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What does it take to be a champion?--->, FF Insider#91
July 06, 2010
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.

For all of the Americans reading this issue, we want to wish you a safe and happy 4th of July Holiday weekend!

Inside this Issue:

To bring you the very best information, this newsletter focuses on awareness of the training principles for young athletes, and how to use them to make sure your coach is on the right track. Enjoy!

1. The Making of a Champion

2. Letter from Emily

3. Chocolate Milk WINS Again!

4. FFSP Now Offers Chocolate Milk for sale at the gym!

5. Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic 2010

6. Youngstown Phantoms USHL Tryouts and Training

7. Shane Clifford Goalie Schools

8. Now Hiring: Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

9. Online Scheduling and NEW Training Facility!

10. Important Study about the Safety of Protein Shakes

11. Motivational Quotes

12. Thank You

The Making of a Champion

by Jeremy S. Hoy, MS, CSCS, PES, USAW, Director, Finish First Sports Performance

As a strength and conditioning coach, I have the opportunity to see firsthand the work ethic and commitment levels of the athletes that I coach. I get to see which athletes are consistently giving 100% on every rep, every exercise, and making every workout—no matter what personal activities may conflict. I also get to see which athletes go on to reap the benefits and success from the hard work and discipline that they display along their athletic journey. As a result, I have found there is a high correlation between what I am able to see in the training center and the success or lack thereof in each athlete’s career.

It should go without saying that the hardest working athletes typically achieve the highest levels of success. I’m not talking about the 12 year old athlete that has made the all-star team repeatedly because he hit puberty earlier than his peers, or the athlete that was able to do well on the high school team on raw talent alone. I’m talking about much greater levels of success: college scholarships, fruitful high level collegiate athletic careers, national team selections, Division I accolades, professional sports draft status, professional sports competition, Olympic sports competition, and so on.

So what makes these athletes so much different? How were they able to attain those levels of success? Well, it certainly wasn’t luck. A great athlete once said “the harder I work, the luckier I get.” People often only see the athlete doing well and never see the behind the scenes work that it took to get there. Legendary football coach and college football analyst Lou Holtz once said, “there’s no such thing as luck. Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.” Without the proper preparation, you will never be able to make the most of the opportunities that are presented to you. And there are opportunities. We often never get to see them as true opportunities, again, due to our lack of preparation. Instead, we like to point fingers, lay blame, and begin to resent other athletes who were prepared to make the most of the opportunity. We can only blame ourselves for not being prepared. We can only blame ourselves for not making the sacrifices necessary or not paying the price needed to attain our goals.

Billionaire Bunker Hunt , when asked what he thought it took to be successful, said “It takes two things: you must first decide exactly what you want to accomplish (set goals), and then you must determine the price you’re going to have to pay to accomplish exactly what you want (sacrifices and hard work).” It really is that simple. First, set your goals. Second, resolve to pay the price to attain these goals. I’m going to include, for the purpose of illustrating these two principles, an excerpt from a book (Expert Performance in Sports, by Janet. L Starkes and K. Anders Ericsson) that was written by an Olympic Gold Medalist in women’s ice hockey. I know it may seem long, but it is well worth it to read it entirely.

“An Olympic gold medal is the most recognized symbol of athletic success and represents the pinnacle of athletic expertise. Yet very few athletes ever make it to the Olympic Games, and fewer still make it to the podium. What does it take to get there? Physical, technical, and tactical skills; psychological and emotional skills; genetic factors; training and practice; access to quality coaching, equipment, and facilities; and access to international competition (i.e., the resources to afford international travel and competition) are all important factors. However, many athletes have all of these elements, but can’t seem to achieve the highest levels of performance in a consistent and stable manner. Does something get in the way? What is missing?

I spoke to a group of young athletes after the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano. I shared with the group that over the previous four years, for every decision I made, I asked myself, Will this affect my getting the gold medal? If it would affect my chances of winning, I made the appropriate decision; and if it wouldn’t affect my chances, I went with whatever was easiest, categorizing the decision as unimportant. My goal affected every big decision I made: the car I drove (I chose an SUV so that I could make the long drives to hockey practice in the New Brunswick snow), the job I took (the schedule had to be flexibile in the winter), and where I lived (it had to be close to the rink and the gym). This thinking influenced even the little decisions, such as whether I should go camping with my friends on the weekend (I would miss two training sessions if I went) and what I should eat for dinner (even if I wasn’t hungry, I needed food to refuel after a training session). The kids were shocked. They couldn’t believe that an athlete lives this way. I was surprised because I couldn’t understand how an athlete could not live this way.

