What differentiates the good players from the poor ones? Athleticism!

There are three core “positions”, or motor patterns, that ALL athletes must master in order to become good at their sport: running/moving (in various directions); jumping (in various directions); and holding a proper stance. The sooner the athlete is introduced to these principles during their development, the better they will master their sport in the long term.


runningLet’s quickly look at them individually. All sport requires some form of horizontal movement such as running. This can be linear, multi-directional, forward, backward, and lateral. Think of basically ANY athlete running towards the ball, away from a defender, getting into position. This requires proper synergistic use of several muscles of the body. Research shows that the leg muscles are synchronized with the movement of the arm swing when running. So, proper coordination and use of the upper body will improve speed.


Jumping is a vertical movement in sport. However, it too can be multi-directional meaning forward, sideways, backwards and can be done off one foot, or both feet.  Think of the volleyball player jumping up to block a spike, or a baseball player diving to make a catch. Jumping also requires synergistic use of several muscles. Using the upper body will significantly improve any jumping movement.


stanceFinally, holding a proper stance is paramount in being ready to move in any directions, or to perform a technical move for the specific sport. In basketball, for instance, a stance is warranted in the defensive position or in receiving a pass from a team mate, as well as in the ready position to take a shot such as a free throw, or a jump shot. A stance is also warranted in subtle ways, in other sports, such as in maintaining a stable leg during a glide in cross country skiing.


Each of these “positions or movements” requires a balance of muscles and a synchronicity of muscles fired in the right sequence. If one of the required muscles is weaker or not firing at all, this will prevent proper function of the motor patterns, thus reducing the effectiveness of the athlete.  At the Center for Strength and Athlete Development, we focus on identifying which muscle imbalances are preventing this proper functioning of the motor patterns.

For a proper identification of this, please contact us to schedule an assessment.

Long Term Athlete development

Long Term Athlete Development


Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a movement that emphasizes the PROPER athletic development of young performers. It focuses on the developmental age of athletes as opposed to chronological age. Youths develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, neurologically at different rates. Unfortunately, in today’s athletic world, many young athletes are expected to be able to have skills at a given chronological date. If they do not have those skills at that time, they are at risk of being passed (cut) from a team. This could result in a youth not having an opportunity to develop these skills if there is no other option to continue his or her sport. Time and again, research has shown that it is the late developer who goes on to excel later in life provided they stay in the sport and develop their athleticism, such as strength, speed, and flexibility.

I was fortunate enough to learn about the beginnings of the LTAD movement back in my college days in the early 1980’s, when my prof was Istvan Balyi. Istvan is one of the world’s leading authorities on Long Term Athlete Development. He is sought after by many countries to develop their country’s sports to be competitive and dominant at the world level. I have had the pleasure of presenting alongside Istvan as well as presenting at the LTAD national conference a few years back…

It is my personal mission to see to it that all my young developing performers develop properly so that they may achieve their potential in the sport of their choice. Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing blogs with you re: what I firmly believe to be a much more effective strategy for training younger athletes. I will be sharing the principles of LTAD and hopefully helping anyone develop their athleticism along the way!


Native living!

I once again had the great opportunity to host a group of young Cree leaders from northern Quebec at the Centre today. During today’s presentation, we discussed the danger of sugar, as well as observed the eating trends of the kids versus their ancestors.
I divided the group into two: one group were the kids 18 and under, and the other group were the adults and parents in attendance.
The kids 18 and under were instructed to write down their typical daily foods they consumed. As expected this included toast, cereal, bacon, fries, chips, grilled cheese, pizza, crackers (and other processed food). The adult group were instructed to write down the foods they saw their granparents eat on a typical day (so about 40 years ago). This was very interesting: it included goose eggs, seagull eggs, bannock with bear fat, wild cranberry jam, Labrador tea (from wild herbs), fish broth (sometimes 3 times a day), rabbit dumplings, smoked moose meat, smoked fish.
The ancestors instinctively knew about electrolyte replacement from their broth (boiled animal/fish and bones with wild herbs). The kids take their “electrolytes” in the form of gatorade and powerade (which includes copious amounts of sugar and/or sugar replacements….(so little electrolyte absorption whatsoever…). Interestingly, I gave everyone a modified mineral test (electrolyte PX with water-which does not include any sweetener), and the adults found the electrolyte drinkable, while the kids could not stand it…..
In comparison to my ancestoral living (I am Italian), my great grandparents ate broth from animals on the farm, lots of rabbit, chicken, and porc, with a little vegetables and potatoes. So a lot of similarity……
This begs the comment that a more ancestoral type of diet should be followed to maintain a healthy body.




