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Coaching Philosophy

The ascend approach to sports conditioning

The philosophy of Ascend Sports Conditioning can be summed up in our mission statement:

“To inspire athletes to ascend to the highest level of excellence through a balanced life.”

Our philosophy is focused on achieving a balance in sports, but also areas outside of sports. While not explicitly conducting career or life coaching, our philosophy, if applied correctly will ensure that an individual’s athletic endeavors are integrated in a balanced way into these other areas of life.

Our philosophy is called the ascend approach to sports conditioning. It is meant to teach athletes to ascend to the highest levels of excellence in their sports through a life balance. Athletes understand that there are two zones in life: the summit zone and the base zone. The summit zone is the performance domain of life, while the base zone is everything else. They will ascend from the base zone to the summit zone, then return. When entering the summit zone, the athlete must become absolutely focused and relentless in their pursuits. When they are in the base zone, they can be the warm person they always are. In the summit zone they are pursuing the highest quality performance, while in the base zone they are enjoying balance, simplicity, and a state of relaxation.

pyramid_philosophyLike climbing a mountain, the athlete will ascend into the summit zone, and do so only in certain conditions. For mountain climbers, those conditions are clear, windless days. For our athletes, those conditions will be for when they are racing, training and in other areas of life, such as work. When they leave the summit zone and enter the base zone, they enter a more restful state. When a mountain climber climbs a mountain, the time spent at base camp is time of rejuvenation and re-fueling of the body and mind. Likewise, our athletes will use the time in the base zone to become mellow, unwind and become more playful. This will be a time for family, hobbies, spiritual pursuits, and other non-performance areas of life. This free-flowing time in the base zone will help the athletes excel in the summit zone in ensuring that the athlete is well-rested, filled emotionally and spiritually and focused physically and mentally.

The summit zone and base zones are a way to achieve balance. This balance will allow the athlete to be the best they can be in their races or other performance domains while maintaining joy and harmony in the rest of life. Staying in the summit zone will only focus on one part of life and not be in balance. The athlete will need to spend time in both zones and live fully balanced.

While the foundation of the summit and base zone is built on the psychological needs of the athlete, the ascend approach to sports conditioning will also emphasize two other needs: physiological and nutritional. Depending on the mesocycle of the periodization plan the athlete is on, each of these needs will have a different, individualized, focused plan.

Physiological needs will emphasize endurance, force and speed, with active recovery. We will focus on ways to periodically measure progress through achievement of tactical objectives (i.e., an increase in LT, running a 10K in a certain time, etc.) all while remaining focused on the key goals of the athlete.

Nutritional needs will focus on optimizing daily, race day and recovery in take of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals. Specific targets for each will be individualized for the athlete, and monitored to ensure progress is made towards overall athletic goals.

Most importantly, our philosophy is designed to listen to the athlete on an individual, humanistic, and realistic level. Our approach is a good blend of art and science, with each applied directly to the individual athlete’s life. We look forward to working with you in building a system that works for you!