Successful Athletes Perform Physical Fitness and Sports Training All Year Long to Stay Healthy and In Peak Physical Condition

Sports Success Key: Physical Preparation



According to most expert sports scientists and coaches, athletes must be prepared properly to be successful. This holds true in all areas of life.


Success typically comes to those who are best prepared.


Preparation requires goal setting, evaluation (you must first know where you are before you can figure out how to get where you want to go), and planning. Once the planning is done, it is time for execution.


Physical preparation consists of physical fitness specific to athletic performance.


When engaging in the preparation process, remember that even the best laid plans, when executed, will have some setbacks and temporary defeats. That is simply a sign that some adjustments need to be made to the plans. Just stick to your goals, and re-work your plans.


Never lose sight of the goal, and never forget where you were when you started. Also never forget those who helped you along your way as you prepared for success. (All of the information provided here is a result of setting goals, self-evaluation, peer-evaluation, planning, and execution. Finish First Sports Performance would not be where it is today without the help of other coaches, teachers, and specialists along the way.)

The Three Keys to Sports Success:

  1. Physical Preparation (Physical Fitness, Sports Nutrition, Sleep, Sports Massage)
  2. Mental Preparation (Mental Toughness, Goal Setting, Visualization, Motivation, Arousal, Relaxation and Energization, Attention, Stress Management, Self Confidence)
  3. Tactical/Technical Preparation (Sport strategy, Techniques, Methods, Position Specific Skills)



An athletic performance coach is responsible for assisting with the physical preparation of the athlete, specifically with the physical fitness and sports training element. Some performance coaches may even have extra education and certificates/licensure in sports nutrition or sports massage.


The expert counsel of a medical doctor should be sought for sleep education (many high-level sports performance coaches consult with sleep doctors to better serve the needs of the athletes) or counseling should there be an issue with getting sufficient sleep for optimal recovery from physical fitness workouts, including games or practice sessions.


By definition, physical preparation is any type of training that addresses the physical elements (physical fitness) 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.


"Success Goes To Those Who Are Most Prepared. Success Goes To the One with Superior Forces At The Point Of Contact" -Sun Tzu, Art of War



Mental Preparation is best covered by a sports psychologist, but may be addressed by a sports coach or performance coach who has specific schooling in this area. Mental preparation strategies can be executed in each performance training session, as well as practices and scrimmage competitions. Mental preparation techniques are used by all of the best athletes in the world.


Mental preparation strategies can be executed in each performance training session, as well as practices and scrimmage competitions. Mental preparation techniques are used by all of the best athletes in the world.


Tactical/Technical Preparation should be addressed by the sports coach or coaches. The coach will instruct the athlete on position specific skills, teambuilding, and systems specific to the sport. Strategies for winning will also be taught. In some training systems, the most experienced coaches work with the youngest athletes to assure the proper skill and athletic development.


Years of research, working with other coaches, consulting with medical and rehabilitation specialists, and experience coaching athletes has given us the knowledge needed to create effective performance training programs.


Although the methods and scientific basis for advanced performance training may be complicated, we always keep the main goals of the training programs consistent. There may be athlete-specific goals that are also incorporated into the program, but, as a general rule, we use the following seven goals when creating programs:


Physical Fitness and Sports Training Program Goals:

  1. Establish a Routine-Make Exercise a Habit.
    A successful athlete makes conditioning part of the daily routine...year-round. High level high school and ALL college athletes do a physical fitness training routine on a year-round basis.
  2. Prevent Injury through Training.
    A well conditioned athlete is less likely to be injured, and if injured, recovers more quickly. Attention to balanced total body training, specific conditioning, physical fitness and training to address the most common injuries in the specific sport will help reduce the athlete's risk of injury.
  3. Improve Work Capacity (physical fitness conditioning).
    A well-conditioned athlete handles high quality work and recovers quickly. The physical conditioning (energy system development) needs of each sport need to be determined-and then addressed in the training sessions and overall training plan. It should be the goal of each athlete to finish the match/game as hard as they began, while exerting 100% effort the entire duration.
  4. Improve "Core Strength."
    A well-conditioned athlete has the low back, abdominal, and hip area (core) strength to transfer the force generated by the legs to the upper body. Most sports require a huge hip power transfer in different planes of motion (straight ahead, side to side, rotation, chopping, etc.).
  5. Develop Balanced Muscular Strength, Speed, Endurance, and Power.
    A well-conditioned athlete trains the total body for strength, speed, power, and endurance. Movements in most sports occur in all planes; there can be double leg and single leg movements, etc., so it is important to train accordingly. Athletes must be balanced to help prevent injury and maximize physical fitness.
  6. Develop Sport Specific Speed, Strength and Power.
    A well-conditioned athlete reacts quickly to accelerate, decelerate and stop under control. An athlete who can decelerate, stop, change direction and re-accelerate has an advantage over their opponents. One way to train for this is by using plyometrics. Plyometrics are important for development of power and power endurance, but a base of speed and power training must be established prior to engaging in a rigorous plyometric routine. Power endurance training helps the athlete train to be as explosive in the last minute as he/she was in the first minute.
  7. Maximize Potential.
    A well-conditioned athlete understands his/her strengths and limitations and how to work with them. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps you focus your efforts in training, and make adjustments in your training.
    Adapted from Tim Lang, DePaul University



The main goal of the performance coach is to help the athletes/team prepare to win.


You will not be a successful athlete without proper preparation.


It takes hard work and time to properly prepare. As an athlete, you must be preparing in all three key areas, or you will not be performing at your highest level.


Playing volleyball or basketball on a year-round basis is great for addressing the tactical/technical element, but what are you doing to address your specific physical fitness needs? What are you doing to jump higher, run faster, rehab that bad shoulder, get stronger, eat better, sleep better, move better?


The best way to become a better athlete is to become better prepared in all three key areas. If you are not preparing for your next competitive season, what are you waiting for?

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





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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

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