The strength and conditioning program at Hunterdon Central is designed to enhance each athlete's success and, in turn, enhance each teams' success. Red Devil student-athletes have the opportunity to work with a full-time, certified strength and conditioning coach who designs training programs to improve performance, while helping to decrease the risk of injury.
In today's athletic environment, the foundation of any student-athlete's success on the field, court, ice or in the water is their year-round preparation. The weight room at Central is a 2400 sq/ft facility with equipment to help any student athlete work as hard as possible to develop strength, power, speed and agility.
Some of the equipment available to the student athletes are 2 power racks with platforms, Hammer Strength plate loaded equipment, dumbbells and plates, plyo-boxes for step-ups and jump/landing training and various cardio equipment.
Strength & Conditioning Philosophy
The Hunterdon Central Strength & Conditioning Program is based on sound principles that have been used to develop strong, stable, powerful and efficient athletes. Our training philosophy will work on developing:
Stability and Mobility
• Joint stability is the foundation for developing strength. Without stability, other muscles around the joint may have to contract and help keep the area from breaking down. This is essential, not only for strength development and performance but for injury prevention. With adequate joint stability, joint mobility can be enhanced, allowing the muscles around the joint to do their job, contracting and relaxing to allow efficient movement.
Efficient Movement Patterns
• As children, we develop movement patterns such as crawling, stepping, standing and squatting. These patterns are not necessarily taught, but are learned through trial and error. As children perform these patterns, their stability and strength improve. With many sports, some of these patterns are diminished by sports-specific drills that may develop one side or one area of the body over another. Insuring the patterns are improved during warm-up and training will not only enhance their athleticism, but help decrease risk of injury.
• All our programs will address proper movement patterns both in warm-up and training. Using multiple joints and multiple planes of motion, (forward/backward, side/to side, rotational), during the workout, will help them improve these patterns and control their body, (center of gravity), more efficiently.
• Developing strength is paramount for all sports. Our programs will give the appropriate intensity and volume for each sport.
• Our training will be done Ground Based, which allows the athletes to activate their stabilizers while they are producing and reducing force.
• Single and double leg/arm activities will be performed and well as traditional lifts.
• Moving weight quickly, that includes your own body weight, is one of the most important aspects of sport. Athletes will perform different exercises to produce force quickly including Plyometric drills, Olympic lifts and exercises with external devices such as chains and bands.
• Increasing an athletes Rate of Force Production will also help with injury prevention, especially for ACL training.
• As with strength training, some of these exercises may be performed single or double leg/arm in multiple planes of motion.
• Strength, power, speed and agility are not the only part of being a successful athlete. Being well conditioned is a very important piece of the puzzle. Fatigue, as well as your opponent, can be your worst enemy. Athlete’s energy systems will be challenged during the off season training to insure they are conditioned and ready for the first day of practice.
• Being able to control your Center of Gravity during games and practice can greatly reduce your risk of non-contact injuries. Having the ability to, “Control Collapse”, will not only help keep you healthy, but keep you in optimal position during competition.
Speed and Agility
• Acceleration and change of direction, (agility), training will be developed by teaching proper foot/shin positions during activity. Pillar core strength, proper body lean, knee drive, triple extension and arm action are the areas that will help enhance our acceleration and “Get Away”, steps. Footwork, stopping, starting and body position will be developed during our agility training.
• Maybe one of the most overlooked areas of training. This is an area where more can be better. Think of what our student athletes go through and you may feel your day is not that bad. Wake up – 6-6:30 to catch a 7-7:30 bus; School for 6-6.5 hours (computer work, physical fitness, reading); Practice or game for 2 hours,(longer if away); Home for homework – 1 hour. On average that is a 10 hour day, usually more and rarely less. Add in other stress such as boyfriend/girlfriend and any other life issues and our young athletes have a full plate.
• Lack of improvement in performance can usually be traced back to poor recovery habits such as nutrition and sleep.
• Athletes will be educated, throughout the year, on good nutritional habits, both pre and post exercise, and the importance of sleep, (about 8 hours a night).
• Red Devil student-athletes and the strength and conditioning staff have very high expectations. Much of what is done in the weight-room is designed to seamlessly integrate with the mission of the School while striving for athletic excellence. Red Devil student-athletes will learn discipline, teamwork, and responsibility while developing confidence and a strong work ethic.