WYC 030 Performance Training – Amanda Kephart from Akron General Sports Performance talks getting faster, stronger, and more powerful

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Amanda Kephart shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful sports coach.

Amanda is the Sports Foreman Supervisor at the Akron General Sports Performance center.  Coach Amanda Kephart, MS, CSCS, USAW, has been training athletes for nearly a decade. She has worked at the Division One level with hundreds of athletes at both the University of Akron and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her energy brings out the best in her athletes and allows them to reach their athletic goals more quickly.  Amanda played basketball in high school, then picked up racquetball in college, where she went on to become a 2-time All-American at Balwin Wallace.

Website: strengthcoachamanda.com

Twitter: @_coachamanda_ ; @akrongeneralsp

Facebook: /akrongeneralsportsperformance

Youtube: /AGSportsPerformance

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


Coaching/Leadership Quote

‘Coaching is a great opportunity to allow the child to practice being what they want to be, not what their classmates think they are’

My ‘Ah-Ha Moment’

  • Sports conditioning is a science – there is a lot to learn about the body

Have Awesome Warm-up Routines


  • ‘Why do you do what you do’ – Is this helping your athlete?
  • Your goal isn’t to develop better runners – you want better (fill-in-your-sport) players
  • ‘It’s 2015 – telling the kids to take a lap isn’t going to cut it anymore’
  • 3 core areas – the shoulders, the core, the glutes
  • No static stretching during warm-ups; after practice/after game static stretches make total sense (because the point of static stretching is to move your body into a range it normally doesn’t want to go, so your body is not ready before practice but it is ready after practice)
  • 10 minutes is a good amount of time for warm-ups – use this time to share something inspirational and transition the mind of the athlete from being in their ‘day-job’ or ‘school’ mode into ‘athlete/team’ mode

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Know what the child really wants – some want to be a professional athlete, some just want to have fun on the team
  • When teaching any skill – demonstrate it visually AND explain why you’re doing it

What age should my child start working out?


  • The biggest factor isn’t what age – the biggest factor is who is coaching your child
  • MetaStudy on strength training safety: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23015875/. Results:
    • Injuries occur because of:
    • Poor/no supervision
    • Improper technique
    • Improper use of equipment
    • Inappropriate amount of weight
  • There is NO research that shows strength training stunts growth plates.
  • When looking for a good strength coach, look for coaches that focus on the quality and form/ not the total amount of weight or speed of the reps.
  • Core stabilization exercises – Instead of sit-ups there a lot of better options – like planks

Sports Specialization

  • If your athlete absolutely loves playing just one specific sport – make sure they are taking breaks throughout the year to allow their body to recover
  • If you are playing year-round travel teams – when are you learning new skills?


  • ‘It’s not about winning at any level except varsity.  Your entire job before that level is developing the players’
  • ‘Your win/loss record as a parent coach does not matter.  The only thing that matters is that the kids had a blast, they learned, and they became better.’

Inspiring Story

  • Amanda loves to work with the athletes that come in shy, and she can build confidence in them and bring out their full personality
  • ‘Coaching is a great opportunity to allow the child to practice being what they want to be, not what their classmates think they are’ – Set up your practices and teams to be safe environments that are full of positive encouragement and build up each athlete.

Coaching Resources

Parting Advice

  • Get a system – write it down.  Have a exercise bucket- where you keep a list of drills/exercises to plug in.

Interview Links / Promotional Partners




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