As the field of sports continues to evolve, so must the training. The ideas that have given success to our training remain constant, but we believe in exploring new ways of enhancing our athletes’ performance. For this reason we have partnered with top professionals in different fields, and developed routines that incorporate cutting-edge technology to further enhance and monitor our athletes’ performance. Utilizing these training tools has allowed our athletes to examine their training from a strategic perspective, as well as maximize their potential in a new and exciting way.
ESPN’s Wide World of Sports is a huge facility. So huge that we have a sand pit that measures 70 yards long by 20 yards wide. Sand training is valuable to our program, as it minimizes impact to the athletes’ joints and muscles, as well as adds 360 degrees of resistance to any athletic movement. Sand training is nothing new, but few facilities have a sand pit that can rival the size of ours. They say size isn’t everything, but an elite athlete needs that kind of space to be able to run fast, change direction, and do all of the drills that will make them better at their position.
We utilize our sand pit for explosive training, position specific training, resistance speed training, agility, and foot speed. Even our sand is specialized. Not your typical beach sand, it has a smoother grain so that it doesn’t clump together and harden, allowing the athletes to get the full benefit of resistance training in the sand.
DOWNHILL UPHILL RAMP
Continuing with the countless amenities that our facility provides, we also have a 40 yard uphill/downhill ramp, with an additional 40 yard flat run-out that we use for speed training. Over-speed training is an integral part of any linear speed training regiment, so this training tool is one of our biggest assets. Utilizing the downhill section of the ramp forces an athlete to run faster than he/she would on a flat surface. Over speed training conditions the body to move faster which then translates to flat playing fields. We can also use the ramp for resistance training by running uphill and working on explosive power, resulting in a well-balanced speed training program. Honestly, where else can you find these types of training tools on this large of a scale?
Training at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports has many advantages, world class facilities, immaculate fields, and endless training space just to mention a few. We also the opportunity to work with the genius minds that work in the ESPN Innovation Lab. Coach Shaw asked the crew in the lab if they could invent a training tool that our athletes could run against, where he could set the speed at any pace he wanted the athlete to compete with. From Coach Shaw’s vision, paired with the brilliant minds in the lab, The LED light strip was added into the program. Running against the strip is like chasing an opponent that never gets tired. The light strip is 40 yards long, and is made up of hundreds of high definition LED lights that can be set to any color, and run at any speed. If you want to race Chris Johnson, we can set it at 4.24 seconds. Dri Archer, We can set it at 4.26 seconds or Quinton Spain at 4.98. With the “rabbit” and athlete starting simultaneously, the athlete is able to run in a competitive situation, allowing him to unlock his full speed potential. As Coach Shaw always tell’s the athletes, “Training is Pace specific, You train at the pace you want to run. If you train slow, you’ll run slow. If you train fast you’ll get faster.” We work all aspects of the 40 yard dash with the light strip, from the start to the full race. This cutting-edge training tool was developed on site at the ESPN Innovation Lab, so we know you will not find another one like it.
SECA BODY COMPOSITION
The Seca body composition analyzer determines fat mass, visceral fat, extracellular and intracellular water and skeletal muscle mass in less than 20 seconds. Tracking body fat and muscle mass offers great data on changes to diet and training over time, however the Seca also provides a daily or weekly tool so our athletes can focus on optimal hydration. Blood flow, muscle contraction, metabolism and delay of fatigue are a few of the benefits to being hydrated. We combine other hydration markers (USG, electrolyte analysis, sweat rate) with the Seca data to individualize a nutrition & hydration plan.
In addition to the many ammenities provided by the Wide World of Sports, we also do resistance training in the Lazy River. Let us say, the workouts in the pool are anything BUT lazy. We combine jumping, sprinting, and agility in the water to further enhance our athletes’ performance. And when our athletes get the current moving fast in one direction, we turn them around and run against the current to add even more resistance. The pool workout is an intense, comprehensive routine that our athletes can benefit from while keeping some of that unnecessary pressure off of their joints. And when the workout is over, we cap it off with a waterslide competition to see who has the best sliding skills.