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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Keeping competitive edge means summer training for athletes

Sunday, July 11, 2004

(Photo)
Health Facilities Rehab Services athletic trainer Kent Schott works with Blane Stewart.
SIKESTON - Training in the off season can help athletes retain their competitive edge, and local athlete are taking advantage of programs tailored to help meet their goals.

"We have the SET Program which stands for Sports Enhancement Training," said Karen Beck, administrator for Health Facilities Rehab Services' outpatient center in Sikeston.

SET programs are twice per week for children ages 8-12 and three or four times per week for children who are 12 and up.

Health Facilities Rehab Services began the program in November. Each individual, pair or group start their own six-week program when they sign up.

Health Facilities Rehab Services' athletic trainers, Kent Schott and Scott Nichols, begin by testing the athletes for speed, agility, horizontal and vertical jump, body fat, flexibility and "two or three different agility tests" to determine where they are.

At the end of the six-week program, they are tested again "to see what our gains were," Schott said.

Power training accounts for the extra two days for the older youths, something younger athletes aren't ready for yet. "Their growth plates aren't established yet so we don't do any power training, heavy lifting with them," Schott said. He recommended the four-day schedule for those 12 and over, however, so enough time can be devoted to developing speed and agility.

"Are you ready for the challenge?" is the slogan for ReStart's athletic training programs including their new off-season conditioning programs, according to Sharon Urhahn, director of marketing for Missouri Delta Medical Center.

Since June 7, girls ages 13-17 are training from 10 a.m. until noon at the Regal Health Club three days per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at four different stations: spinning, weight lifting, plyometrics and core strengthening.

"It lasts two hours," said Heather Vogler, athletic trainer for ReStart. "It's a half-hour each at each station."

Adopted from Cincinnati Sportsmetrics, the course lasts for six weeks. A four-week course is scheduled to start July 19 at the Charleston ReStart. Classes for the Charleston course will be from 1:30 until 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

"The focus of this program is to increase vertical jump, increase strength and to decrease spine and knee injuries," Vogler said.

She explained female knees have a higher incidence of knee ligament tears "just because of female body mechanics."

Vogler said ReStart's program for girls is focused on correct technique for jumping and landing.

While gains won't be measured until the end of the course, "the quality of their jumps has already increased greatly," said Kylie Wibbenmeyer, ReStart's wellness coordinator.

An off-season conditioning program for athletic boys ages 12-17 is also in progress with workouts from 2-3:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

"The boys are doing something just a little bit different," Vogler said. "We're focusing more on speed and agility training."

In addition to weight lifting, the program features plyometrics that are "more detailed," Vogler said, "more advanced."

During the school year, ReStart is looking at putting together a preseason sport-specific program; a maintenance program "so they can keep what they've got during the summer," Wibbenmeyer said; and they are even looking at the possibility of an adult athlete program. Urhahn said that in addition to Vogler and Amy Gordin, ReStart will add a third athletic trainer, Jon Hammontree, in August. "We're really excited."

Schott said they have had some college athletes do a SET Program, but still haven't had any adults yet.

"We'll work with any athlete - we would definitely do it," he said. "We have a program that's going to benefit any athlete."