Champion’s on the Rise

On Friday March 11th, 2016 we had our Testing and Promotion or Champion Promotion event. We are both proud and excited to have had 7 different levels of athletes ranging from 6-14 years old participate in the event. Congratulations to the following champions for ascended to the new levels of achievement:


Discovery- Level 1

Phase 1 – White

Max Hanson

Jeff Considine

Cooper Farabaugh


Phase 2- Orange

Charlie Hamer


Phase 3- Black

Dylan Wagner

Cam Bliss


Exploration- Level 2

Phase 1- White

Ryan Wagner

John Kuropatikin

Christina Short


Phase 2- Orange

Shannon McKenna

PJ Celestino


Phase 3- Black

John Milano

Molly Belmore


Transformation- Level 3

Phase 2- Orange

Trevor Gleason





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Developing Athletic Skill vs Conditioning



Over the past 2 years of working here at Athletic Revolution South Shore I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of young athletes ages 6-18 yrs old. Through these experiences I have learned a lot about how to connect with our athletes regardless of age or skill level and assist them in mastering skills that will help them outside of our facility.

My focus today is going to be discussing the difference between Developing Athletic Skill and Conditioning. Through my personal experiences as an athlete I remember having days at practice being sent through endless cone drills with no instruction other than “Faster!!!” Unfortunately, still today I see online and hear from parents and athletes how they still get run ragged through the ladder and/or cone drills hoping to have an impact on their speed and agility before the next game. I’m here to say this approach is outdated and has been proven to have limited, to no impact on young athletes skill level. Making this approach more conditioned based than skill based.

The ability to learn and master a skill so that it can be used at game speed takes time and does not happen overnight. At Athletic Revolution we understand that mastering any given skill takes time and must be broken down to its simplest form before we can build on it. Build a foundation and set yourself up for success. Through these ideals we tell our athletes “you need to be a disaster before you become a master” or “Skill it, Drill it, Thrill it, Kill it” Making it understood early on that these skills may take time and all we can do is give our best effort and we will get better each and every day.

Ring of Fire 1

The big difference between athletic skill and conditioning is simply work to rest ratio and coaching. I personally love to use Skill it, Drill it, Thrill it and Kill it with our athletes and here is why! When teaching a new skill the first thing we do as coaches is ask ourselves what is our goal? Pick a Skill –  Force Production, Change of Direction, Acceleration or Deceleration Etc…Break it down to its simplest form and develop progressions to lead them towards the ultimate goal.

For example working on deceleration or change of direction my first step would be see if they have a solid athletic stance, aka are they in a position ready for action. From there I may work on static repeats using cues like “step out of box” teaching them to get low, load one leg and be prepared for the next move “Skill it”. Dont over do it!!! Work on it for 10-15 minutes with breaks to discuss what happened and how we can make it better (Art of Coaching). Don’t be afraid to work on the first stage for a few classes before taking next step, building a foundation is key “Drill it”.

Through this process we have  Skilled it and started to Drill it at its simplest form. As I progress the skill it becomes dynamic and continues to develop to reactive as well as make it fun with a mental challenge thrown in. Make sure as each phase is passed, you take the time to “Skill it” and “Drill it” teaching your athletes, as well as giving them the time to work on each phase with proper work to rest ratio before jumping ahead to the next phase.

One of our keys to success is allowing our athletes to tear it up with games at the end of our sessions because it is fun but more importantly we can see our athletes in action. “Thrilling it” seeing if they have transferred any of the skills from class to the game. In this scenario one of our favorite and most well known games is Tag and its many variations. This gives the coaches a chance to look at acceleration, deceleration, change of direction and much more. Through game play it makes it fun for the kids as well as gives you the opportunity to evaluate your athletes to see if they are ready to take it to the next phase. Its great if they can do it through cones with coaching but the skill needs to transfer to the game without coaching.

We have “skilled it” or learned a part of a skill, “Drilled it” by putting it to use over time making it better as we go, “thrilled it” by putting the skill to use at full speed through game play, and most important “Killing it” as they add the skill to their bag of trick and transfer it to life outside our facility and bust it out whenever needed, giving them the competitive advantage we are all striving to give our young athletes!

To sum it all up…using equipment like jump ropes, ladders and cones can be great tools for assisting your athletes with conditioning and skill development, but there needs to be a reason behind it and structure as to why you are doing whatever skill or drill you are doing. Make sure that you have figured out an effective work to rest ratio that allows your athletes to recover between sets showing the difference between conditioning and skill. Also make sure you have done your research, make sure you understand how to teach, cue, breakdown or build up skills before trying to teach them to your athletes. Overall, conditioning and athletic skill development are both important parts of any athlete’s training but make sure you identify your true purpose behind your training allowing for the best possible results.

“Train Smart Not Hard”

Coach Josh

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Young Athletes and Seashells

When I write educational content for various fitness educational organizations, one of my primary goals is to encourage thought amongst the coaches and trainers who are exposed to it.  The following is an excerpt that was distributed to Athletic Revolution franchise partners.

