Frequently Asked Questions
1. What training methods do you use with the athletes? Why?
Here at Finish First Sports Performance, we use a multitude of performance training methods to help each athlete achieve his/her desired results. We feel that in order to best train any athlete, we must be flexible in determining the best method relative to each specific athlete's needs (age, sport, time of year, strengths, weaknesses, imbalances, fitness levels, etc.). To restrict ourselves to one sport training method would not produce optimal results for each athlete, especially as one progresses towards obtaining sport mastery. As an athlete adapts to one specific method of training, either modifications need to be made to that method to continue to produce results, or another method must be utilized. Again, since very athlete is unique, by having multiple training methods in our coaching arsenal we are able to assist each athlete in attaining better results.
2. Are your coaches certified? Do they have a college degree from an accredited four year university? Why is this important?
Our coaches are either currently certified or are in the process of getting certified by a nationally recognized certification program for specialists in strength and conditioning and performance enhancement. The two most widely recognized organizations for this are the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NAMS). Both of these organizations offer specialized certifications in performance training for athletes.
Additionally, all of our coaches are required to have completed at least a bachelor's degree in an exercise related field. This does not include degrees in Sport Management, which do not cover the scientific aspects of training and movement for sports. From time to time, we also utilize the assistance of interns, who are current students executing a hands-on learning assignment for 12-16 weeks in exchange for college credit hours. These interns are all completing degrees in exercise science or a related field (biomechanics, kinesiology, athletic training, exercise physiology, physical therapy).
It is important for a performance coach to have a specific background in exercise and performance SCIENCE to fully understand movement and the physiological systems and how they are utilized in exercise and sports. This also allows the scientist to better sort through the countless BS articles and poorly done research that leads to misleading information in the fitness and performance industry. Having a proper educational background also helps the coaches better design customized programs specific to each athlete and his/her needs, while helping to reduce injury risk.
3. Are there any special or introductory offers available?
Although we do not offer any deals, we do have special introductory offers that allow you to try us out on a full scale level with all of our bells and whistles without the burden of any future commitments. Please re-visit your membership representative/coach for more about these special offers.
We also offer specials for early commitments and reward our members for sending us referrals.
We do not, however, offer any special discount deals for certain people--If we did, it would be unfair and unethical. We do, however, provide results, cutting edge customized programs, and great service. If you would like to join the program, but currently do not have the necessary financial resources, ask about our payment plans.
4. Do you have lockers and towel service?
We do have lockers inside the training facility, where you can put your gym bag and any other belongings during your workout. We also have a restroom/changing room area. We do provide towels for use during your workout, and have 2 water fountains with ice cold water. Additionally, we have a vending machine with a variety of healthy snacks, protein/fitness bars, and shakes/drinks that you could purchase for your workout.
5. Do I have to have a card to check-in?
We currently require every member/athlete to check in at the front desk prior to exercising. Once you enroll in a program (become an active member), you will be entered into the membership system. All athletes will be required to schedule workout sessions using the online membership system. Once you have your sessions scheduled through the online system, each session checkin will be linked with to your membership so you are able to track your usage and also know when you need to renew. You will be able to use the system to track your visit and/or make payments, online, through any device that allows you web access.
6. Do I need to bring cash to my workouts?
No, you do not need to bring cash. However, if you want to purchase healthy snacks, protein shakes, etc. from the vending machine, you will need cash. For larger items, such as tubs of protein powder, pre-workout, etc., you can create an account with an automatic debit for any purchases you make at the facility. You can create your debit account when you purchase your membership. The debit account can be created using cash, credit card, or check and our membership system will track your remaining balance after each debited purchase.
7. Do I have to commit to a regularly scheduled workout time?
Since our training facility is busiest during certain seasonal times of the year, it is recommended to commit to a schedule, preferably one that is as consistent as possible. It is extremely important to schedule in advance using the online system. This is the only way we can monitor and ensure that the facility does not become overcrowded. Overcrowding becomes dangerous and less than optimal for an efficient workout. If you do not schedule your workout and arrive to the facility during a time when it is already at capacity, you may be asked to leave and return at a later time.
