The accomplishments and awards received through the hard work and dedication of our fall season WST collegiate athletes!       

This past fall season was filled with tremendous personal and team accomplishments for many of our WST college athletes. WST is proud to have as clients:

  • 16 student athletes start nearly every game in their collegiate season
  • 5 teams have won their conferences
  • 10 teams who made the NCAA tournament
  • 3 teams who made it to the final four of the tournament
  • 3 athletes whose team was a finalist in the NCAA tournament
  • 1 athlete whose team won the NCAA Tournament

During this collegiate season a few of WST’s proud clients excelled during their respective seasons. To highlight a few outstanding performances that were consistent throughout the entire season we would like to extend our congratulations and appreciation to Tom Bull, Zach Chambers, Nickolette Driesse, Monique Goncalves, Tom Haskel, Rohan Sood, and Krista Longo.

Tom Bull, Tom Haskel, and Rohan Sood were all a part of an Amherst College side that finished 18-1-2 overall and won their third consecutive conference title. Amherst also went on 40-game unbeaten streak that dates back to last season (6th longest streak in Div. III history). Tom Bull was also named to the NSCAA All-Region First Team.

Zach Chambers, enjoyed a very strong season with Olivet Nazarene University. His side finished 15-5-2 and won the CCAC title for a second consecutive season. Chambers ended the season with a 0.89 Goals Against Average. Chambers, averaged 3.68 saves a game with 8 shutouts that led the conference.

Nickolette Driesse, and her Florida State side finished 23-2-3 this season. Nickolette had 28 appearances with 27 of them being starts. Nickolette helped her team win the ACC tournament for the second consecutive season and was named to the ACC all-Frshmen Team. Florida State made it to the College Cup Final, but lost to UCLA 1-0 in overtime. Nickolette finished the season with 7 assists and was called into the U-20 National Team Camp on December 10, 2013.

Monique Goncalves and Carlie Till and the Monmouth Hawks finished the 2013 season 17-2-2. Monique played and started in all 21 games for her side and was named first team al MAAC. Monmouth won the MAAC Regular Season Title and the MAAC Championship Title.  Monmouth lost to #24 ranked Penn State in the NCAA tournament.

Krista Longo and her Williams Smith Herons finished 23-1-0 and won the Division III National Championship this season. The Herons also won the Liberty League Championship. Krista finished with 8 goals and 3 assists in 24 games. Three of her eight were game winners and she scored in the 2-0 National Championship victory over #2 Trinity.

Others who have made it to the NCAA tournament include Megan MacDonald of Boston College (Final 4). Carly Rotatori from Harvard Clinched the Ivy league Title.  Amanda Haik of Middlebury helped the panthers advance to the NCAA tournament DIII final. Corey DeLaney of Dartmouth made first team all Ivy League and advanced Dartmouth to the Ivy League final.

Other standout individual performances were seen from Eliza Gray of Gettysburg was twice named Centennial Conference (CC) Defensive Player of the Week. Eliza also made second team all conference.  Matthew Nigro of William Patterson was named first team all NJAC

Congrats to all of our WST falls season athletes!!!

The staff at Williams Sport Training wishes you and your families a safe, healthy and happy holiday season and New Year!

WST, Where Only the Strong Survive!

Increasing Explosive Strength and Reactive Method through Plyometrics

Shock training or plyometrics is developed by a sudden stretch preceding any voluntary effort. Kinetic Energy and not heavy weights must be used. Depth jumps and med ball re-bounding are two common means used. Dr. Verkhoshansky, the father of plyometrics first thoughts came by observing triple jumpers and how powerful the jumps were after each landing. This he knew, that the powerful jumps came after the athletes falling body reacted to the impact of the contact to the ground. This made Verkhoshansky aware of the stretch-shortening action by the use of kinetic energy. Many believe that plyometric’ s are dangerous, they can be without the proper knowledge of general weight and jump training before engaging in depth jumps. While depth jumps build explosive strength, they also build absolute strength by using different heights to achieve a certain goal. How many drops are done in one workout for the intermediate or advanced. You will note Olympic lifting is never mentioned when the goal is developing explosive power or strength. Why?
Strength is not measured in heavy or light weights. What is a heavy 300lb squat for a female sprinter would be light for a world class shot putter. So how can one weight be heavy and light? It can’t, but rather fast or slow. Strength is measured in velocities.
Explosive = fast velocity
Speed Strength = intermediate velocity
Strength Speed = low velocity
Isometric = zero velocity
This is explained on pg. 150 in Supertraining sixth edition 2003

Are depth jumps and bounding safe? Just as safe as running, jumping or many other ballistic sport activities. What makes them unsafe is a lack of a complete training system. Before the subject of plyometric training, we must first prescribe a sound weight training and jump training. Let’s look at the three proven methods of weight training.

1. Maximal Effort Method
This is the greatest method of strength training for improving both intermuscular and intramuscular coordination, as your body only adapts to the load placed on it. Then to use after a warm up to single attempts until setting a new record. Stop for the day and 7 days later switch a special barbell exercise and max out once more. This is low volume, highest intensity training followed by 3-4 small special exercises.

2. The Dynamic Method
This method improves the rate of force development and speed and explosive strength. It is no use to build maximal strength, but certainly had a lot to do with its development. As your max’s go up are you able to maintain the same bar speed at sub maximal weights. 50% of speed strength should be at 50% to 60% of a one rep max with 25% band tension at the lockout. Roughly 0.8 to 0.9 m/s on average. This is mechanical power.

3. The Repetition Method
This method should not be done in the classical lift, but in small exercises. Especially for the posterior chain. Note: the posterior chain is talked about all the time, but I see athletes constantly lack strength in that area. 80% of Westside training is small, special exercises, while only 20% are classical.

