When to Train Sport Specific




Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Serena Williams, all started at a young age which raises the question, who will be the next rising athlete? Many parents believe that their child will be the next top athlete.


Predicting success in athletics is a challenge at any age, and trying to predict an athlete’s future can be similar to playing the lotto.  The days of free play with neighborhood friends seems to be a thing in the past.  Many of our young athletes are specializing in one sport at a very early age in hopes of scholarships, and a professional career.  When looking at our youth we should really be focusing on developing skills that they will use at a older age when they are actually ready to focus on sport specification.


Coaches are constantly pushing their athletes to be faster, stronger, and to jump higher. However, we as trainers believe one should look beyond these skills and work on an exercise plan to make a smarter, and more skilled athlete.  To develop a great athlete, sport specific conditioning must be designed to help the athlete read and react to unpredictable situations.


The specific time frames of sports is also very controversial, however here at Wildly Fit we tend to follow the Long-Term Athlete Development Model (www.ltad.ca). This model provides an excellent summary of growth, maturation, and sport-related research.


Generally children ages 5-10 training should focus on flexibility, sport skills, and speed.  During the early years of puberty there is more opportunity to make improvements on aerobic capacity and speed.  Once puberty has progressed the development of strength should be the focus as well as injury prevention  (13-14 females , 16-18 males).


This summer many of our young athletes will be in either off-season or pre-season, this is a great opportunity to incorporate the sport specific training that they need.  If interested in signing up your child please contact us at  info@wildly-fit.com or call 734-585-5745.



What is Fascial Stretching Therapy (FST)?




FST is a painfree modality used to increase ROM (range of motion), relieve pain, tightness, and increase athletic performance.  FST is an assisted stretching technique that is performed by a Certified Fascia Stretch Therapist.  The stretching takes place on a treatment table with comfortable straps to stabilize the part of the body not being worked on. This technique uses combinations of PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) as well as traction. Pain is never allowed and considered a negative response. The therapist will combined different techniques from the joint capsules in waves of movements targeting multiple angles to release, relax, and stretch the tissues and fibers.



Why is stretching so important?


We lose 10% of our range of motion for every 10 years we age. Many factors affect flexibility such as; age, dehydration, adhesions, tension, gender, hormones, lack of strength and coordination, inflammation, pain, training, postural misalignment, and more.


How should I be stretching?  


All tissues and muscles should be warmed up before they are stretched. To achieve a maximal stretch you must elongate a muscle by moving the joint away from the insertion. Real gains in flexibility will occur when you actually train for flexibility on a regular basis and should be balanced with strength to be fully functional.  Using a combination of stretching techniques (i.e. static, PNF, assisted, myofacial, FST) is necessary for optimal flexibility.


What does stretching really do for me?


Listed below are some benefits of proper stretching that can be attained by anyone.

– Reduce the risk of injury, especially strains and sprains.

– Reduce or eliminate back problems and pain

– Develop body awareness

– Enhance physical fitness levels

– Reduce muscular soreness

– Reduce muscular tension

– Increase balance and symmetry of the body

– Improve posture  


Wildly Fit is excited to announce that we will be the second site in Michigan offering a service titled FST (Fascial Stretching Therapy). Amy Wilds recently spent time in Phoenix, Arizona with the Stretch To Win Institute, to learn this new innovative technique of stretching as she felt many of the clients at Wildly Fit were the perfect candidates.  Contact us to learn more.