over the years has shown that great improvements can be made in an athlete’s ability to react, judge distances or anticipate movement positioning, and have awareness of other players on the field, court, or ice, just by participating in a specific dynamic vision regimen.

Sleep is an extremely important component of athletic performance. In addition to playing a crucial role in muscle tissue repair, normal wakeful rhythms, and the ability to concentrate, many studies have suggested that sleep also affects movement by affecting the nervous system’s ability to control advanced powerful movement patterns.

Coach Haubrick: Growing up an athlete in rural, central PA and now working with athletes in the city most of your adult life, what is the biggest difference in the training habits of the athletes?

Coach Hoy:I’d have to say the biggest difference is the use of the resources available to them. There are great athletes born all over the country; it’s the ones that find the value in professional resources and then apply these resources to their athletic development that really get ahead.

Cities in general are usually more progressive, and as a result, most of the sports coaches no longer have the old school mentality that they should do everything. The coaches here understand that they are hired to take care of the technical and tactical aspect of the team, and strength and conditioning coaches will take care of the physical preparation aspect. It also helps that there are several universities in the area. Coaches and athletes see how important performance training is and also see that each college/university has its own strength coach. Again, the sport coach delegates all physical training responsibilities to the performance coach. There are a lot of coaches clinics that expose the sport coach to what many different successful athletic programs/schools across the country are doing.

Also, because there are so many schools, there are also so many great athletes; which means that there is also fierce competition. If an athlete wants to be good, they know they have to put in the extra time and effort.

Average training and average work ethic produces average athletes and average results.

Coach Haubrick: What is the biggest misconception about youth sport training in America?

Coach Hoy: Wow, this is a loaded question. I want to say that despite what many of us were taught growing up, resistance training is safe for young children and adolescents. Take, for example, a young boy growing up on a farm (yeah, this one’s close to home!), that is carrying 50-100lb bags of feed, carrying 50lb buckets of water, throwing heavy bales of hay or straw, or carrying heavy logs or brush. Does this boy suffer from growth plate issues or tissue dysfunction as a result of the heavy ‘resistance’ training he did? No! Certainly not! However, the boy didn’t start by lifting heavy objects, but rather started with what he could handle, and as he got stronger, was able to carry or lift heavier objects. Notice there is a progression here. Resistance training for children is safe as long as it is properly progressed.

Additionally, many parents think that speed is something that you are either born with, or you won’t have it. To some extent, genetics do play a factor. However, speed is a learned skill that can be trained and taught. An athlete can become faster, just as he can become stronger. Teaching an athlete proper running mechanics is best done with children and adolescents—before the improper mechanics become habit.

Youth sport training is important to proper athletic development. Children should be trained like children, and not little adults. It is not a good idea to take a program that Penn State uses and give to a child, or even an adolescent (including high school athletes). Programs at the college or professional level are designed for athletes who have already built the foundation of performance fundamentals—they are now ready for more advanced, specific training. Youth athletes need to spend time developing the fundamentals and correct techniques/mechanics of exercises and movements. These athletes should also spend time learning the sport—spending time with high level coaches.

I’m going to stop with that. There are a handful of misconceptions about youth sports and sports in general here in America, but that will have to be a whole other interview.

Coach Haubrick: If someone was starting a new training facility for athletes and they could only have two pieces of equipment what would you recommend?

Coach Hoy:Sleds, Sandbags

Coach Haubrick: Resistance training for football and track throwers is widely accepted, but explain why resistance training can be beneficial to basketball players, soccer players, field hockey, etc…

Coach Hoy:This one can be explained with simple science. Power is one of the most important traits of successful high level athletes. Power is important in every sport. It is crucial in running, jumping, shooting, tackling, changing direction, etc. Power is a product of strength and speed (Power = Strength + Speed). Power is the ability to produce maximum force as rapidly as possible (contracting muscle as fast as possible). Resistance training helps recruit more muscle fibers (which results in the ability to produce more tension/force) and using certain training methods can also help the nervous system send signals to recruit these fibers more quickly. Like I said earlier, speed is a skill and can and should be trained accordingly. By combining BOTH resistance training and speed training, an athlete can produce more power, helping with higher jumping, faster running (more explosive pushes with each step), better acceleration, etc.

Resistance training also has been proven (by peer-reviewed scientific research) to increase bone mineral density (BMD), increase muscular strength, decrease the risk/relief of low back pain, increase glucose tolerance and sensitivity, decrease blood pressure, reduce body fat (decrease in fat mass), increase basal metabolic rate, produce muscular hypertrophy, improve blood lipid profiles, increase muscular power and endurance, improve balance and coordination (through motor performance), increase independence and participation in physical activities, reduce psychological depression, and improve sleep. I think you get the point.

Coach Haubrick: Some coaches still feel that in-season training negatively affects their sport performance. Comment on this and explain some important things to consider when designing an in-season program for young athletes.