8. Can I change my workout time/scheduled session by phone? By email?
All of your scheduling should be done online. If you need to change a time/day, then simply login and change it. If it does not let you change it because you are out of sessions or your membership expired, then you will just need to purchase more sessions or renew online before being ablet to schedule again. Please understand that we cannot guarantee a same-day replacement time for your previously scheduled session, should you request last minute schedule changes. Please understand that we cannot guarantee a same-day replacement time for your previously scheduled session.
9. How do I bring a guest?
You can bring a guest to observe your workouts at any time. The guest, however, must remain off the gym floor and in the entry area only. If you would like a guest to join your workout, please speak with a Finish First Sports Performance coach. We encourage anyone wishing to try our services to consider signing up for one of our risk-free introductory special offers.
10. How do I make payments?
We recommend making your first payment at our training facility, so we can enter your info correctly into the system and get your first few workouts scheduled. Once you are in the system, you may make all of your payments online.
11. How long are the scheduled workouts?
The workouts are scheduled for one hour unless otherwise specified by a coach.
12. Are there any exercises I should be doing at home on my off days?
As a result of your evaluation, you may be asked to do additional workouts at home (or another facility) on your off days. These may include corrective exercise workouts, full performance workouts, or core workouts specific to your needs. Any additional workouts given to you are required to be completed. These are designed to help you progress at the rate necessary for attaining the specific goals you presented to us.
13. Are there family discounts?
Yes, we currently offer family discounts to members from the same family participating in certain memberships and training sessions packages. For these specific memberships and packages, the first family member enrolled will pay full price, and all additional family members at the same household will receive 50% off full price. Please ask a coach or Finish First Sports Performance representative for a list of specific plans that include the same household discount.
14. How many days/wk do you recommend I train during my competitive season?
This would depend on the number of days/wk you have practice and how many and what days of the week you will be competing. It also depends on how much playing time you get in each game/competition, and the results of your initial evaluation. As a general rule, we recommend a minimum of 1 workout each week during the competitive season, and at least 3 workouts each week during the off-season. Most athletes shoot for performing two workout sessions each week during the season.
15. How often should I be training to see improvement?
This depends on several different factors. If you are new to sports performance training, you may see improvement after just one workout. If you are very experienced, then it may take a few weeks to start to notice any gains in your sport. The key here is that in order to realize maximum performance gains, you need to be training on a year-round basis. Too many athletes will lose everything they gained in the off-season by choosing not to workout during the competitive season. The coaches at Finish First Sports Performance will adjust the in-season workouts accordingly to make sure there is no interference with game performance. We make the necessary changes to optimize your talents. We are committed to working our tails off to help you improve, succeed, and be your best, and we ask that you commit to us and work your tail off too. We don’t ask that you like the hard work, but rather appreciate and focus on the end result.
16. I noticed that you offer sports nutrition services and special nutrition programming for fitness and pageant competitions. How does this work?
Yes, we provide sports nutrition services as part of our unlimited monthly membership option, and our sessions packages membership option. This is a basic service, in which we screen your daily nutrition habits and offer advice and suggestions of appropriate changes to make. This service provides a quick educational layout of how to make some changes to your diet that would best suit your goals.
We also offer a more detailed sports nutrition service, through our sports performance team, for an additional cost. This service is extremely detailed and provides you with sample meal plans, a healthy recipe book, a selection of home-made super shake ideas, snack idea, guidelines to follow to reach your goals, a workbook, and educational sessions meant to direct you on your path to optimal performance nutrition. The specific direction that these sessions will go will depend on your specific goals, the demands of your sport, and to fit the needs of your lifestyle and workout schedule. This program has a 100% success rate and is highly recommended to get the most out of your training.
We would like to add that all of our nutritional programming is done under the careful supervision of registered and licensed sports dietitians. In the State of Pennsylvania, it is permissible to offer educational and dietary programs for healthy individuals. Anyone with known issues that require medical attention must use the services of a licensed dietitian. If you are not sure where you fit in this continuum, please ask us. If you need professional help, we have an excellent dietitian on our performance and fitness team that we can refer you to.