Like many Olympians, I arranged my life so that I could train, practice, and compete at my sport. It’s not that I ignored other elements of life. I went to school and obtained a wonderful education. In fact, I am back at school working at an MBA part-time. I worked as a professor and a sport administrator. I volunteered my time to assist sport organizations, and I made time for friends and family, though not as much time as I would have liked. But as the Elvis Presley song goes, “you were always on my mind” describes exactly my approach to sport. Having had the opportunity to meet other Olympians, I can tell you that this determined focus on training, improving, and being the best you can be, regardless of the outcome, is a characteristic that many of the medalists have in common. But, it’s not all about the medal. In fact, athletes who seem to have the most success think the least about the outcome. The focus is on the process and on being the best you can be on the day that it matters most. My team was not able to do that in Nagano, and we ended up with a silver medal. After this disappointment, I remember thinking that if I knew beforehand that I would end up with the silver medal and not the gold, I still would have done all the training. I decided to stay on for another four years, and at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, we won the gold. Despite the many challenges, distractions, and adversity along the way, the difference was that we were able to focus on the journey so that we would be the best we could be on the night it mattered most…” Therese Brisson

Not everyone has what it takes, is willing to make the necessary commitments and sacrifices, has the physical, technical, or tactical skills, the emotional or psychological skills, access to quality coaching, equipment, and facilities, and everything else that is a high performance factor, in order to be able to compete at the top levels. However, we all have the ability to train harder each day to be the best that we personally can be. We all have the ability to decide what we want to achieve, and to decide to do whatever it’s going to take along the journey to get what we want.

If you are an athlete with no goals, studies have shown that there is a 97% chance that you will never be successful. You must set the goals and work towards attaining them. If you are an athlete with goals, but are not sure what exactly it’s going to take to achieve them, ask your coach, or speak to someone who is already ‘there’ (has achieved your goals). If you need help with goal setting or mapping out the journey, ask me and I’ll help.

Take a long, hard look at where you are right now. If you are satisfied with where you are, continue doing what you’re doing. If you’re not, then understand that something needs to change. Do you think you’re working hard enough, but are not sure if you really are? Again, ask—but be able to handle the unbiased truth. If you continue doing what you’re doing, you will continue getting what you’ve got. What are your goals? How committed are you to attaining these goals?

Expect to win!

Thanks for Everything

By Emily E. Novitsky, BS, CSCS, PES, Finish First Sports Performance Athletic Performance Specialist

Dear Athletes and Parents of Finish First Sports Performance,

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your kind support over the past 16 months. However recently I have accepted a new career opportunity in Indianapolis, Indiana. Consequently, I will be leaving Finish First Sports Performance at the beginning of next week. Thank you everyone for the great memories and experiences. It has been an honor working with you all. I will not forget about the great times we all had together at the gym. This company and its athletes are more than a community; they are like an extended family. I will miss this extended family dearly. Please take care in all your future endeavors. I would love to stay in touch with everyone. Please email me and keep me updated on your accomplishments. I love you all!!!

Kind regards,

Emily E. Novitsky

Thanks Emily for all you have done and all of your positive contributions to the Finish First athletes. You will be missed!

Chocolate Milk WINS Again!

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

It’s not new news that flavored milk has a favorable carbohydrate and protein content when used as a post-exercise recovery aid. If you’ve heard me talk on recovery nutrition or you’ve read any of my articles on the subject, then you are already aware of the benefits that milk (especially flavored milk) has to offer. Now, another study, published in the Journal, Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism, found that over three experimental trials, trained cyclists consuming chocolate milk sustained exercise for longer than with other carbohydrate and fluid replacements drink. The study, which was funded jointly by Mars UK and Runner’s World Magazine, adds to the growing body of research into the potential benefits of milk in post exercise hydration and recovery when compared to commercial sports drinks.