The CSAD offers an intensive training program to prepare for the Spartan Races. This 6 week program starts with an assessment to identify individual weaknesses and imbalances, and then progresses so that you will achieve the ultimate in peak performance, resulting in your successful completion of the Spartan race.




Instant benefits of fascial stretch therapy

 Fascial Stretch Therapy is a method of stretching a person’s fascial planes by a certified fascial stretch therapist. Most sessions last an hour and some results can be seen immediately. As an example, this person presented herself with some hip, back and shoulder issues. The picture on the left is before a stretching session, (a position she has been in for most of her adult life) and the picture to the right is after a session. Note the better posture on the right, less of a shoulder hike, and thus less stress on the spine, shoulder, neck  and even the hips. You can even notice the better alignment of the stripes on the shirt.

Contact the CSAD for a fascial stretch session.



Here is your opportunity to get the results you REALLY want!





Get to use the sledge hammer, pull the sled, push the prowler, flip the tire, and other fun exercises!!!




The next session of “Train Like Jane” (modified strongman training for women) will run on Tuesdays/Thursdays at 7 pm, begining Tuesday April 10.

Cost is only $180.00 fo 6 weeks and gives you access to train at the centre during those weeks.

Still not Gluten Free? Think about this!


If you haven’t cut out gluten from your diet yet, here is something else you should take into consideration:

-according to the USDA Pesticide Data Program: Annual Summary, Calendar Year 2006,

Out of 687 samples of commercial flour, 433 had detections of the pesticide Malathion, some with as much as 2370 parts per billion or 68.5 micrograms per 100 gr of flour. According to PAN (Pesticide Action Network)  Malathion is a Pan Bad Actor which are chemicals that are one or more of the following: highly acutely toxic, cholinesterase inhibitor, known/probable carcinogen, known groundwater pollutant or known reproductive or developmental toxicant.

Cholinesterase  inhibitors inhibit the neurochemical cholinesterase which helps the transmission of nerve impulses, resulting in symptoms of neurotoxicity—tremors, nausea, and weakness at low doses; paralysis and death at higher doses.(1)

Malathion when ingested or when heated (hmmmm fresh baked bread maybe???) turns into malaoxon, which is 40 times more potent than malathion.

Moreover, there are other chemicals produced which can often be found in malathion products for purchase. These other chemicals work with malathion to increase its toxicity, but they can inhibit enzymatic systems in the liver that actually function to detoxify some of these extra 11 contaminants.(2)

According to research conducted at the University of Montreal in 2010, there is a strong link between Malathion and children with ADD/ADHD .(3)

In the graph below, you will notice the difference between domestic flour, imported flour, and of course organic flour (which does not by definition use pesticides).

So if you STILL insist on consuming flour,  you may want to consider using organic, pesticide free flour. You should also consider detoxifying the liver of matahion to aid in phase 2 detoxification. If you need help with this process, please contact us at the Centre for Strength and Athlete Development.



2, Sierra Club Canada, Malathion Fact Sheet

3, “Pediatrics Vol. 125 No. 6 June 1, 2010” Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides,  Maryse F. Bouchard, PhD, David C. Bellinger, PhD, Robert O. Wright, MD, MPH,  Marc G. Weisskopf, PhD