Keeping Kids Healthy

Here is a great article written by coach Kevin O’Neill.

Keeping Kids Healthy

As a parent of 2 rowdy boys and a Sports Performance coach who works with kids as young as 6 years old, it is great to see kids being active. Its doesn’t matter if its organized games, creative play, or running around the back yard. Active kids usually equal happy and healthy kids. That’s a great thing.

With activity can come everyday bumps and bruises. We recently had a checkup for my 3-year-old son, who is always bumping into things and constantly has bruises on his legs. One of the things our Pediatrician mentioned is that she loves seeing bumps, scrapes, and bruises on kids legs because it means they are active. While that does sound a bit cryptic, she has a great point.

While the activity for kids is a great thing, there is a growing problem amongst today’s youth and too much specialized activity. Kids who specialize in 1 sport are at a higher risk to sustain overuse injuries than kids who are multi sport athletes. Our friends at The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention recently shared a great USA Today article on the subject of youth sports and overuse injuries.

Here are a few important highlights from the article:

–       Overuse injuries to tendons, bones and joints can result from playing the same sport and performing the same movements too often, too hard or at    too young an age with inadequate recovery time.

–       Young athletes who played a single sport for more hours a week than years they were old — such as a 10-year-old who played 11 or more hours of soccer — were 70% more likely to experience serious overuse injuries.

–       Letting the body rest, adding preventive and strengthening exercises, and following proper technique are among injury prevention strategies.

So how do we keep our young athletes healthy? At Athletic Revolution, we focus on achieving this through a number of methods:

1)   Educate parents and coaches about the risk of overuse injuries. Explain that young kids don’t need to specialize and play a sport year round. Having a multi sport athlete will actually help decrease overuse injuries and also help prevent “burnout” that is so often seen in kids by the time they enter their high school years.

2)   Educate the kids on what they are doing. We are always talking to the kids about why we are doing something and how it will benefit them. This can be as basic as telling a 6 year the importance of a good athletic stance, as intermediate as telling a 11 year old the benefits of foam rolling and muscle activation, and as advanced as telling a high school athlete how the Olympic lifts will improve explosiveness and rate of force development.

3)   We rarely specialize. We work hard to improve our kids multi directional movement patterns and multi positional strength. The goal is have our kids strong and moving well regardless of the sport they play or position they are put in.  We rarely perform sports specific drills or exercises. A well-rounded and bulletproof athlete is our goal.

4)    We get kids stronger. Improved strength is a goal with all our kids regardless of age. Our 6 year olds improve their strength through bodyweight exercises. As our kids get older and mature, we progress with med balls, dumbbells, and barbells as they progress appropriately through our programs. Most all sports now are at the very least contact sports. Basketball, soccer, and baseball are all sports where contact will and probably should occur. Football, wrestling, lacrosse, and hockey are more collision sports with greater impacts occurring. Improved strength will not only help kids perform their sports better, they will help them stay healthy through this contact and collision. As an old coach once told me, “Its better to be the hammer than the nail”.

5)   We have fun. We make sure our kids have fun during their training at AR. Too often kids have fun taken away from them by coaches, teachers, peer leaders, etc. They are kids. Kids should have fun.


If you are a parent, have kids who play youth sports, or coach youth sports, the full referenced article can be found here: . It’s a good and informative read and I strongly suggest it.


Kevin O’Neill MS, USAW, CSCS, YSF-1

Sports Performance Coach

Athletic Revolution South Shore



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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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Youth Hoop Speed, Agility and Vertical Leap Clinic

Youth Hoop Speed and Vertical Clinic

Friday November 25th 2011

10am – 11am

Boys and Girls u10-u12
ONLY $29.00

Developing game changing speed and vertical leap are skills.  Speed, agility and vertical leap can be learned just like shooting, dribbling and passing.  Get an advantage over the competition during this intensive 1 hour clinic!

Great news: I’m on the team. Thanks for everything, you’re a huge reason why I was able to make it, and I appreciate all you’ve done to help me.
-James Conor, AR Athlete and member of the Brandeis University Men’s Basketball team.

Hoop Speed, Quickness and Vertical!

