Proper Preparation for Sports Success

By Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Performance Scientist

Successful coaches and athletes alike understand and appreciate the value of proper preparation and its relationship to achieving success in sports competition. But what many athletes and coaches don't understand are the three components that need to be addressed for optimal performance: physical preparation, tactical/technical preparation, and mental or psychological preparation.

Physical Preparation

Physical preparation is any type of training that addresses the physical elements of sports such as mobility, flexibility, strength, speed, power, acceleration, deceleration, dynamic vision, reaction time, and sports nutrition. All of these elements need to be addressed to help best prepare an athlete or team for successful sports competition.

Tactical/Technical Preparation

Tactical/technical preparation is training specific plays, techniques (specific to each sport and/or position), and strategies for each sport. This type of preparation requires practice and education through coaches, higher level athletes, or specialized camps and clinics. Many high-level athletes have a thorough understanding of the tactical/technical aspect of his/her sport.

Mental Preparation

Lastly, mental preparation is training the mind for successful performance. Some of the components important in mental preparation include motivation, arousal, energy management, goal-setting, imagery, relaxation and energization, attention, stress management, self confidence, and mental toughness. These are components that can be addressed by a sports psychologist, or an experienced and well educated sports performance coach, performance scientist, or sports coach.

All three areas of preparation are needed to perform at the highest levels of competition. Many athletes and teams often concentrate on only one or two areas and end up falling short in the end. It is only through proper preparation that sports success can be attained. The coaches at Finish First Sports Performance understand this and that is why it is our mission to prepare athletes to perform their best when it matters most.

A successful sports program has coaches and/or consulting experts that are proficient in addressing the three areas of sports success.

Coach John Wooden, one of the most successful basketball coaches ever, understood the value of preparation in building a winning program. In this excerpt from his book, Wooden: A lifetime of observations and reflections on and off the court (Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books, pages 53-55, 80-82, 1997), he tells how he placed more value on preparation than on the outcome. Focus on preparation and expect a better outcome.

"I informed every player who came under my supervision that the outcome of a game was simply a by-product of the effort we made to prepare. They understood our destination was a successful journey-namely, total, complete, and detailed preparation. Thus, there were many, many games that gave me as much pleasure as any of the ten national championships we won, simply because we prepared fully and played near our highest level of ability...The preparation is where success is truly found...I was just as satisfied with my efforts in the fourteen years before we won a national championship as I was the final twelve years, when we captured ten championships. In face, and you may have trouble accepting this, I believe we were more successful than in some years when we did...

Winning games, titles, and championships isn't all it's cracked up to be, and getting there, the journey, is a lot more than it's cracked up toe...Please understand that I wanted to win every single game I ever played or coached...But, I understood that ultimately the winning or losing may not be under my control. What was under my control was how I prepared myself and our team. I judged my success, my "winning," on that...If we won, great; frosting on the cake. But, at no time did I consider the winning to be the cake.

I had mistakes, plenty, but I had no failure. We may not have won a championship ever year, we may have lost games. But we had no failures. You never fail if you know in your heart that you did the best of which you are capable...And are you going to make mistakes? Of course, but it is not failure if you make the full effort. I told my players many times,

"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

If you prepare properly you may be outscored but you will never lose. Long before any championships were ever won at UCLA, I came to understand that losing is only temporary and not all encompassing. You must simply study it, learn from it, and try hard not to lose the same way again. Then you must have the self-control to forget it."

Where are you on your "journey" of successful sports performance? If you are not properly preparing, you will not achieve a high level of competition success. Find a coach now to help you get on the right track.

Coach Jeremy Hoy can be reached at jhoy@finishfirstsports.com or 412-787-5070 for more information.

