Coach’s Guide to Ankle Mobility


Ankle mobility has been the topic of wide discussion lately, and it’s no wonder why. Ankle injuries are one of the most common in training and sport.   Understanding a proper approach to gaining adequate ankle mobility can get lost in the complexity of training the inverters, everters, dorsiflexors, plantarflexors and other stabilizers that control the ankle.

In addition, the system of intrinsic muscles that make up the arches of the foot also play a role in ankle mobility. Furthermore, this does not take into account the relationships of stability and mobility that occur at the knee, hip, and lower back. With so much to consider where do you start in identifying and training an athlete with potential ankle mobility limitations.

As a coach, you want to make sure your workout and coaching program are not limited. This means you have to address any dysfunction that could relate to managing a current injury, readiness of returning to sport and reducing the possibility of re-injury or for an athlete who has never been injured.

  • It is important for athletes to train together however, knowing each athlete has different patterns and compensations for achieving movement is paramount.

    They should be grouped prior to sport specific training to address the corrective needs necessary for regaining optimal, functional ankle movement.

  • Being a hinge joint, the ankle is designed to move.

    For this reason, correcting and maintaining any asymmetries to an athlete’s ankle is of great importance. Proper movement should occur at the ankle and hip, which are designed for mobility, while the foot, knee and low back are designed to provide stability. An athlete has greater potential to improve within his sport if the efficiency of mobility and stability are taking place in the correct joints of the body. Utilizing the Functional Movement Screen for identification of ankle mobility restrictions or other asymmetries and dysfunction is essential for developing and correcting improper movement patterns.

  • Asymmetries are part of some sports.  Baseball, for example, demands differences between the right and left shoulder and track, so the athlete is constantly favoring one side. Those asymmetries are expected, however shoulder should be pain free and within an acceptable range of motion. These asymmetries should not affect the mechanics of the rest of the body’s fundamental movement patterns. These considerations must be taken into account when hitting the weight room or performing skill based movement drills.
  • Soft tissue release through foam rolling and mysofascial ball, as well as half kneeling correctives can all improve ankle range of motion.

    The biggest benefits come from addressing asymmetrical or dysfunctional areas of the body. This allows the ankle to move as it should, instead of as a stabilizer, which if compensating can limit ankle mobility.

Come get a Functional Movement Screen and proper corrective exercise program to get you back on the right path with the elite coaches at Velocity Sports Performance.

How to Improve Your Mental Game with Visualization


Visualization is an important tool used by elite athletes to gain a competitive edge. Visualization is a technique of creating visual imagery of circumstances that you want to occur in reality. In other words, see it to believe it. For athletes, it is a mental rehearsal.

Here are two visualization techniques to use to improve your athletic performance:

Visualization Technique 1

I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.  -Muhammad Ali

If you think you are the greatest and you visualize yourself being the greatest, you will become the greatest. As an athlete, if you want to be the best, you have to think you’re the best. It is best to try to include all of the senses when visualizing you winning or accomplishing a goal.


Visualization Technique 2

Visualizing movements, routines and specific plays helps athletes mentally rehearse for competition. Notice how elite athletes remain calm under pressure. Their secret? They have already ran through every scenario and possible outcome in their head before stepping into the game. All this visualization means, when the pressure’s on, you don’t have to think, you just have to react. This is what separates the good from the great — anticipating what’s going to happen before your opponent keeps you a step ahead.

You can also visualize complex movements, like throwing a baseball or swinging a bat. Mentally rehearsing these complex movements activate the same areas of the brain that are used when completing these movement in reality. This neurological activation can help reinforce movement patterns making those pathways a little bit faster.

Learn how to up your game with visualization techniques with the elite coaches at Velocity Sports Performance.


3 Ways to Tell Your Athlete Needs an Off-Season

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In competitive athletic environments where strength, speed and skill development are constantly compared to teammates and competitors, off-seasons are extremely important for athletes.

To be clear, an off-season does not give an athlete license to disregard all healthy and active choices, it is productive time spent away from a given sport in order to reflect, recover and re-up for the next season with energy and excitement. Without this time, athletes can lose passion, concentration and can very quickly burn out.

