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PERFORMANCE TRAINING 101 | FOR ADULTS + YOUTH

By Coach Jacob of Landow Performance

What is performance training?

At Landow Performance, our collective goal is to maximize human performance. Mentored by Denver Broncos head strength and conditioning coach Loren Landow, my priority as a sports performance coach is to apply long term development progressions to help athletes and non-athlete clients become resilient to the demands of their sport or daily lifestyle. We are a movement-based facility when it comes to each individual, and I believe that teaching movement competence leads to movement confidence.

Who is performance training for? Is it for pro-athletes or die-hard sports people only? Men, Women, Kids? What age can kids start?

Performance training is for everyone, no matter the age, sport, competitive level, experience, or general mobility of an individual. I’m a firm believer that the Long-Term Athletic Development model is the best way of maximizing human development across the lifespan. At Landow Performance our motto is “Train to Win”, but this is only a piece of the puzzle in the Long-Term Athletic Development (LTAD) model. We can look at LTAD as four progressive, yet fluid, stages: FUNdamentals, Learn to Train, Train to Compete, and Train to Win. While sports become increasingly more competitive with year-round practice schedules, early sports specialization is becoming ever more common and those FUNdamentals are sometimes forgotten. Early on in a child’s life, grade/elementary school, time should be spent learning the fundamentals of athletic movement in both gross motor and fine motor skills, such as learning how to run, skip, and jump efficiently and effectively. This is crucial to long-term success and the individual’s overall potential being achieved. Establishing good movement patterns and training habits early at an impressionable age will only help to set up future success. Most of all, performance training at the grade school age should be fun, hence the FUN in FUNdamentals. When a young athlete enjoys being active and training, they are more likely to continue on the path of training for self-improvement.

Is performance training a safe option for someone with an injury or pain?

Absolutely! It is the performance coach’s responsibility to take all variables into account, and adapt/modify to personalize the training program to the needs and limitations of the individual. While we can work around a limitation from injury/pain, we also address the cause-and-effect relationship to find a possible prevention for future reinjury. Was this injury caused by a movement inefficiency? We can then develop and increase tissue tolerance to stressor and reengineer movement patterns to reduce the risk of reinjury in the future.

What are the benefits? Why would someone do this type of training? How often should they train?

Performance training develops the specific bio-motor abilities of the human body: speed, power, strength, agility, mobility, and conditioning. Performance training maximizes human performance efficiently and effectively, while decreasing the likelihood of injury. Training frequency is based upon an individual’s needs. This should be frequent enough to stimulate a desired physiological adaptation, yet allowing enough time to recover and allow those physiological adaptations to manifest. Neuro-muscular education in youth can occur quickly, especially when movement patterns are broken down into segments to be taught and then applied.

Can you talk about the mental benefits and gained confidence?

Mental toughness regardless of an individual’s training capacity extends far beyond physical training. Clients gain confidence when they are reasonably pushed outside of their limits and successfully complete the tasks to achieve their goal. And as a performance coach we should push them to the next levels of I CAN and I WILL succeed.

Why did you get in to coaching? What’s your story?

I grew up on my family's farm in southeastern Colorado. I was a multi-sport athlete throughout high school. I attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado, where I was a member of the NCAA Men’s Soccer team and worked as a certified personal trainer at the campus fitness center. I graduated with honors in 2019 with my Bachelor’s in Health and Exercise Science. After graduation, I became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and was given an opportunity to work as a Sports Performance Coach at Landow Performance. I believe my life experiences have given me a unique perspective on coaching, and I enjoy helping people successfully achieve their sport, health, and wellness goals.

What if my kiddo doesn’t play sports and isn’t interested in sports? Is performance training a good fit? If so, why?

Performance training can really go beyond sport performance and focus on an individual’s goals for living their best life and build upon their overall wellness. Young people do not have to be sports oriented to receive the benefits of performance training. Motor skills, hand eye coordination, quickness, strength and speed are all skills that can benefit young people as their bodies mature. They are able to set individual goals and work to achieve them.

What should people know when looking in to facilities and coaches? Are there certain credentials?

In my mind when looking at training options, there are a couple of factors to consider.

  1. Does the coach know what they’re talking about? Are they well educated in performance training? Do they have a reason for the training methods they implement, or are they just copying the ‘latest and greatest’ social media trend? With every activity/exercise/drill, there should always be a reason behind it, and the why’s of training. Training should always be intentional and specific to the individual receiving the training.
  2. Is the coach the right fit for myself or for my child? Do we/they get along? Is communication easy? Does the coach show support outside of the allotted training sessions? In a coach, I want someone who is invested in my success!

    Anything else you want people to know?

If any O44 readers have more questions, I would be happy to help! My email is coachjacobbarker@gmail.com
Big thank you to Carrie Dorr for the opportunity to answer questions and share my thoughts on performance training. Thank you to Loren Landow, Augie Agyei, Amber Felchle, and everyone at Landow Performance for your mentorship and guidance.