4. The Maximal Effort Method
This method uses slow velocity while the dynamic method uses intermediate velocity. The two methods make it possible to absorb the harsh training plyometric domains of the athlete. Explosive strength is trained at fast velocity. It is trained by a variety of special exercises with and without weights or other resistance. Basic Jump

A group of jumping exercises that first came from dance and later incorporated into weight lifting and track and field. Seated press on the floor. All around consider kneeling squats front and back, jumping on the feet. Power clean off knee’s onto feet, power snatch off knees onto feet and power clean or snatch off knees onto feet split style. Add weights when possible while keeping records on each type of jump.
Next, box jumping with weights, use kettlebells, weight vest, ankle weights and combos of all types. Keep records of every type, always rotating each jump session to avoid accommodation. 40 jumps per workout for the very strong or at least advanced athlete 18yrs and older. To round out the athletes preparatory phase, power walk with sleds. This will build strong jumping and running muscles as well as thicker ligaments and tendons including the feet where many career ending or at least season injuries occur. Westside DVD’s cover all the above info on the volume and intensity. The coach and athlete must learn to train smarter not harder like ACDC said, it’s a long road if you want to reach the top.  Now you are ready for plyometric training. Like all the shock methods can be taxing, plyometrics are no different. So before depth jumps let’s look at several types of bounding with ground contact under 0.2 of a second.
            1. Single take-off jumps on stairs
            2. Leg to leg jumps: single, triple, 5’s and 10’s
            3. Double leg jumps over 5-10 or 15 low hurdles
            4. Double leg jumps over high hurdles of 40-42”
            5. Slow bounds with submaximal effort in a controlled style
            6. Frog jumps
            7. 3 jumps off left foot then 3 jumps off right foot
            8. 20-40/60 meter leg to leg bounds with light resistance 10-20-30lbs with Bulgarian bag
            9. Standing long jumps (keep records)
          10. Standing long jumps with kettlebells, release before landing
The above jumps should be done and weight lifting dynamic or max effort with a 30 minute rest from the barbell lifts.

Explosive Weight Jumps
Do single to a triple with 30% of a one rep max or 10 – 15% of a one rep max with kettlebells or Bulgarian bags for 10 – 20 reps, stop when fatigue sets in.  While Dr. Verkhoshansky uses contracts training with a heavy barbell for 1-2 reps at 90% immediately followed by 30% barbell jumps, Westside uses band resistance by the barbell for an over speed eccentric phase to produce more kinetic energy for re-usable strength and the bands give accommodation to eliminate bar deceleration.

Depth Jumps
First, what is the goal? Explosive power or absolute strength?
The height of the drop will determine the outcome. 36 inch drops and lower will build explosive power. Drop jumps of 45 inches and higher will build absolute strength but can be very dangerous, never for beginners or large, over 125kg athletes.  To time of the fall until ground contact will determine the amortization phase or shock absorption phase which must be 0.2 of a second or faster to be considered a plyometric action. When falling from a greater height, the shock absorption phase will be longer, mainly training a strong isometric contraction in the leg muscles. 4 sets of 10 drops for the advanced and 3 sets of 8 drops for well trained. Remember the amortization phase is most important. In the beginning drop off a low box 12-16-20 inches. The coach must analyze the time spent on the ground just like sprinting, the less ground contact, the better.

Depth Drops vs. Depth Jumps
Depth drops will provide the ability to absorb the shock of the fall, but are not as effective due to not using an energetic take off to develop reactive ability. Like many things there are many varieties of depth jumps, but like box squats there is only one correct method. Note: I am always amazed that great sport scientist like Dr. Verkhoshansky spent years perfecting the perfect technique in a proven exercise, only to have un-experienced coaches use their own ideas that lead to less than favorable results, then assume the inventor was wrong in his assumption of its value. So to reduce the risk of injuries and to make depth jumps as valuable to the athlete as possible. I will describe Dr Verkhoshansky’s method for performing the exercise.

Depth Jump
The athlete must start with arms behind the back, then step off a pre-determined height box with one leg stepping forward at the start of the fall. Now bring the other leg forward to even. After stepping off the box the legs must be straight. Remember do not jump but fall from the box forward, straight down to the landing surface.

How to Land
The athlete must land on both legs simultaneously on the balls of the feet, then back on the heels. Now, upon landing be flexible to cushion the surface contact before the takeoff.

The Takeoff Phase
The athlete now must jump as high as possible. One can set a vertical jump tester to establish the height to reach. Try new records and keep records from different height drops. I prefer to drop jump from a pre-determined box and jump upward on the second box. This is somewhat less taxing because your velocity is near zero upon landing on an elevated box. When jumping upward to touch a new height you now must once again do a safe landing to try to land as easy as possible on the balls of both feet with a flexible surface (rubber mats or foam).
Note: Because depth jumps can alter the work load to such an extent you must limit some squatting and pulling exercises during depth jump training.
Westside uses the recommendations of Dr. Verkhoshansky. 4 sets of 10 jumps two times a week. Average drop height is 30 inches. 3 sets of 8 jumps for not so advanced, meaning well trained and very strong. Our weight jumps use the same loading. Remember you must be physically prepared to do depth jumps. Weight training for max strength, speed strength and explosive through jumping up onto boxes. A large base for GPP is sled work, wheel barrow push and 80% of the training must be small special exercises.

Recommended Reading: Supertraining by Mel Siff; Science and Practice of Strength Training by V. M Zatsiorsky; Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches by Y. Verkhoshansky; Fundamentals of Special Strength Training in Sports by Y.V. Verkhoshansky; Explosive Power and Jumping Ability by T. Starzynski and H. Sozanski PHD; Lifts DVD by Natalia Verkhoshansky 

By: Louie Simmons (WestSide barbell)