After working through the training and development process alone, Scott Ferguson has opened Sylvan Lake’s first athletic training facility.
As both a hockey and football player, Ferguson found there was no facility in Sylvan Lake, or nearby, to accommodate the training needed for those demanding sports.
The facility uses a “functional training” method which Ferguson says will help each athlete train for their specific sport.
“It helps youth athletes learn how their body moves, learn how to take care of their body,” he said.
The training will teach each young athlete how to improve their strength and condition their body for their sport. There are a few myths associated with functional training or preseason training, according to Ferguson.
He said athletes who train in a preseason are less likely to sustain injuries during the season.
“Aspiring youth athletes should participate in at least six weeks of preparatory conditioning (including strength, aerobic, and flexibility training) before competitive sport participation,” said Ferguson, adding a preseason regimen should include strength, aerobic and flexibility training.
The National Strength And Conditioning Association says preseason training will better help prepare young athletes for the rigours of the season. A preseason regimen will also decrease the likelihood of dropouts due to frustration, embarrassment, failure or injury.
Because there was no place nearby for Ferguson to learn training and conditioning for his days playing hockey, he had to initially learn through trial and error. He initially learned about training with other players and coaches, with the exception of some facilities he had the opportunity to travel to.
To supplement his hands-on learning, Ferguson has also taken a number of courses about the subject to better help youth athletes. The athletic training provided by Ferguson Athletic Development will be helpful for any sport – not just the rough and tumble sports like football, according to Ferguson.
“The type of training I go through here is good for any sport, and just everyday life,” he said.
Ferguson believes learning how one’s body moves and how to take care of it will be impactful to all athletes both on the field and off. Ferguson’s training process is open to anyone at least 7-years-old.
He says he is mostly expecting to work with bantam and pee wee aged kids. Ferguson’s training and conditioning sessions last between 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on age, with the younger kids training for a shorter amount of time.
The activities done in the session will begin by loosening up, before moving into increasing mobility and range of motion.
“They are working well – not just with a poor range of motion, they are doing everything the best they can,” said Ferguson about increasing the range of motion of each athlete.
The sessions will also look at speed and agility exercises and technique training.
“I want to preach moving well instead of moving a lot,” said Ferguson. “I want to make sure they know how their bodies work instead of just telling them to do this exercise as heavy as you can. That is when injuries happen.”
Ferguson says strength training is actually a very small part of the actual workout.
By opening Ferguson Athletic Development, Ferguson is working towards his belief that all athletes can be great in their sport.
He believes each athlete should have proper training facilities available to them no matter their sport or level.
“I have a vision that all of our athletes will have access to the proper training in a positive environment so they can get the most out of their sports,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson Athletic Development is located at 5 Erickson Crescent in Sylvan Lake. More information about the training facility can be found on its Facebook page.
“I just want people to know that I believe that every athlete of any caliber should be given all the tools they need to reach their fullest potential in sports as well as life.”