Researchers from the School of Psychology and Sports Sciences at Northumbria University, England recruited nine-male experienced cyclists to determine how chocolate milk would impact the muscles during glycogen-depleting exercise. The participants completed three experimental trials, using a washout period of one week between trials (1). The testing included the comparison of chocolate milk (Mars, Inc., U.K.), Gatorade (referred to in the study as a fluid replacement drink) and Endurox R4 (referred to in the study as the carbohydrate replacement drink). The three experimental trials were studied in a randomized counter-balanced order, consisting of a glycogen-depleting trial, a 4-hour recovery period and a cycle to exhaustion at 70% power at maximal oxygen uptake (1). Participants consumed the beverage at 0 and 2 hours into the recovery period, at which time they were given a set of 11 questions aimed to determine their mood and appetite. After the four hour recovery period, the participants began the endurance capacity trial. The results showed participants cycled 51% and 43% longer after ingesting chocolate milk than after ingesting the Endurox or Gatorade, respectively. The conclusion of the study was that chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid after prolonged endurance exercise for subsequent exercise at low-moderate intensities (1).

So what does this mean for an athlete? It means you have another choice in a recovery beverage. Determining what the best recovery fuel is will vary for each individual athlete. For example, what is your recovery period? If you are not competing or working out again soon, Endurox may still be a great choice. Since Endurox contains a higher percentage of complex carbohydrates, it may not be the best choice for back to back competitions. In that case, chocolate milk may be better. Some individuals may not tolerate dairy products at all or immediately following exercise. In that case, Gatorade may be better. The bottom line is there is not one BEST recovery product, but a recommendation on the best distribution of nutrients for recovery. Be sure to know your nutrient needs then experiment to determine what works best for you.

For more information regarding this study, view the full publication:

1.) Thomas, Kevin, Morris, Penelope, Stevenson, Emma. Improved endurance capacity following chocolate milk consumption compared to 2 commercially available sports drinks. Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab.34:78-82(2009).

Now Offering Fresh Chocolate Milk from Local Dairy

We are pleased to announce that we have created a relationship with Turner Farms in order to bring you high quality chocolate milk for your post-workout recovery needs. Grab a quick pint for only $1 and see what you've been missing.

Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic 2010

The Annual Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic 2010 was a success. Thanks to all of you who attended our presentation/demonstration about how to use sleds and ropes in training programs to maximize strength, speed, power and conditioning for a variety of sports.

We look forward to presenting on another great topic next year.

Youngstown Phantoms USHL Tryouts

Congratulations to everyone who recently made the Youngstown Phantoms USHL team. The team testing went very well and the results from the summer programs are great. Keep up the hard work and we look forward to testing again in the fall and continuing with the training when the season begins.

Shane Clifford Goalie Camps

We are excited and honored to again be a part of the Shane Clifford Goalie Schools beginning next week (July 5th) at the Harmarville Bladerunners. Look for us during the off-ice (dryland) training sessions. Coach Hoy will be the one wearing the shirt with the nametag (on the back) "Mr. Evil"--the name given to him by the campers from previous years. It's great to see a group of kids with a sense of humor!

Now Hiring: Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

We are now accepting resume's and applications for the position of assistant strength and conditioning coach. This is an exciting position with huge upside potential. We are looking for a motivated, qualified individual interested in growing with the company into a position that would eventually run one of our training locations. For more information, please contact Jeremy at

Online Scheduling

Thanks to all the dedicated athletes that we have, we are experiencing our busiest summer yet! As a result, it is extremely important to continue to schedule online for all of your sessions.

Additionally, we are currently looking at new facilities (larger) for our next step in growth and development. In our new facility, it will also be required to schedule ALL workouts prior to arriving and training. More details about this will be revealed once we have chosen our new World Training Headquarters (That was for you, Chris).

Important: Recent Study on the Safety of Protein Shakes

Click here for link

Motivational Quotes

"Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor"
-- Brian Tracy

"People with goals succeed because they know where they're going."
-- Earl Nightingale

"I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacation with better care than they do their lives.Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change. "
-- Jim Rohn

"Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination."
-- Fitzhugh Dodson

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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