Our approach to high school athletic training for middle school and high school students here at Comprehensive Athletic Training (CAT) is based upon a foundation of respect and trust – built from day one. We implement healthy, fun, sport-specific challenges and demands which combine to facilitate exceptional athletic performance and improved academics. The athlete is cultured and grown into their whole person. As they begin to integrate themselves, they are able to more fully access the inner gifts, strengths and innate talents within. Our balanced, often highly competitive athletes excel in their sport, the classroom and in life.
“Our first training with Michael set up an immediate relationship of respect. He listens to Jeremy and quickly connects with him, getting to know my son, where he is now as an athlete and what brought him to this point to empower him on his journey. Michael’s detailed attention to body mechanics, at every training, has enabled my son with skills that cross over into every sport giving him greater access to show up in his natural abilities as an athlete. Michael brings the missing link in coaching and training to the athletic experience. ” – Mother of a student athlete
Once the foundation is laid, the athlete is able to train and condition in a way that prevents over-training and injury. Young athletes learn how to enjoy competition and the challenges that come with it. The success which comes from delivering one’s best performance as an individual athlete while working effectively as part of a team, builds strength and character in everything. This is what we instill in even our youngest of athletes.
Challenges of Today’s Student Athlete
The student athlete of today is faced with many obstacles – peer pressure, growing pains of the body and of family life, social activities, academic demands, and all the general stressors of pre-teen and teenage life. For many, participating in a sport provides a refuge – a sanctuary of sorts and vehicle through which they can step away from the stress and forge a more personal identity. It is often through sports that young students identify and claim their authentic power.
Because we start by building that foundation of respect and trust, student athletes gain clarity about who they are, why they are here, and where they are going. If it sounds as though this is a deeper journey – it often is. Because we create an environment where the young athlete cannot be over-trained, disrespected or injured, each athlete is able to mature, grow and perform at their highest level.
They begin to realize how universally beneficial our training is. When they apply what they learn, anything can be accomplished – whether in sport or life. While exceptionally challenging, training is also engaging, fun and safe. Our athletes learn how to truly take care of themselves and understand their body, its capabilities and optimal mechanics. This is very important for gifted athletes focused on collegiate sports and beyond. Even if the student athlete opts out of their sport in the future, the knowledge, experience and consentient application of all they learn while they train at CAT, inform their future endeavors and ultimate success.
A Reminder to Parents
In the same way coaches push their athletes too hard, well-intentioned parents can also push their children and have a profound impact on their children’s athletic and competitive sport experience – negative and positive. We get it – parents only want what they think is best for their child. While understandable and quite normal this desire can yield unintended and contrary results because parents don’t fully understand the internal mechanisms running the student athlete.
Parents who tend to voice negative criticism and put too much pressure on their children have a powerful negative effect on their kids. In his time as track and field coach at Los Gatos High School, while working at the Strength, Speed and Power Camps at Stanford University, and from the stories student athletes candidly share with him, Michael Holland has seen first-hand just how quickly well-meaning parental pressure takes its toll. He has seen it lead to impaired athletic performance, a decline in confidence, and a loss of the fun and enjoyment inherent in competition.
We understand the natural impulse to critique and correct, especially when parents have personal experience or a lifelong interest in a particular sport, however, even the most well-intentioned and supportive comments can erode and undermine the young athlete.
At the Core of Every Student Athlete
Even young athletes can have strong a desire to excel in their sport of choice and some by nature have a high drive for competition. Regardless, these kids want to be recognized and noticed for what they do. They also want to have fun and are generally open for constructive criticism on how they can do better. They want to do well for themselves and they want to please their parents. Above all, they want to be appreciated, valued and loved. And they want their parents be okay with them whether they win or lose.
The bottom line is that, CAT delivers a solid, appropriate exercise and sports foundation for our young athletes. On the evolutionary edge of sports performance, we embody western and eastern philosophies and methodologies backed by scientific research. Our careful training progressions are tailored to each client and keep student athletes injury free and feeling fresh – ready for optimal performance every day.
The “holistic” athletic training programs for student athletes developed by Michael Holland, have been successfully utilized at CAT for nearly three decades. As students are engaged and challenged to become more mindful in their sport(s), they become better students with improved social skills. Consistent results and measurable improvement in sport-specific performance and general athletic endeavors are the norm. Whether exceptionally gifted or naturally active, the advanced and beginner student athlete alike, see results.
CAT’s comprehensive and holistic approach is designed to maximize athletic performance and develop an engaged student and fine athlete. Our dual focus on physical training and mindfulness of the whole person – body-mind-and spirit – makes it possible for the student athlete to accomplish anything on which they set their intention. Our aim – to evolve a balanced, motivated, passionate individual who excels in sport, school, and life!
A Changing Tide in Athletic Training
The dynamics today of Middle School, Junior High and High School dictate and drive a winner take all culture that permeates all sports. The vast majority of coaches at this level buy into this system, because they are lead to believe that even young student athletes and teams need to measure success by wins and losses.
“The coach, for the most part, creates an environment that breeds athletes – and only athletes. This comes at great cost to the student athlete, or might I interject, to the ‘human being’.” – Michael Holland – Founder, Comprehensive Athletic Training
In today’s sports market, even from a young age, athletes are molded into a specialized product. The athlete is expected to and likely will participate in, live and breathe in their sport, and eventually assume the identity of their sport. At their core, they become their sport and it defines who they are.
“This indoctrination starts at a very early age and is reinforced yearly. The other facets of the athlete/person are rarely nourished and almost never brought fully to fruition. As a result you have an athlete who doesn’t know who he or she is or what they are capable of doing beyond their sport. When the student and the adult they become are faced with an ‘athlete only identity’ they have a very difficult time with everyday life. They lack a full experience of self and are at the mercy of the cumulative effect of overtraining and repetitive injuries. THIS is why we approach training in such a radically different way! I believe that student athletes deserve more from a coach. It is my life’s work.” – Michael Holland
The Future of Sports
Fortunately change is taking hold! Like CAT, those on the leading edge of sports performance understand the value inherent in developing the mind-body-spirit of an athlete. This evolution brings with it the sustainable and healthy balance required to truly succeed in sports and competition at the highest level. And it is the holistic approach which cultures a life of balance and prosperity beyond sports to fulfill the most comprehensive human potential within each athlete.
CAT Works with Students in these Middle School and High School Athletic Programs
- High School Football Prep
- Pre-College football players
- Track and Field