Monday, July 24, 2006

Building Foundations: You Go Girl!

I'm working with a young, female cross country runner--call her AJ--who is preparing for her junior year in high school. My job is work on basic running mechanics (relaxing the upper body, more efficient arm swing) and building a foundation of strength.

AJ is about 5' 7" and 115 lbs. She's a 12:30ish two-miler. Born and built to go long; needs to get stronger and learn how to find and express power when necessary. She's never lifted or done any supervised jumping. We're working with some R sided (hip/core/shoulder girdle) weakness. She's got a mellow, quiet--but determined--personality. My job is also to light a bit of a fire and bring out confidence in her ability to be faster and stronger.

So far, our 3x/wk workouts have been great. We are learning to train; gaining confidence; building neuromuscular coordination and expressing torso stability while learning good lower extremity mechanics with squats. She's learning to control R hip IR/knee valgus movements with landing mechanics. While I was on vacation, AJ was diligent with her program and I returned to find improved pressing (overhead & push up). This young athlete was even using a mirror at home to make sure her mechanics were perfect with push ups.

She's gaining confidence, even though her teammates have questioned her resistance training. "Aren't you afraid of getting bulky?" they ask. She just laughs. I'm so proud of her. She understands it takes hard work, attention to detail and persistence. Such a joy to work with at all times.

I can't wait to see her progress over the next two years.

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