Would your young athlete benefit from a Strength and Conditioning Coach?


Investigating the need for a youth strength and conditioning coach
9 Year Old

It is no secret that the level of competition in youth sports has been on the rise over the past decades. What used to be recreational teams, city leagues, and neighborhood games has evolved into an entire industry of club sports, elite traveling teams, and hefty participation fees for the young athletes’ parents.

A growing number of parents are asking, “With all the extra practices and increased competition, how can I be sure my son or daughter is not going to get injured? And how can I give my child an extra advantage?”

To help answer these questions, we need to look at the way we train in the U.S. compared to our European neighbors. Historically, many European countries used general physical preparation training with young athletes to build the foundation of development for their later years of training.

Within this general physical preparation training, coaches utilized movements and exercises that developed many different motor abilities or skills. These training sessions were not specific to any one sport, they were specific in providing a general foundation of motor abilities (speed, agility, quickness, strength endurance, relative strength, flexibility, etc.).

These young athletes then transitioned into more specific training based on their sport as they aged. This is a direct contrast to the North American model, in which children typically specialize in their respective sports at a much earlier age.

For this reason it is vitally important for parents to consider having their children train with a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®), who understands the specific needs of the children based on their developmental window of adaptation.

A CSCS® is responsible for building the foundation and the groundwork for later years of development, while doing so in a safe and healthy environment. These certified individuals have a wealth of knowledge that allows them to provide proper program design for the children throughout the course of their development.

For more information, check out these helpful links:

  1. Check out the NSCA’s Position Stand on Youth Resistance Training
  2. Take advantage of NSCA’s Personal Trainer Locator service, a helpful tool for parents to find an NSCA-certified strength coach or trainer in their area.
  3. Parents can get educated by joining the NSCA as an Associate Member for as little as $47/year.


It is important for parents to utilize certified coaches to train their children in order to get the most beneficial training based on each child’s chronological age and developmental age. This will provide a safe environment in which to promote long-term health and athletic development.

Disclaimer: The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) encourages the exchange of diverse opinions. The ideas, comments, and materials presented herein do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion, or otherwise.

Originally posted at: http://www.nsca.com/education/articles/would-my-youth-athlete-benefit-from-a-strength-and-conditioning-coach/


Steel bring home Bronze

Bronze Medalists! Steel defeat Russia to Win JCWC Bronze


The Chicago Steel won bronze Sunday in front of 3,000 Russia Avto fans to secure a record fourth consecutive medal for the USHL and USA Hockey, a Junior Club World Cup record. Chicago native Tanner Laczynski scored the game-winning goal and earned game MVP honors for the Steel.

After a tightly contested first period, the Steel found the back of the net 20 seconds into the second off a Brandon Duhaime shot from a rebound. Russia’s Avto came heavy on the attack after penalty trouble plagued the Steel. Despite being perfect on the penalty kill all game, Chicago gave up back-to-back goals and Avto woke up the home crowd. Wayzata, MN native Max Zimmer scored his fifth goal of the tournament off a snipe shot from the left circle to bring the game back to 2-2.

Both teams came out quick in the third period with Avto back on the power play in back-to-back opportunities. Avto and Steel went back and forth exchanging scoring opportunities, but veteran goaltender John Lethemon stood tall in net. While on the penalty kill, Chicago drew a five-minute major spearing penalty. Avto was able to kill the major, but found themselves back on the penalty kill with less than three minutes remaining. Laczynski had the puck at the top of the circle and fired a shot under the arm of Avto’s goaltender to put Chicago up 3-2.

The Junior Club World Cup, a IIHF sanctioned tournament, was hosted in Yekaterinburg, Russia, home to the Avto hockey club. The Steel played in front of three sellout crowds throughout the JCWC, the only sellouts of the tournament. Chicago will play in their new home arena, Fox Valley Ice Arena, for their home opener September 26, 2015 against Team USA.

Chicago Steel to attend Junior Club World Cup


Visit USHL to view the conference.