17. I have been using a private fitness gym, but noticed that many of the athletes are getting injured in their sport. What do you do to help decrease my risk of getting injured?
This is an excellent question. First, let's address getting injured. Too often athletes are choosing to train at gyms or private training facilities that look great, are marketed well, and have a former athlete as the director, BUT UNFORTUNATLEY HAVE NO OTHER QUALIFICATIONS. Do your homework, and research every facility and coach to make sure you are getting someone qualified in many different ways to be designing programs and spending time with your child (passed PA State Clearance).
Not only are we qualified, but we have been regarded as experts in our field, producing consistent results for over 10 years with over 10,000 athletes.
But we also take a very close look at each individual and his/her strengths and weaknesses, as well as potential movement imbalances and dysfunction that may increase his/her risk of getting injured. We screen for these issues during the initial evaluation process and devise a program to help correct any detected issues as well as addressing the additional strength and conditioning needs of the athlete.
Additionally, we also spend extra time and effort ensuring each athlete learns the proper technique and mechanics of each prescribed movement. We continue to coach athletes through the movements as they train and continue to re-assess and correct imbalances throughout the athlete's training career.
18. I noticed there have been quite a few local gyms opening up that offer fitness classes taught by coaches. I don't think these coaches have any special background in analyzing sports movements and needs. How important is this?
Please refer to question #2. And be weary of facilities that focus on how hard their workouts are and not anything else. Anyone can design a hard workout. It doesn't take any knowledge of movement or sports needs to do this. In fact, you can probably find hard workouts in most major fitness magazines at your local newsstand. If this is what you are looking for, then please, just go buy one of those magazines. Or, maybe you can buy a training DVD off the Television and finally get your butt off the couch. However, if you are looking to be your best, and for accountability, safety, a get-after-it training environment, educated and committed coaches, then come see us, or contact us for our services.
High level sports performance coaches are educated (have a background) in analyzing sports movements and needs. This is necessary to optimize any individualized program to help the athlete with his needs and his sport(s).
19. My physical therapist also offers sports training programs that he designs. Is this a good idea?
We highly recommend choosing a full-time strength and performance coach to design your sports training programs, not someone who does it part-time, or as a hobby. Physical therapists are specialists in physical therapy, just as a chiropractor specializes in practicing chiropractic treatment, and a strength and performance coach specializes in training athletes. You should use a physical therapist when you need specific physical therapy services, and a chiropractor when you need specific chiropractic services.
Find a full time performance coach that specializes in training athletes when you need specific sports performance training services. We refer our clients to other specialists when they are needed, and it should be recognized that when everyone offers and focuses on their specialty area, the performance team can produce greater results.
20. How do I schedule an initial evaluation or consultation?
You can call us toll free at 866-468-2231, in Pittsburgh or the United States at 412-299-9200, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also complete the Finish First Athlete form (or Contact Us Form) and we can contact you to provide more information.
21. How do I schedule workout sessions online?
Below, you will find the correct way to schedule online.
To begin, please click the Member Login button at the top of the web page (home page or others):
When you arrive at the facility for your previously scheduled session, you will need to check-in with your coach/trainer or at the front desk in the entry. Remember, all workout sessions are by appointment only. If you do not schedule, you may be asked to leave and return at another time. The facility is may be at maximum capacity during certain times so you will need to be scheduled prior to your arrival!
22. I have a son who enrolled for training sessions at another gym last summer and the head trainer placed my son in a group that was coached by a high school kid. I noticed that the kid was very nice and polite and friendly, but wasn't really paying attention to my son and he couldn't figure out why he was having difficulty with some of the exercises. Will my son get attention at your gym from your certified, experienced coaches or will he be placed in a group and coached by a high school kid?
None of our training sessions are coached by high school athletes. There is always at least one of our expert certified professionals working with athletes in the gym at any operating hour. We pay detailed attention to each athlete and his/her training session to ensure safety and progress. Quite often, we have 2-4 certified professionals working with the athletes as each athlete works his/her way through his/her unique customized workout program.