I am sharing this with you too in an effort to give you even more insight as to why we do what we do. The method behind the madness if you will.


When we are educating prospective parent members about the value of long-term athletic development we often use very poignant and effective analogies.  This is paramount in guiding parents to a better understanding and, at times, a paradigm shift as to the optimal way to train their child(ren).

Once more, it is imperative that our parents as well as our athletes comprehend the inherent risk of early specialization in sport… and the 6-week “bigger, stronger, faster” quick fix.

A common analogy that has proved advantageous to these efforts is that of our educational system.

We can quickly draw a parallel between the progressive and cumulative effect of our school systems while explaining that learning physical skill sets is no different.  We speak to building a solid foundation before specializing in any one subject.  We offer the example of not excluding other subject matter because a child has an affinity or increased aptitude in one particular subject.

“If Trevor was brilliant in the subject of math in 1st grade we certainly would not skip to 7th grade algebra”.

As coaches we need to take heed as to how we observe our athletes from a standpoint of skill acquisition and movement economy.  More importantly we must pay close attention to each athletes well being from a humanistic perspective.

I often offer this analogy to think about how you may become a better coach and mentor to the young athletes in your program.

One shell at a time.

When walking the beaches of the south shore in Massachusetts I have often collected seashells.  Far to easy to pick up the shell that catches my eye because of its outstanding shape, size or varied colors.  The thousands of shells I have walked passed without a second thought.

Half buried.

Pale in color compared to the shells.

Jagged and unpleasing to look at.

How many shells were by passed that were in fact the most unique and wonderful shells on the beach?

What have I missed as an observer and collector of shells?

How does this relate?

What have we missed as coaches?

What kids have we looked past to see the athlete who is the “better” athlete?

What child needed to be picked up so we could see the true value of them?

As coaches and trainers we are all on a greater mission to change the way young athletes are coached and trained.  This is why we will continue to set ourselves apart from others in our industry.  THIS is why will we change lives…one athlete at a time.

Thanks so much for reading and taking such an active interest in the long term well being of your young athlete!

Not a member yet? Click here to register for a 2-week trial so you and your young athlete can experience what we do, you can see how our schedule fits yours and we can communicate who our programs will benefit your young athlete!


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Testing and Promotion Results June 6th 2013

**Champion Promotion**


Congratulations to the following athletes for successfully achieving higher rank on Friday June 6th 2013.

Discovery-Level 1

Phase 1- White

Aiden Sullivan

Anastasia Argus

Cameron Steele

Colin Killgoar

Sean O’Neil

Phase 2 – Orange

Connor Steele

Benjamin Lynch

Jacob Cogburn

John Ennis

Liam Robinson

Matthew Buzalsky

Owen Mayer

Ryan Steele

William Hoban

Phase 3 – Black

Dimitrios Tombros

Exploration – Level 2

Phase 1 – White

Daniel Ellis

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What I Learned in Toronto

This past weekend I was honored to be part of at team of my peers and friends at the inaugural Youth Fitness Summit in Toronto.  I shared the stage with some of the brightest minds, and more importantly some the greatest human beings I have ever met.  Tom Hurly, David Kittner, Dave Jack, Dave Schmitz and Kwame Brown were my compatriots over the weekend.

Dr. John Ratey, Author of SPARK, was our keynote speaker and he gave us the foundation to build our case for re-instituting fun and fitness in to physical education in addition to getting our kids moving as much as possible.  I gave 3 presentations to physical educators, administrators and fitness professionals.

My topics covered “Fitness Ed vs. Phys Ed”, “Engage, Inspire and Impact” and “Creating a Culture of Fitness”. I have so much gratitude to Mark McTavish for organizing such a wonder 2 day event.

Even though I was a presenter this weekend. I learned. I learned a tremendous amount about being a better coach and even more about myself.

Here are the highlights:

1.) The “thinking brain is the moving brain”.  In John Ratey’s keynote address I learned that exercise literally changes the chemistry of the brain. Now I had remembered reading about this in his book SPARK, but Dr. Ratey shared how when we exercise we produce our own brain fertilizer. Yes exercise promotes brain growth and in particular the same part of the brain that is essential for memory and memory integration…LEARNING!

So why do we continually strip our kids of opportunity to be active in school? Great question, and one that needs a solution.

2.)  I came to the realization there are many people in every community that have a desire to make a difference.  The passionate teachers and administrators that spent their own money and took their own personal time on a weekend to attend the Youth Fitness Summit are heroes.  By the end of the weekend all in attendance responded that they now had the tools they needed AND they would implement change beginning the next day!

3)  There is a difference between play and exercise. That said, you can accomplish so many elements of fitness with play. Strength, cardio, mobility, flexibility, etc are all intertwined in play.

4)  Schools that are about to purchase expensive treadmills and selectorized equipment need to re-assess the effectiveness of high risk, single user pieces that do not develop skill, are boring or could potential lead to repetitive motion injuries.

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Plyoboxes, agility discs and pushups…

In this short video, head coach Dave Gleason gives some tips on how to utilize some common training tools to teach the push up to younger athletes.