  • Acceleration
  • Multi directional Speed
  • Side shuffling
  • Agility
  • Braking skills
  • Power and Explosiveness
  • Strength
  • Landing Skills
  • Timing and Rhythm


**Pre-registration required.  All payments with the form below must be received by Friday, November 18th.

CLICK HERE to download and print the registration form.





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High School Basketball Speed and Vertical Leap Clinics

High School Hoop Speed and Vertical Leap Clinics

Speed Clinic: Monday October 17thth 7-8 pm

Vertical Leap Clinic: Monday October 24th 7-8 pm
ONLY $29.00 or $50.00 for BOTH!

Developing game changing speed and vertical leap are skills.  Speed, agility and quickness and vertical leap can be learned just like shooting, dribbling and passing.

Hoop Speed:


Lateral vs. Linear Speed



Braking skills

Vertical Leap:

Power and Explosiveness


Landing Skills

Timing and Rhythm


Pre-registration required.  All payments with the form below must be received by Friday, October 7th.







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Speed Training For South Shore Young Athletes

Here at Athletic Revolution, we place an emphasis on making sure your young athlete is as fast as they possibly can be.

Speed and Agility are very important to the success of any young athlete…

… But most Coaches and Trainers make mistakes when it comes to training for speed.

Here’s what I mean:

It is customary to see young athletes being taught and drilled on how to run as fast as possible in a straight line.

Coaches spend hours teaching the mechanics of ‘linear speed’.  Arm drive, hip drive, ankle push, forward lean – all the usual suspects.  Whether on a high speed treadmill, gymnasium floor or football field, anywhere you go, you’ll likely see Coaches teaching the techniques of running fast in a straight line moving forward.

High Speed Treadmill

Now, I don’t really have any fundamental issue with respect to this style of training.  I could (and will) argue that virtually every sport is played in a non-linear format and so spending time on the mechanics of an exercise that a young athlete won’t typically ever need in a sporting situation is paramount to a large waste of time.

But young athletes (as you will read later) need to be exposed to as much training stimulus as possible – in all formats.  In that, no training style should ever be considered ‘not worth the time’ when we’re talking about preadolescent or high school aged athletes.

But the fact that linear speed training is both taught and drilled INSTEAD of more functional and useable styles of speed and agility work is where I draw the concern.

Football, baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball – you name the sport.  Very seldom does a young athlete need to sprint forward with proper form; and they almost never hit ‘top-end-speed’ for any length of time.  If you look at any of the sports from a positional standpoint, that reality is even less likely.

Sports are multi-directional and varying in speed.  Young athletes must be taught how to move efficiently and quickly at angles (not just forward) and be ingrained with the knowledge and ability of how to decelerate (stop) and shift (change directions) as fast as possible.

Sport speed isn’t about straight lines.  It’s about angular quickness and the ability to re-accelerate.

Come on in and enjoy a complementary ‘2 Weeks Free’ of training at Athletic Revolution in Pembroke and see just how much faster your young athletes are going to become.

Call me directly today – 781.312.7808

~Coach Dave


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Team Sports and Young Athletes: A Must Read

The following article is posted here with permission by friend and colleague Lee Taft.  Lee is THE speed expert.  Lee is a coach, runs his own successful athletic development company and travels the world teaching others how to effectively work with young athletes.

Lee’s thoughts further illustrate why we take the approach we do at Athletic Revolution…


Why AAU is Hurting Youth Sports

By Lee Taft

It isn’t what it was meant to be. Travel sports like AAU, travel soccer, baseball, softball, and volleyball are the perfect example of building specific skill on top of a poor foundation of fundamental skills.

Travel team sports for young, developing players should be about teaching skills, developing game knowledge, and improving function. I see less and less coaching going on with these travel teams and more playing games. Kids are learning to play with poor foundational skill sets.

Granted there are some travel teams that actually spend some quality time on skills development. Good for them! But there are way too many more only focusing on winning the games. They do what they have to by putting kids in positions so the team can win. This doesn’t help the players develop; it just makes the team win.

I have seen top-level junior high and high school basketball players not able to dribble, pass, or shoot a simple layup with their left, or non-dominant, hand. Yet, they are playing 30 to 50 games over the summer with travel sports and never have their limitations addressed.