"Coach Jeremy Hoy and Finish First is one of if not the main reason I am where I am today. If it were not for his sport-specific training programs, I could only have dreamt of making it this far. Any athlete who has any aspirations of making it to the next level is foolish to not train with Finish First. Regardless of your current skill, going anywhere else to train is a waste of time, money and talent."
--Christian Hanson, NHL Boston Bruins/AHL Providence Bruins
"Training for the Miss America pageant included 6 weeks of intense training at Finish First Sports performance. Coach Jeremy Hoy put my physical endurance to the test and pushed me to my limit. In those intense weeks of physical preparation, I truly learned what It meant to be an athlete. Training at FFSP can help ANY pageant girl become an athlete - She will look and feel her very best. ..."
--Miss Pennsylvania America 2011, Juliann Sheldon
"As you progress in hockey and aspire to get to higher levels, your off season training becomes increasingly important. Once I started training at Finish First I noticed a difference in my strength, speed, and power on and off the ice. There is no better place for a hockey player to train than Finish First. Where I am now in my career I can credit to Finish First, and I know continuing my training there will get me where I want to be."
--Matt Bartkowski, NHL Boston Bruins/AHL Providence Bruins
"Working out at Finish First Sports Performance with Jeremy Hoy was by far the best workout experience I've ever had. I spent six weeks going to FFSP two and three times a day and each time I had a unique workout that helped me achieve the results I desired. Jeremy was always so encouraging and pushed me both physically and mentally to reach my full potential. I went to Miss America in the best shape of my life and felt so confident and prepared..."
--Miss Pennsylvania America 2010, Courtney Thomas
"Finish First has helped me to perform at my best and to be in the best shape possible in order to compete at the highest level. Jeremy's motivational attitude and custom workouts allow me to get the most out of my training - which is geared towards making me a better hockey player AND stronger athlete. His specialized drills and exercises for goalies, and for improving my dynamic vision, have had an immediate transfer to what I need on the ice. ..."
--Brianne McLaughlin, Goaltender, USA Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team
"I spent six weeks at Finish First Sports Performance working intensely with Coach Hoy to prepare for the Miss America pageant. I worked out three times a day, every day! Coach Hoy pushed me harder than I ever could have imagined possible. When I felt defeated, he always had an inspirational story or quote to re-inspire me, and then he would push me harder. Jeremy saw an inner-strength and confidence in me even when I struggled to see it in myself. ..."
--Miss Pennsylvania America 2009, Shannon Doyle
"Prior to training with Jeremy Hoy and the team at Finish First, one of the biggest knocks I received from coaches was my endurance. I would slowly wear down as the season went on, which would make me lose a step in a game where every inch is so important. Since I began my off-season training with Jeremy's programs in the summer of 09' this has no longer been an issue. ...Jeremy has made me a much more explosive and confident power forward. ..."
--Chris Kushneriuk, Professional Hockey Player for the Bakersfield Condors
"Jeremy Hoy and Finish First Sports Performance has by far been the best sport-specific training I've ever experienced. I've played for many teams and have had countless different trainers and training programs, and they weren't even close. The program is designed for me as a hockey player, to improve my performance on the ice. Hoy's program allowed me to stand out in hockey and move on to the next level. ..."
--Brock Meadows, Professional Hockey Player, Texas Brahmas
"Having competed at the local, state and national levels before coming to Jeremy, I always knew how I wanted to look but never got precisely the results I was striving for. With FFSP, I was able to SURPASS my expectations and become the strongest competitor I could be. Combined with expertise in training, nutrition and overall health, I thank Jeremy and his staff for making me both mentally and physically STRONG! ..."
--Elyse Healy, Top 10 Miss PA 2010
"I trained under Jeremy Hoy at Finish First Sports Performance in preparations for the 2009 and 2010 Miss Pennsylvania pageants. I am proud to say that I was a preliminary swimsuit award winner both years! Jeremy gives his full attention to his clients and creates their routines and diet plans specifically for them. Jeremy trained me in ways I have never experienced before. New exercises, new muscles, and new pains! ..."
