The following post is written by Nick Cipkus. Nick works as the Social Media and Marketing Representative for Liberty Performance Training. Please take a moment to visit his website at https://cipsportbiz1988.wordpress.com/ for insights on small business and sports performance!
Liberty Performance Training’s mission is to help improve athletic performance and promote a healthy lifestyle. Liberty aims to provide valuable resources for our clients. We also want to help coaches, parents, and athletes throughout the country. Liberty Performance and I recently caught up with Jordon Simmons. Jordon is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, for the University of Nevada’s football team.
The strength and conditioning industry can be difficult to navigate at the youth and high school level for parents and athletes. Information and recommendations are everywhere. Who can you trust? What type of “personal trainer” or “strength coach” should you look for? What certifications should they carry?
Jordon works with extremely hard working and talented athletes every day. Even though they are elite athletes, they are far from a finished product when they arrive on campus. What are common challenges and weaknesses exhibited by incoming freshman? Life lessons are a crucial part of any quality strength and conditioning program. What life lessons does the Nevada Wolf Pack try to build during their workouts? These life lessons are just as important as the physical improvements.
Jordon, big thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day and answering the questions below. Hopefully it will have an impact on athletes throughout the United States.
Liberty Performance Training: What 3 Things Should Parents/Athletes look for in a potential personal trainer/strength coach?
Jordon Simmons: “Education, experience, certifications. In answering this question, I am really combining all three of these things into one. I don’t necessarily think it is mandatory that a coach possess a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology, multiple certifications, and 10+ years of experience in order to be qualified and successful, but you do need to use common sense when evaluating individuals. Take your time, do your homework, and make sure that you find someone who is going to click with you (or your child) in order to get the most out of your training. Everyone responds differently – find a coach that will help you become the best version of yourself, on and off the field.”
Liberty Performance Training: What are common issues and challenges with incoming Freshman?
Jordon Simmons: That’s a good question and can be taken in various different directions. Of course you have strength, flexibility imbalances and movement pattern deficiencies. However, I think in our modern era of instant information, the biggest challenge is overcoming the seemingly endless stream of different strength and conditioning philosophies. It is not uncommon for incoming freshmen to have had a football coach that served three roles: Teacher, Football Coach, Strength Coach. This individual is spread extremely thin. Most times, their commonly utilized resource for strength and conditioning programs is the internet. Unfortunately, more times than not, that creates a very unsound base for athletes. In order to counteract that, we have to essentially go back to the basics to ensure proper form and reduce the risk of injury.
Liberty Performance Training: What are three life lessons you feel athletes should learn through their training and workouts?
- Hard work: There is no substitute for hard work. It’s that simple. There is absolutely no substitute for showing up every day and putting the work in. I don’t care how talented you think you are. Learning the truth of that simple statement will help you in every aspect of your life, more than you realize. Whether it be in athletics, in your career, in your relationships – there is no substitute for effort.
- Leadership: You are a leader to someone. It doesn’t matter who you are, you are an inspiration to someone around you. You may never see a minute of actual competition, but I guarantee you at some point along the way you will inspire someone. Always remember that. Always train with that thought in your mind.
- Confidence/Belief: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know. The sooner you really embrace those words, the sooner you will amaze yourself. Don’t ever put limits on yourself. We are incredible creatures capable of extraordinary things – what are you going to accomplish?
Again, big thanks to Jordon for providing valuable insight into the questions above. Incredible value. Athletes and Parents, please take this information and use it in your pursuit of becoming a better athlete. Use this as a resource and feel free to reach out to Liberty Performance Training with any further questions. We will be sure to point you in the right direction.
As a reminder, Rich Mulder graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2009.After his service, Rich obtained his Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification from the NSCA and his Master’s Degree from Arizona State University. Rich has been published in NSCA Coach and currently serves on the NSCA Arizona State Advisory Board. He is the founder, owner, and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of Liberty Performance Training in Phoenix, Arizona.
Liberty Performance Training was founded in Phoenix, Arizona in May of 2015 with the primary goals of increasing individual athletic performance, motivation, and quality of life for athletes at any level. Above all else, our coaches truly care about each and every athlete they work with. We espouse integrity, work ethic, and performance outcomes above anything.