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Champions on the RISE

**Champion Promotion**

Congratulations to the following athletes for successfully achieving higher rank on Friday September 14th, 2012.


Testing, evaluating and assessing young athletes is and should be a continual process.  Those terms are all synonymous with each other.  One overlooked commonality they have is that they are largely misunderstood.  All to often the concept of grading young athletes is based solely on performance measures that illustrate how far, how far, how fast and how much.  A key problem with this connotation is it lacks a the emphasis  on the very skills required to perform any movement or exercise.

The Athletic Revolution Testing and Promotion System is based on 9 levels of achievement based on skill aptitude, character and fitness level.


We are proud to announce the 6 Champions that qualified and successfully achieved a new level this past Saturday:

Discovery-Level 1

Phase 1 – White

Liam Robinson

William Hoban

Exploration-Level 2

Phase 1- White

Jayne Howe

Austin Manning

Phase 2 – Orange

Matthew Kreckie

Phase 3 – Black

Chris Wesinger

If and when you see these young champions…give them a high 5!


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Summer Team Sports Performance Training

Summer Team Sports Performance Training


Bring in your team or put together a team of friends and take your game to the next level..together!  (minimum of ten athletes)

There are certain training principles that are crucial to the short and long term success of any young athlete.  We not only understand this at Athletic Revolution, we live by it.  Our athletes train hard on the skill and proficiency of performing activities that improve speed, agility, strength, power and injury resistance.


*Pick your own days and times

*Build camaraderie and trust between teammates

*Sports specific




*Agility and Quickness

*Flexibility and Mobility

*FUN and so much more!



“The speed and agility training I have received at Athletic Revolution has had a major impact on my Game”

-Kevin Alston

2010 New England Revolution Defensive Player of the Year

2010 MLS All-Star


For more information send an email to


To register your team click here to download our registration form.


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Training athletes from the back forward

Most training programs for young athletes focus all of their attention on the big pushers and fancy drills.  Bench pressing, squatting, high speed treadmills and the like are the mainstay of many sports performance center.  These ways of helping a young athlete become better are ill advised and not optimal.

The posterior chain is a term that describes the series of joints and muscles on the back side of our bodies.  The glutes, hamstrings (back of the thighs), lower back and upper back to name a few are all a part of the posterior chain.

What is so important about the posterior chain.

Most non-trauma related injuries to athletes (all athletes, not just young athletes) are due to poor braking mechanisms.  Most of the structures on the back side of the body are designed to help athletes put on the brakes.

Examples of Braking mechanisms in sport:

  • Slowing down, stopping and changing direction quickly
  • Slowing down or braking the throwing motion
  • Landing from a vertical jump

All this being said….a young athlete still needs to have fun.  This video depicts on of the many ways we train the posterior chain to increase injury resistance and improve performance:

If you have never experienced the difference at Athletic Revolution and want to take advantage of our 2 week free trial just click here and we can get you started!


See you soon!


Coach Dave

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Coaching from the sidelines

Coaches Corner by Dave Gleason

Coaching from the Sidelines?

“Youth sports are big business selling big dreams. And, the denial runs deep among sports parents.” At least, that’s the word from Aisha Sultan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an article that is garnering national attention.

If your children are involved in sports, you’ve probably seen this denial. It usually manifests itself as an angry parent yelling at his young child from the sidelines. This scene has become so common that hardly anybody pays attention anymore. And that’s alarming.

It’s not just that these parents are a distraction. They can be downright dangerous. We’ve all heard stories of parents getting into physical altercations with other parents, referees, umpires, and coaches. Other times, it is more subtle. There is a reason why doctors have been reporting more and more overuse injuries in younger and younger athletes.

While the reason for increased parent “participation” isn’t entirely clear, it may have to do with the notion that big businesses, such as year round travel leagues, have effectively sold the idea that they can make any child into a college or professional sports star. This is a lie.

“The notion that you can train your child to become a college athlete is unrealistic,” says Mark Hyman, the author of “Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How it Harms our Kids.” Realistically, the percentage of high school athletes who go on to play college sports is about 5 percent. Far fewer get full rides, and very few of those scholarship athletes even make it to the pros.

“Unfortunately, the real reasons to involve children in sports have been lost among many parents,” said Timothy Ward, Operations Manager of Athletic Revolution International, a rapidly growing youth fitness franchise organization.

Those reasons would include physical and mental health and development, teaching youngsters how to work as a team, and developing leadership skills that are valuable throughout life. A pipe dream of a big fat paycheck from a professional sports organization isn’t on that list.

“Athletic Revolution was founded on sound scientific principles of growth and development.  Children are not professional athletes, neither physically nor emotionally, so we shouldn’t treat or train them like they are,” said Dave Gleason, owner of Athletic Revolution in Pembroke. So, please, when it comes to youth sports, let kids be kids.


For more information on effective coaching or training for young athletes, contact Dave Gleason, the head coach of Athletic Revolution at 781-312-7808 or by email at

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