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Taking Your Game to the Next Level

Posted 3/24/2017 by UHBlog

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Taking Your Game to the Next Level

Just because your sport’s season is over doesn’t mean your hard work should stop too. Putting effort into your off-season can take your game to the next level, says physical therapist Paul M. Smith, PT, MS, AT, CGFI.

“There’s an old saying that basketball players play in the winter, but they’re made in the summer,” Smith says. “No matter which sport you play, working in the off-season to improve your physical capabilities will help you perform better when it’s time to play.”

According to Smith, University Hospitals Sports Medicine offers six-week-long programs that focus on universal areas of improvement for athletes, including:

  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Jumping
  • Power
  • Explosiveness

The sports programs are offered in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Cleveland. The programs are designed and overseen by sports medical professionals who emphasize safety and get results, says Smith.

“There are a lot of factors that can take your game to the next level that extend beyond your workout,” he says. “We’ll look at your nutrition, sleep and other variables that can make you a better athlete.”

Shifting your game takes effort, but don’t expect to put in the same amount of time as you would during the season.

“What we’ve found from years of practice and research is that you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of time working on these things,” Smith says. “It’s the quality, not the quantity.”

The program is designed for athletes to meet three times a week for an hour to an hour-and-a-half. The intensity of each session helps you achieve big payoffs in athletic performance.

“We typically see an 8 to 10 percent gain in performance measures at the end of the program,” he says. “That includes vertical leap and an agility time test.”

While the sports programs are open to anyone, they're especially helpful to interscholastic athletes who are trying to make or start on a high school team or are looking to get a scholarship to college. Adult athletes will also see results.

“We’ve worked with the youth sports world, folks in college and beyond,” Smith says. “You can improve as you get older, and that’s where changes in training and programs like this will help. For younger age groups in particular, there’s a lot of physical development going on and you’ll see max results.”

For more information on taking your game to the next level, you can contact 216-983-PLAY (7529).

Paul M. Smith, PT, MS, AT, CGFI, is a physical therapist, Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified golf fitness instructor and sports rehabilitation manager at University Hospitals Mayfield Village Health Center. You can request an appointment with Smith or any other health care provider online.

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