Browsing through the library’s sport science and training section at the University in 2007 I stumbled across a book fronted with a smiling guy in a red shirt (Mark Verstegen). Although giving me a military impression judging from the haircut (sorry Mark), the title Core Performance intrigued me and it ended up in my bag along with 5 other books. (Peridisation training for Sports, T Bompa, Strength Ball training, Goldenborug & Twist, Science of Sports training, T Kurz, Functional training for Sports, M.Boyle, Supertraining, Verhochansky & Siff).
At the time I was a student who in 2002 indulged in studying at the Sport Science division of University of Örebro with the intention of being a physical education and psychology teacher. Studying and playing soccer at elite level was a perfect combination. In 2007 my focus had changed from public physical education and general population to working with elite athletes or young athletes with the burning desire to enter the limelight. A whole year studying sport science performance (not part of phys.ed programme) tuned me in so to speak.
All the books turned out to be tremendous assets in feeding my thirst for more knowledge in the field and the Core Performance book gave me a first glimpse in categories of movement preparation, prehab, regeneration and much more. But it was also the ticket to a new world, since at the end of the index a teaser was listed: Learn more about Athletes Peformance on www.athletesperformance.com. The website (and coreperformance.com) served as valuable resource in my own training getting back from two severe knee injuries and keeping out from other injuries since my style of play wasn’t the smoothest.
This led to frequent website visits over the years and getting the core performance DVD for soccer. This along with several other resources (M. Boyle, E. Cressey, Y verhochansky to name a few) started to fill in the blanks in my training puzzle. What AP did was that they created a system which seamlessly integrated all of the components neccessary for performance and broke it down to minutia. This led to seeing training in a whole new way and in 2010 when my playing career ended I pursued another career as I was offered the job as assistant and strength & conditioning coach for the team. Inspired by my friend and colleague Jimmy, who worked as S & C coach already in Degerfors, we began talking about educate ourselves at Athletes Performance. We had then successfully inplemented parts of the prehab, movement prep and movement portion, familirizing players about activation, lateral and linear components and so forth.
In may 2011 our AP journey began in Dortmund at the Borussia Dortmund facility and was continued this fall in at the Athletes Performance facility in Phoenix, Arizona. On our journey to Dortmund we got a first hand sight how this seamlessly integrated system had molded into a international level soccer club giving them the cutting edge of performance enhancement and decreasing injury potential. Coach Brent left no stone unturned, securely guiding us deeeper and deeper as the days i Germany progressed. His vast knowledge and humble but firm leadership created a great environment. It inspired us even more to work even harder integrating the system further into our own setting.
There is something special about places you go in life where you get an instant feeling as you enter the building; it feels like “home” and you get a sense of belonging. In this sense Athletes Performance, Arizona is best described as an environment which embodied my lifelong passion, from the ground up to all the gifted people who I met there. Dan, Brent (Dortmund), Nick, Mark, Danielle, Dennis, Joel, Jenn, the awesome chefs and last but not least the kind receptionist whose name I’ve misplaced.
Meeting some of the greatest people of their trade educating me to be a better coach and foremost showing that one man’s vision can become reality refined. Marks passion is shared by his fellow Athletes Performance crew. Coach Nick Winkelman guiding us through the fantastic art of coaching, periodisation, program design and much much more. Daniele illuminating the value of nutrition and empowering us with tools to work with, Dennis sharing his analysis on speed development and linear running technique. Jen for showing how the rehablitation work was tightly glued together with the rest of the training system. Joel for his entertaining way of approaching weight loss.
Besides this fantastic crew one could not leave out the amazing interaction between us mentors attending the course, creating discussions about life in general and training in particular.
Soccer + Athletes Performance = Seamlessly integrated!
This is Athletes Performance!