Athletic Performance Training Starts the New Year!

The first order of business for every new year is the implementation of the athletic performance training program.   When our players return to school next week, all those not playing a winter sport are expected to train Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with our athletic performance coach.  

The philosophy of our program is that athletes train movements, not muscles.  We do not break up our workouts into Legs, Chest & Tris, Back & Bis.  We train the entire body at every workout with multi-joint ground-based movements, core stabilizers, squat derivations, hip hinges, vertical or horizontal presses, and vertical or horizontal pulls.

We start with ground-based multi-joint movements: Snatch, Cleans, or Jerks.  Because of the complexity of the Snatch, we modify it by using a 1-arm Dumbbell Snatch.  We superset each of those Olympic lifts with a core stabilization exercise such as planks, dead-bugs, bird-dogs, Paloff presses, etc.  

In our next lifting block, we superset a squat movement (back or front squat, hex-bar deadlift, forward, backward, or walking lunges, Bulgarian split squats, etc) with a vertical or horizontal press (barbell or dumbbell bench, incline or push press). 

Our last lifting block is a hip hinge lift (barbell deadlift, 1-leg or 2-leg Romanian deadlifts) coupled with a vertical or horizontal pull (pull-ups, chin-ups, barbell, or dumbbell rows). 

We encourage our players to do 30 minutes of cardio on Tuesdays and a sprint workout on Thursdays.  All of their workouts are in an app called Train Heroic where they can record their weights, reps, times, and other information pertinent to their training so that we can track their progress through the winter months.

We want to be sure the training our players are doing translates to increased athletic performance on the field and not just to them looking better in the mirror. While there are obvious benefits to training in the off-season, perhaps the best one of all is getting those players who are not on a Winter team back together with their “brothers” and giving them something positive to do after a long Christmas break.

Speaking of returning after Christmas Break, it was five years and nearly 230 blog posts ago (around New Year’s 2017) that we started Whether you’re new to the site or have been along for the entire ride, I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to entertain conversations about the game I love and have dedicated more than 40 years to playing and coaching. I look forward to all 2022 brings to us, and hope you and yours enjoyed the Holidays, and are excited about the New Year, new teams, new challenges, and new victories!

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!  

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