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
Matt Bartkowski with the Bruins "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 Vancouver Canucks
Christian Hanson "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 Forward (Retired)
Matt Bartkowski with the Bruins "I've been forutnate enough to train with Jeremy and Finish First for almost 20 years. His training system specifically addressed my needs as a developing youth hockey player and changed to specifically address my needs as I matured as a player throughout juniors, college, and the pros. Using the Finish First Sports Performance training programs, I was able to play at my strongest, fastest, and in the best shape possible, while staying healthy for a long productive career. I can't recommend this training enough. If you do it, and commit to getting better, you will get better--guaranteed!"
--Sean Berkstresser (Voss), 9 Year Professional Hockey Player, RMU NCAA D1 Hockey Alum
Miss Pennsylvania America 2011, Juliann Sheldon "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
Miss Pennsylvania America 2010, Courtney Thomas "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
Brianne McLaughlin, Goaltender, USA Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team "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..."
--Brianne McLaughlin, Goaltender, USA Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team
Miss Pennsylvania America 2009, Shannon Doyle "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
Chris Kushneriuk, Professional Hockey Player for the Bakersfield Condors "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 (Retired)
Brock Meadows, Professional Hockey Player, Texas Brahmas "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 (Retired)
Elyse Healy, Top 10 Miss PA 2010 "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
Shauna Rice, 2009 & 2010 Preliminary Swimsuit Winner and Top 5 Finish "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
Denny Urban, Professional Hockey Player, Reading Royals "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
Michael Houser, Goaltender, London Knights (OHL) "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, Professional Hockey Goaltender
OHL Player of the year 2011-12
CHL Goaltender of the year 2011-12
Andrew Lister, RMU Men's ACHA D1 Ice Hockey "Training is a great way for an athlete to separate themselves from their competition. Finish First Sports Performance offers a unique training program that is tailored to your personal goals. As a hockey player, I quickly recognized the importance of lower body strength. My goal, when coming into Finish First, was to increase my leg strength. Coach Jeremy Hoy and his workouts have pushed me to reach my goal..."
--Andrew Lister, RMU Men's ACHA D1 Ice Hockey
Matt White, Professional Ice Hockey Player "I have been training with Coach Hoy for over five years and without his help and expertise I know that it would never have been possible for me to be where I am today. In training with Coach Hoy and the hockey specific training regimen he has designed, I have seen significant improvements each summer in my explosion, quickness, agility, strength, and endurance..."
--Matt White, Professional Ice Hockey Player
Parker Milner, Professional Ice Hockey Goalie "I have been working with Jeremy Hoy and Finish First since I was 12 years old, and he was the first person who taught me the importance of off-ice training. The unique, athlete specific training tailored to your particular sport is what makes Finish First so special. When you walk into Finish First, you know that you are stepping into an environment that will challenge and bring out the best in you..."
--Parker Milner, Professional Ice Hockey Goalie (2xNCAA D1 Champ)
Nick Jones, Professional Ice Hockey Player "When it comes to finding the perfect athletic performance training in Pittsburgh, the search starts and ends at Coach Hoy’s Finish First Sports Performance. As my hockey career has progressed, my off-season workouts have only gotten more and more essential. The sport-specific workouts put together by Coach Hoy and his staff has helped me add strength, speed, and endurance to my game that I did not possess before..."
--Nick Jones, Professional Ice Hockey Player
Noah Zamagias, Collegiate Golfer "Finish First Sports Performance and Jeremy Hoy are a true testament of passion and drive in personal health and fitness. With Coach Hoy and Finish First, I've found the same drive and discipline that is needed in finding and maintaining personal success and growth. Jeremy's principles and work ethic have pushed me to finding more inside and outside of the gym. Finish First breeds success and guarantees results..."
--Noah Zamagias, Collegiate Golfer
Drew Bohn, PGA Professional "I would highly recommend Finish First Sports to anyone who is looking to improve their sport specific performance and overall physical conditioning. I was looking to make my golf swing more efficient and was extremely satisfied with the workout programs and results. My core strength, flexibility and kinesthetic movements all improved which has positively affected my ball striking, balance and endurance..."
--Drew Bohn, PGA Professional





UPCOMING EVENTS/PROGRAMS
Team Hockey Training - Give your team the best chance of succeeding this season with our team building and performance enhancement training plans, that have been proven to produce championship teams and keep players healthy and on the ice longer!

Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Golf Fitness Programs
Utilizing our TPI Golf Fitness Certified Coaches, these programs include advance movement screens and analysis specific to golf and your golf swing. Get stronger, more flexible, more powerful, and play consistently without pain or risk of injury. Ask us how we can help you.


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COACH HOY'S READING CORNERCoaches reading corner



Kingdom Man: Every Man's Destiny, Every Woman's Dream

By Dr. Tony Evans

“A kingdom man is the kind of man that when his feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, ‘Oh crap, he’s up!’”

So begins this powerful volume from Dr. Tony Evans, now in softcover. Tony believes that God wants every man to be a world-changer.

He skillfully takes readers along a journey through the principles of biblical manhood, exploring how those who live, work, and minister around a kingdom man benefit from his leadership and care. Men will be challenged to fully understand their position under God as well as their position over what God has given them.

Equipped with these concepts, they can actively pursue ways to maximize and develop the character qualities of biblical manhood in their lives.

As Tony contends, the enemy doesn’t want you to know it, but you’re not the man you think you are. You’re a whole lot more. Starting now, you can be a kingdom man.



"This books is an excellent guide for any man who wants to live by God's design for male leadership in a family!"--Jeremy Hoy




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