The United States Hockey League announced today that the Chicago Steel will compete in the 2015 Junior Club World Cup, representing USA Hockey and the USHL in the international tournament that takes place August 24-30, 2015 in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The JCWC, which is sanctioned by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), is the most prestigious international club championship in hockey and features top junior hockey teams from around the world as seven different countries will send representatives for the 2015 tournament.  The Chicago Steel are competing in “Group A” against teams from Latvia, Kazakhstan and Russia.  “Group B” consists of teams from Finland, Sweden, Belarus and Russia.

“It is a great opportunity for the Steel to bring the city of Chicago a second world championship this summer and to set a record for the USHL as the only league to medal in four consecutive seasons,” said Bob Fallen, USHL President and Commissioner.  “The USHL is excited to once again represent the United States and we know the Chicago will be prepared to compete at the highest level.”

It is the fourth consecutive year that a USHL team is participating in the event, following the Sioux City Musketeers in 2014, Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2013, and the Waterloo Black Hawks in 2012.  Sioux City won a bronze medal, Dubuque won a bronze medal and Waterloo earned a silver medal during their appearances, making the United States the only country to medal three times over the four-year history of the tournament.

The Steel will participate in a training camp in Moscow that includes practices, sight-seeing, a scrimmage against CSKA (Red Army), and will then depart for Yekaterinburg. Other planned activities in Moscow include a tour of Red Square and Kremlin along with a Russian bocce competition in Gorky Park.

Following round-robin play in both Group A and Group B, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinal round and will have the opportunity to compete for a medal.  The remaining six teams will compete in the consolation round.  Chicago beings tournament play on Monday, August 24th against Snezhnye Barsy from Kazakhstan.

2015 JCWC Schedule – Chicago Steel

  • Monday, August, 24th, 7:00 PM vs. Snezhnye Barsy (Kazakhstan)
  • Tuesday, August 25th, 7:00 PM vs. HC Riga (Latvia)
  • Thursday, August 27th, 7:00 PM vs. Auto (Russia)
  • Friday, August 28th, TBA, Semifinal and Consolation Round
  • Sunday, August 30th, TBA, Gold Medal and Bronze Medal Games

“Our organization is absolutely thrilled to represent the USHL and the United States in the Junior Club World Cup,” said John Egan, President and CEO of the Chicago Steel.  “We look forward to representing our city, and our country on and off the ice. It will be an outstanding hockey experience, but also a unique life experience for our players, coaches, and staff.”

Under first-year head coach Dan Muse, the Chicago Steel look to bounce back this season after missing the Clark Cup playoffs. The Steel roster returns 11 players from last season including USHL Scholar Athlete Award winner Ryan Blankemeier. Boston Bruins 3rd round draft selection Daniel Vladar looks to join the Steel in net at the 2015 JCWC tournament prior to his first USHL season.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 13th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16.  A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

Stop Making Excuses— Start Exercising

Fox Valley Fitness


Author: Ron Anderson

Founder and CEO of RLT Consulting Group, LLC

We’ve all done it, looked at our gym bag at home, in the car or at work and thought, “I should really go to the gym”.  But then in the same instance, we think of a million other things we could be doing and we talk ourselves out of it.  Let me tell you, the “I will do it tomorrow” attitude is what is keeping you from being where you want to be today.  Because if you added up all of the tomorrows you should have been working out, you’d have the body you wanted today.  So let’s take a look at some of the most common excuses we make for working out and debunk them for the nonsense that they are.  Maybe reading this will get you to take your gym bag where it belongs today……

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How to Fit Exercise into Your Routine—No Matter How Busy You Are

Fox Valley Fitness

We all know by now that maintaining an active lifestyle should be one of our top priorities in life. Only by taking care of ourselves do we stand a chance of being the kind of person we strive to be on the job, at home with our loved ones, and in our communities. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Work, in particular, can get in the way of working out—in fact, there is a big paradox going on, and it becomes more obvious the more challenging (and exciting!) a job gets: On one hand, we struggle to find time to work out; on the other, we can’t afford to not exercise because it is integral to sustained success.

 My co-author and I sought to get to the heart of this paradox—and figure out how to beat it—when we wrote Winning Without Losing: 66…

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