Here are three ways to determine if your athlete needs an off-season:

Do they play their organized sport or sports year-round?

If yes, they need an off-season. If professional athletes don’t practice and compete in their sport year-round, why should your athlete?

Do you not plan family vacations because you don’t want to pull your athlete out of their sport?

If yes, they need an off-season. In order to train and compete at the highest levels, all athletes — and family members, too — need some good-quality R&R. Rest and recuperation are critical for developing athletes.

Do they only play one sport?

If yes, they need an off-season. Let another sport or structured athletic performance program act as their off-season. In the words of strength and conditioning expert Guido Van Ryssegem, “Movement variability is the oil to the central nervous system.” Athletes can make the most out of their off-season by training speed, strength and skills with the elite coaches at Velocity Sports Performance.

Why Athletes Should Watch Water Boil

“A watched pot never boils.” Or does it? Have you tried? It feels like it takes forever if you watch it. In actuality, whether you watch it or not has no effect on how fast the water takes to boils—you can’t make it boil faster by wanting it more.

So now, you ask, how will watching water boil make me a better athlete? Watching a pot of water boil trains your willpower. You train your willpower the same way you would train any other part of your body. Your brain makes physical changes through the power of meditation and mindfulness training.

Wait, meditation? Isn’t that some spiritual or religious thing? Yes, but that’s not all it is. The practice of meditation teaches your mind to focus on specific and targeted thoughts. Being able to do this helps block out all of the things that take you away from your goals. The hard part about meditation is that it requires you to sit still for specific amount of time— but while it is hard, it is also the reason why meditation is a useful took for athletes — it trains the mind to adapt.

Watching water boil in a pot is simply a form of mindfulness training that is similar to meditation without having to sit crosslegged or chant mantras. I know this sounds silly, but just as squats make your body physically stronger, meditation and mindfulness training strengthens your willpower!

Meditation Training Exercise

For the next 30 days, complete the following meditation exercise:

Step 1: Get a small pot and put some water in it.

Step 2: Put it on the stove and turn it up to high.

Step 3: Stare at the water until you see a rolling boil.

Do the same pot of water for seven consecutive days. After that, get a bigger pot and add more water. It is like training the body gradually to increase the load to work the muscle to get stronger.

*Don’t move your eyes from the water no matter what else is going on around you.
*Don’t worry if your mind wanders.

The first few times you complete this training, you might experience anxiety or stress waiting for the water to boil. This will pass as your willpower improves.

This meditation training will slowly build your willpower up over time. It is amazing to see what sorts of things you think of when you are forced into a structured —and seemingly boring — situation.

Mental training is a critical part of all competitive athletes’ training program. Improve your mental game with the techniques and tactics employed by the elite coaches at Velocity Sports Performance. 

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-up for Any Workout

One way to set yourself up for workout greatness is by employing a dynamic warm-up. The warm-up below will prepare your body (and mind) for the advanced and technical moves to come. Additionally, taking the time to warm your muscles will help keep you injury free and in the game.

Dynamic Warm-Up

Before your workout, take ten minutes to perform the following exercises:

  • Up Dog/Down Dog
  • 20 Yard and Back Jog
  • 10 Leg Swings
  • 20 Yard Back Pedal and Back
  • 5 Lunges (per leg)
  • 20 Yard Skip Backward
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 5 Groiner Stretches (per leg)
  • 20 Yard Shuffle and Back
  • 5 Lateral Lunges (per leg)
  • 20 Yard Carioca and Back
  • 10 Supine Straight Leg High Kicks
  • 10 Bridges
  • 10 Supine Leg Swings
  • 20 Yard Broad Jump
  • 10 Yard Single Leg Broad Jump (per leg)
  • 5 Burpees and Sprint 20 Yards
  • 5 Single Leg Burpees (left leg) then sprint 20 yards
  • 5 Single Leg Burpees (right leg) and sprint 20 yards
  • 5 Standing Knee Pulls (per leg)

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