Travel sports could be a great thing if done in the right context and with intent on improving each athlete’s ability. But, like always, we put playing more games and winning as the top priority.

Here is what I see happening. These kids on travel teams are winning games and developing a false sense of skill level. Then they have to play on a structured school or college program, and their fundamental skills are so limited they fail to meet the success they had on travel teams. This leads to problems, because the player and parents are now wondering why they are not being put in situations to be successful like they did in travel sports.

It all comes back to we want quick fixes, don’t want to work for anything, and expect things to be handed to us when we are unhappy. Sorry! Life doesn’t work that way.

We need to take back our sports and develop our athletes the correct way. I know travel sports are the way to be “seen,” but give me a break. If you can play you will get noticed.

I would much rather take an athlete and limit their off-season game play (still allow them to play, but not as much), and develop their skills to the point they are dangerously serious athletes.

The only way this will ever work is if it is a nationwide effort to change the focus of travel sports to an advanced form of developing athletes.

The response I usually get when I bring this up is, “Kids don’t have to choose to be on a travel team.” That is correct, but the kids that do choose are the ones that we are talking about. These kids lose out on becoming better players, and just because they are on a winning team does not mean they are good.

We are so in love with the flash and the glamour that we have ignored the foundation of improvement and development.

Yours in Speed,


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Youth Speed and Agility Training Success

What defines a successful speed and agility training session for young athletes?

Is it this picture?


Is it driving young athlete’s into the ground in the name of speed, agility and quickness training?

Is it placing cones, mini hurdles and other training instruments on the ground, showing young athletes how to perform a series of drills followed by them engaging in them until they drop?

If your young athletes are tired, exhausted or barely walking that is success right?

In a word…NO

I have two shining examples of how I define a successful speed and agility camp at Athletic Revolution.

The first is the fact that the young athlete’s at our camp this last Saturday were practically begging me to continue with the camp after two hours of intensive SAQ training.  They were alert, energized and wanting more…just the way I want it. 

Keep in mind the young baseball player who began the mantra for more was describing how he could barely finish the workout at another facility just a few days before.  You know…one of those we can teach the kids baseball and take care of the conditioning aspect of training as well…

You see I explained to them at the beginning of camp that the next two hours were not going to be about kicking their butts or running cone drills until they drop.  They were about to experience a type of training they have never experienced.

Our camps are about skill development.  Our camps are about skills – NOT DRILLS.  The drills we use are specifically chosen to teach each young athlete how moving efficiently and safely feels.

Secondly, each athlete left our camp with the ability to tell me what they learned over the past 2 hours and how what they learned will help them in their respective sport.  Once more (and this one is crucial) they all told me what they can use on a consistent basis on their own during practice and competition. 

Self correction.  Beautiful!

Unlike most SAQ clinics and camps, we focus on breaking down the commodities of proper deceleration, acceleration, hip turns and cutting techniques.  These are all skills which can be broken down and coached.  We spend ample time on posture, thorasic spine mobility, hip mobility, ankle mobility, arm action, foot placement and so much more.


We had fun, we learned and we helped some absolutely great kids teach themselves how to gain game changing speed, agility and quickness.

I thank them for the opportunity to work with them and I can’t wait to run our next one.

Stay tuned!

Til next time,

~Coach Dave

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Classes Begin Tomorrow!

After two successful open houses (one of which with New England Revolution star Kevin Alston in attendance), a morning packed with initial assessments and – well a collective dream coming to fruition…Athletic Revolution will officially begin classes tomorrow!

Serving the communities in Pembroke, Marshfield, Hanover, Duxbury, Kingston, Norwell, Plymouth, and the entire South Shore as the source for youth fitness and athletic development is a tremendous responsibility and we are up for the task!

We are also holding our first Speed Clinic Sunday October 25th.


This Speed and Agility Clinic for Soccer will have an emphasis on preventing ACL and other knee injuries.  The clinic is $30 for non-members and FREE for all members coaches and parents.  We all understand that speed is a game changer.  What is lost is how to get it…specifically how to decelerate (slow down) and effectively change direction quickly and safely.

For more information do not hesitate to contact us via phone 781-312-7808 or by email

See you soon!



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