FAQ

“We provide athletes with essential athletic tools and the equally-essential athletic 'toolbox' needed to carry them.”
Steve Myrland / Mary Grinaker
Train To Play

Q: Is the Train to Play training sport-specific?
A: TTP is about improving general athleticism, so the training is athlete-appropriate, first.  We know who we are training and what they are training for, so we can always “tweak” movement elements to make them both relevant to the sport(s) and / or event(s) of our athletes.  This can be as simple as having a tennis player hold her racquet when she trains for improved speed and agility (because she will have to be good with racquet in-hand when she competes) or choosing sprint distances and work-to-rest interval times that reflect those common to a given sport.  TTP training provides athletes with athletic tools and the 'toolbox' needed to carry them.

Q: What do I need to bring with me to Train to Play sessions?
A: We provide all the equipment necessary for each training session.  This may include medicine balls, ABC ladders, mini-bands, and c-bands.  It is important that Each participant have training shoes that are “indoor soccer” style in nature. Because of the lateral movements involved, running shoes are not appropriate footwear.   It is also important that each participant bring along his or her own water bottle.

Q: Where do we meet if it’s raining?
A: We will have alternative sites set for you.  This might include meeting indoors in the Middleton High School Field House.  We will outline the inclement weather procedures at our first session.

Q: What happens if I need to miss Train to Play because of a planned family vacation?
A: If pre-arranged,  we will pro-rate the overall cost of TTP based on the actual number of session you are able to attend.

Q: Is it possible for my parents or high school coach to watch a Train to Play session?
A: Absolutely.  We encourage it.  Parents and / or coaches are more than welcome to view what we do from the bleacher section of the stadium.

Q: How old do I need to be to participate in Train to Play?
A: Last summer we had a few participants who were entering their Freshman year in High School.   At that age, typically you are mature enough both physically and mentally to handle the intensity of the program.  Last summer our ages ranged from Freshman in High School (15) to a few college aged athletes (20-21).

Q: What are your training principals?
A: TTP training is predicated on progression, variety and precision—the three pillars of all good physical education and athletic development. 

Progression is defined, here, as matching the athlete to an appropriate physical task rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach.  First, we train to learn; next we train to train (harder, longer, better); then we train to play (to compete and win).  In this, progression is everything because training is cumulative.  So:  What did you do yesterday?  How did that prepare you for what we will do today?  How will yesterday and today relate to what you will do tomorrow?

Variety means changing the training stimulus.  It is about throwing curve-balls at the central-nervous system to keep things challenging and mindful and to continually expand each athlete’s comfort-zone for training and competition. 

Precision is simply attention to detail.  Movement must be done well—consistently.  You cannot seek precision in human movement if you do not know what it looks like.  So: Our best coaching tools are our experienced eyes.  We know what precision looks like. 

Q: What are your Train to Play Speed-Development sessions like?
A: TTP Speed-Development sessions begin with a thorough warm-up using movement-elements that build from slow-to-fast and simple-to-complex to elevate the body’s core temperature and prepare the central-nervous system for the training elements that follow.  The first training element following warm-up will focus either on straight-ahead acceleration and speed (SAS), or multi-directional speed and agility (MDSA).  We rotate SAS and MDSA each training day just to give each topic special emphasis from one session to the next.  A week’s training might look like this:

 

Monday Wednesday Friday
Warm-up Warm-up Warm-up
SAS MDSA SAS
MDSA SAS MDSA
Conditioning Conditioning Conditioning
Warm-down Warm-down Warm-down

 

The following week might look like this (alternated emphasis):

 

Monday Wednesday Friday
Warm-up Warm-up Warm-up
MDSA SAS MDSA
SAS MDSA SAS
Conditioning Conditioning Conditioning
Warm-down Warm-down Warm-down

 

Q: What are your Train to Play Strength-Development sessions like?
A: Our Strength-Development is circuit-based resistance training, aimed at building functional—connected—strength from toes to fingers.  By “connected” we mean that the strength we focus on requires the body to function as an optimized kinetic chain where all links work synergistically to create safe, graceful, powerful movement. The equipment and elements we employ teach bodies to become supple, and yielding (like tall trees in a wind-storm) rather than rigid and robotic.  The best way to describe TTP strength-training is to quote Vern Gambetta’s seminal training maxim:  “Train movements, not muscles.” To do this, we tap into the body’s natural intelligence by giving it physical puzzles to solve using simple equipment (or no equipment at all).  In this, we teach athletes how to be independent in their training—because almost everything we use is inexpensive and portable—rather than dependent on specific training venues or equipment.  Our athletes learn to be great shock-absorbers and great shock-transmitters so they are prepared for all those moments-of-truth—in training and sport—where creating and applying the right force, in the right direction, at the right time will permit them to survive-and-thrive rather than crash-and-burn.