Dear Parents of Middle School, High School, and College Athletes,
The fact that you are reading this shows you are invested in giving your child the best opportunity to succeed. Let me quickly just guarantee you that I do not intend to waste your time, or your investment. You are in the best possible place for you and your young athlete, and simply reading this letter can help to increase your child’s potential for success.
Briefly, about me: I graduated from Nyack College in 2008, and started working as a youth pastor at a church in Fairfield, CT. At the same time I was apprenticing under an expert coach at a local training center for elite athletes. Over the years, as I worked fitness and non fitness related jobs, I was building my dream with any extra time/resources at my disposal. Today, the Yard is the result of that process. A gym built on getting athletes results, while remaining free of the gimmicks and fads polluting the fitness industry.
Did you know that an athlete’s maximum speed and strength potential is determined by the training that occurs during their teen years? This means that an athlete’s maximum running speed, or vertical jump height in their 20’s, is limited or increased by their strength training regimen in high school! (See: Long Term Athletic Development by Istvan Balyi, Ph. D.). You would think the implications of athletic development at the high school level would be reason enough for all high schools to hire expert Strength Coaches, but this is not the case.
I have worked with numerous high school and college athletes and have been amazed at what these athletes get away with in their strength programming. I have had college football players in my gym that can’t squat. Which means they never learned how to properly load the hips and hamstrings (which is also why there are so many torn ACL’s). I have seen far too many athletes that have not learned proper mechanics and therefore can not maintain an athletic position. This is unacceptable and sets these athletes up for injury.
The four most common sports injuries are concussions, torn ACL, shoulder separations, and ankle sprains. All four of these, in most cases, can be prevented by a comprehensive and well implemented strength and conditioning program. At the Yard we employ a concept referred to as Pre-Hab, or what I like to call, injury proofing. In short, through a system of restoring proper function to joints and tissues, and strengthening the weak muscles which cause imbalances that lead to injuries, we can greatly decrease the potential for injury. Far too many young athletes are getting injured because their bodies are not prepared for sport. By ensuring an athlete’s body is conditioned for sport, we can greatly reduce the chance of injury.
An athlete’s character is as important us as physical preparation. There are three values at the Yard, that are “caught rather than taught.” Respect. Integrity. Perseverance. Athletes who train here receive the utmost respect for their efforts, they learn to respect hard work, coaches, teachers, and any other athletes working to better themselves. Integrity is about being true to yourself and letting your actions speak for you even when no one else is looking. Integrity often plays out at the Yard in this way: When an exercise is performed poorly you’ll hear an athlete say, “Integrity Rep!” and they will do it again, the right way, on their own! An athlete with superior training gains superior results. Athletes have to keep up with homework, practice schedules, and game schedules, on top of a rigorous strength training program. When their efforts pay dividends “on the field,” they learn the value of perseverance. Being true to the “Yard code” develops not only great athletes, but great teammates, classmates, sportsmen, and business men/women.
We do not waste any space inside the facility with equipment that does not benefit athletes. Likewise, we do not waste any time with filler exercises or “fad” training methods. The training that occurs here is based on expertise that has proven itself time and time again.
This is a different kind of gym. When you join the Yard, you’re not buying a t-shirt or a bumper sticker, you’re making a commitment. This commitment is taken as seriously by the coaches as it is by the athletes. You’re joining a family where coaches care about you and your success, and will build training programs to meet your needs. You’re joining a group of athletes committed to becoming the best. You’re joining a gym you’re expected to show up to on your “off days,” to get some extra work in under the guidance of expert coaches. You’re expected to show up early for group sessions. You’re expected to work hard, in and out of the gym. When you join up, we take care of you. Athletes get to participate in unlimited group sessions for the first month, to get them up to speed and make sure they are getting the most opportunity to succeed without wasting any time.
If you want to give your young athlete the greatest opportunity for success, please contact us at the Yard, and let’s get started.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and I wish you and your child success in life, sport, education and business.
Samuel Joy, CSCS
The Yard Strength & Conditioning
Group athlete training is available at the Yard at 3, 4, and 5pm, Monday through Friday and at 8, 9, and 10 am on Saturday.
Athletes join either a M,W,F group or a T,Th, Sat, group in one of the specified time slots.
New athletes can attend unlimited group sessions for the first month.