Coach Hoy: In-season training is necessary for athletes to perform optimally. I am always amazed that a coach would have his team prepare in the off-season and then stop training once the season starts. The team usually starts off playing strong and is physically able to compete with anyone. Unfortunately, because they stop their performance training, the team will actually get weaker as the season goes on—leading to an increased risk of injury as the players become more fatigued. Athletic performance actually decreases as the season progresses, and, when it matters the most, in the post-season, all of the gains made during the pre-season training are lost. However, teams that participate in in-season training programs will retain their strength and ultimately be stronger and better conditioned for the post-season, especially when compared to a team that does not train during the season.

Also, take a close look at college and professional sports teams. They all participate in year-round training. Why? Because they know it works. They know how beneficial it is. Studies have been done that showed that if an athlete goes one week without training, performance can be decreased by up to 50%, and it takes 5 weeks to get that 50% back. Who wants to work hard during the pre-season only to lose all the performance benefits?

Remember, though, that in-season programs need to address the specific needs of the team, and need to be carefully designed and monitored with the sport coach to prevent overtraining or over-reaching. Too much volume may produce negative results. Travel, sleep, and nutrition also need to be considered to make sure the athletes are getting ample recovery from the workouts. Workouts don’t need to be as long as during the pre-season, but need to be just long enough to address the needs of strength, speed, power, flexibility, balance, stability, etc. and to help correct and injury issues or imbalances that may be occurring from sport training.

Coach Haubrick: Coach Hoy, Thanks for your time and valuable information.

Coach Hoy: As always, I am honored to share what I can in any way that may benefit others. Thanks for allowing me to share some info and all the best with your training programs!

High fructose Corn Syrup and Bone Health…Is There a Connection?

By: Heather R Mangieri, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN Finish First Sports Performance Nutrition Advisor

Recently, a runner reported that his coach told him to avoid chocolate milk as a recovery aid because high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) blocks magnesium & calcium absorption, causing an increased risk for stress fractures. As you may or may not know, most commercially prepared chocolate milk beverages contain HFCS. While I am certainly not an advocate of HFCS, I am not aware of any evidence to support the idea that it blocks absorption of calcium or magnesium. But, is there any connection between HFCS and bone health? I hope this article clarifies some of the information (and misinformation) on this topic.

We’ve all seen high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) included in the ingredient list of foods or beverages that we consume (or choose not to consume.) Today, HFCS has replaced sucrose as the predominant sweetener added to foods and beverages. There has been significant discussion regarding possible negative health connections of this sweetener, including but not limited to bone health, TG levels, diabetes, fatty liver disease and of course, obesity.

In 2008, Embedzayi, et al conducted an in-depth review on the effect of consuming different caloric sweeteners on bone health. The review included not only HFCS but also the consumption of soft drinks (which contain HFCS), sucrose, glucose and fructose and their relationship to bone health. With so many factors to consider, the results are anything but easy to understand. And while there is some suggestion that the consumption of soft drinks (sweetened with HFCS) are associated with increased stress fractures in girls, but not boys, it is unclear whether the results are linked to a displacement of soft drinks for calcium containing drinks (like milk) or the sweeteners themselves (1). It is well documented that high soft drink consumption is correlated with decreased milk consumption. Therefore, it makes sense to consider that those consuming a large amount of soft drinks may be at risk for bone disease.

Few human studies have been published on the relationship between HFCS alone and the relationship of bone health. I will not discuss the individual studies reviewed for the above cited article; however I would like to share the conclusion. To date, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that high fructose corn syrup is directly related to a decline in bone health. The results concluded that the scientific literature does not appear to enable a conclusion to be made at this time.

The truth is isolating HFCS as the culprit is quite difficult. Many factors play a role in bone health. No doubt drinking low nutrient beverages that contain HFCS (soda, Gatorade, commercially sweetened beverages) in place of milk or other calcium containing foods will be detrimental to bone health, but completely eliminating it from your diet (to maximize bone health) may not be necessary. Many foods that are high in HFCS are low in other nutrients. If you wish to decrease HFCS from the diet for health or nutritional reasons, I would not start with chocolate milk. Milk is a beverage that provides a great source of calcium and protein, two nutrients proven to be beneficial to bone health. The chocolate in the chocolate milk is the source of HFCS, and also the additional carbohydrate needed for recovery. Rather than eliminating, consider cutting it from other food and beverage sources first. If you want to eliminate it all together, you can still get the benefits of chocolate milk as a recovery drink by purchasing one made without HFCS. The following are a few suggestions

• Organic Valley Chocolate milk
• Horizon Organic Chocolate or strawberry flavored milk
• Earth’s Best Organic Chocolate milk

To review the specific research studies that have been completed on sweeteners and bone health, read the review article that is cited for this article:

1. ) Embedzayi Tsanzi, Fitch Cindy W, et al. Effect of consuming different caloric sweeteners on bone health and possible mechanisms. Nutrition Reviews.Vol.66(6):301-309.

Follow Coach Hoy on Twitter!

Finish First Sports Performance is now on Twitter! Click on the link below to find out what's going on with Coach Hoy and Finish First Sports Performance.

Follow Coach Hoy at


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

"Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is."
-- Zig Ziglar

"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win."
-- Roger Bannister

"You can't be a winner and be afraid to lose."
-- Charles Lynch

"The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell."
-- Andrew Carnegie

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

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