--Shauna Rice, 2009 & 2010 Preliminary Swimsuit Winner and Top 5 Finish
"Each and every year you need to make sure that you are in your top shape when heading into the season. With the customized training that Jeremy Hoy and Finish First gives you, you get into your top shape so you have that edge over the other people. I can credit Finish First and Jeremy Hoy for where I am now in my career and where I want to be. If you are serious about making it to the next level and want to gain that edge over the others then I recommend training with Jeremy Hoy and Finish First."
--Denny Urban, Professional Hockey Player, Reading Royals
"Jeremy and the coaches at Finish First Sports Performance have helped me prepare for each hockey season through intense hockey specific training. With the rigorous schedule of major junior hockey, my training experience at Finish First has helped me to stay strong and not wear down through the long season, and helped me to finish the year as strong and explosive as I started it."
--Michael Houser, Goaltender, London Knights (OHL)
OHL Player of the year 2011-12
CHL Goaltender of the year 2011-12
"Even though I live and train in Chicago during the summer, I am able to stay in touch with Coach Hoy and get weekly programs that really help me prepare for the upcoming season."
--Theo "Teddy" Ruth, NHL Columbus Blue Jackets/AHL Springfield Falcons
"Jeremy Hoy knows hockey and hockey specific training. I have watched many elite players over the years train with him and they are always prepared, in good shape and ready to go when the season starts."
--Derek Schooley, NCAA Division 1 Men's Ice Hockey Head Coach
"We pride ourselves on being the hardest working/best conditioned team in the USHL and Coach Hoy makes that possible. His knowledge, attention to detail, and no-nonsense approach to training pushes our players to their maximum potential. When players leave our program I have no doubt that they will bring with them the strength, power and conditioning to help them excel at the level. We have Jeremy to thank for that."
--Anthony Noreen, Head Coach, Youngstown Phantoms USHL Ice Hockey Team
"Training with Coach Hoy at Finish First not only helped me in my MTV Made pageant performance but also as a collegiate athlete -- it was the best training I've received in 20 years of being an athlete. Going into my pageant experience as an athlete I felt I had the advantage of the fitness and swim suit routine, but soon realized I was wrong... Coach Hoy provided me with a workout that not only got me in phenomenal pageant shape but also was still helping with my athletic career..."
--Maeve Gallagher, 3-Sport College Athlete, MTV Made Celebrity
UPCOMING EVENTSNovember 12, 2014 - 2014 Hockey Development Clinic: Off-ice Strategies for Optimizing On Ice Performance
Hosted at Pure Hockey, Pittsburgh (Neville Island), this clinic will cover such topics as Skating mechanics--Skating Conditioning--Using a skating treadmill--Olympic mindset--Elite level goaltending—Dynamic Vision Training—Specific Nutrition tips for ice hockey--Sleep and Performance--Flexibility Training—Muscle Imbalances--In-season Strength & Conditioning; $45 to attend, limit to first 75 entrants. Sign up today. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Date TBD - Pageant Fitness Weekend Workshop
Details coming soon!
WHERE'S COACH HOY??Through December 25, 2014 - The Pittsburgh Sports and Fitness Academy
Sports and Fitness Training
Tweets by @coachhoy
Athletes from the following organizations have used Finish First Sports Performance services:
DAMN FEW: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior
Rorke Denver trains the men who become Navy SEALs - the most creative problem solvers on the modern battlefield, ideal warriors for the kinds of wars America is fighting now. Denver takes you inside his personal story and the fascinating, demanding SEAL training program he now oversees. He recounts his experience evolving from a young SEAL hopeful pushing his way through Hell Week, into a warrior engaging in dangerous stealth missions across the globe, and finally into a lieutenant commander directing the indoctrination, requalification programs, and the "Hero or Zero" missions his SEALs undertake. Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior
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Finish First Sports Performance, 6400 Grand Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15225