About Training Sessions
Brad Arnett is our owner and director of performance. His 20 years of experience, much of which was spent in D1 athletics, is the frame work that the NX Level performance coaches train their athletes. Brad's goal has been to bring the collegiate and professional experiences he and his staff have to the local grade school, high school, and collegiate athletes.
Coach Bodi, Roe, Gifford, Shaver, Werner, and myself make up the Performance staff at NX. Coach Bodi is our senior coach having been a part of NX for nine out of ten years of operation. He is a graduate of Carroll College with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science and is an active Professional Strongman competitor. Coach Roe joined the staff on a part time basis in 2008. He has always been a professor of Exercise Sport Science at Carroll College and has done some work with Marquette University. Jason brings a high theoretical and laboratory knowledge base to NX. Coach Gifford and myself joined NX in 2009, Matt Gifford is a graduate from UW Whitewater where he was a part of a successful football program and has developed a great passion for speed development. He is a great practitioner and motivator! I am a graduate of UW La Crosse and went on to do a 6 month internship with NBA Milwaukee Bucks in their Strength and Conditioning program. I had the opportunity to learn from SC Coach Jeff Macy, an Olympic Weightlifting Alternate for the '96 Team. Coach Shaver is a graduate of UW Oshkosh where he spent many hours under the tutelage of Coach Steve Brown. Coach Shaver built a reputation in the athletic centers both for the athletes and general student body as being an expert trainer. Finally, Coach Werner is a graduate of UW Whitewater and earned himself an internship with NX Level and was shortly hired on after. Actually, Coach Gifford, Shaver, and myself were all interns under Brad, Jake, and Jason here at NX.
While our athletes are here at NX, we have high expectations of them during our training sessions. We expect them to display good listening skills and body language, as well as focus, and to always try their best. We have a simple acronym, R.espect A.titude I.ntegrity and D.iscipline. We want our athletes to be respectful of their coaches, teammates, parents, and other clients in our gym. To show respect is to be given respect. We want our athletes to have a positive attitude regarding themselves, their teammates, coaches, and their effort levels. It is important to understand that everyone "starts somewhere," meaning we all have different abilities and it is important to be patient with others, lead by example, and help teammates that struggle.
We want our athletes to be leaders while maintaining humility; to quote "check the attitude at the door." Integrity is important intangible characteristic we hope to develop. We certainly hold our athletes accountable for their jobs. It is their job to listen attentively, watch closely, and execute the asked task as best as possible. Integrity also means no matter the struggle they are honest to themselves and their coaches about the amount of sets and repetitions they accomplish. Finally, discipline goes with integrity. We want our athletes to understand the technique of exercises and not go through the motions of an exercise. They need to be focused and RETAIN what the coaches are asking of them. It is paramount that our athletes continue to learn each day they are here how to better their technique and become masters in their exercises. Continued, habitual, practice makes a disciplined athlete and a disciplined athlete is an accurate, confident, and strong competitor.
Our performance coaches work in small group settings or team based groups to provide our clients with first class coaching mobility and flexibility drills, power and strength exercises, speed development, and conditioning training. Our coaches will instruct, demonstrate, and correct our clients through an extensive warm up process that will help facilitate increased range of motion through the ankle, hip, and upper back. Mobility in these areas help improve sprinting mechanics and first step quickness as well as jumping ability. Good range of motion through the upper back and shoulders will promote healthy shoulder function which in turn can aid in better overhead strength in serving, hitting, setting, or blocking.
Our warm up will also include exercises to provide attention to activate typically weak muscles in the posterior chain and hips. Basic movements done repetitively can assist in the activation of the glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and quads which help balance the knee joint promoting a healthier knee. We do this earlier on so our athletes are moving through the beginning of their workout efficiently and appropriately. After our warm up phase we begin to teach our clients how to create power through a series of different drills whether it be utilizing medicine balls, kettle bells, or their own body weight through jump mechanics. Finally, we finish with a strength circuit.
For volleyball players we would focus a lot on single leg strength to help promote stability in the knee. Loosely speaking, the stronger the leg the more power it can create, it also helps in force absorption and controlling body position, which is where ACLs can really take a hit if the body isn't equipped to handle the torque. We will pay special attention to their upper back strength as well to provide stability to their shoulders. A strong upper back will allow better posture in overhead positions and faster ball speed. Leg strength and upper back strength are good for improving performance as well as preventing injury but it does become moot if the part of the body connecting the two is not as strong, the core. We will teach our athletes how to engage their core and brace themselves when running, jumping, stretching, standing, sitting, squatting, doing push-ups, or doing direct core work. If this area is weak no matter how strong one half of the body is the transfer of force will not be as great, and that will diminish the performance.
At NX Level we look at the whole picture, the well being of the athlete both mentally and physically. We want our clients to not just be able to do the movements but understand why we do the movements, how to do them correctly, and then also be exceptionally good at them. It is a process that takes time, the right attitude, a lot of consistency, discipline, and hard work. I find myself saying, "if it were easy, everyone would do it." We want our athletes to enjoy it, have fun while doing it, but to never lose focus as to WHY we are doing it, to better ourselves and our teams. You don't get better by maintaining the status quo.