& CONDITIONING PROFILE #1 -
Every month CB ATHLETICS will be featuring
a new strength coach and an insight into their conditioning
philosophies. There are many great coaches out there that
are unrecognized and that may even live in the same city
as you or an athlete you know that is looking for advanced
instruction. Our first profile will feature Ottawa, Canada
strength coach Mike Gough, owner of www.optperformance.com
and a former interim strength coach with the Toronto Raptors
and Cleveland Indian's minor league coach. If there are
any other features you would like to see, please send your
CB: Mike, tell us a little bit
about your current work situation.
MG: I train elite amateur and professional
athletes to improve their sport performance. During the
summer months I have a very successful Hockey Fit Conditioning
Program in Eastern Ontario (Ottawa area). I train athletes
from the NHL, AHL, OHL, NCAA and tier II levels specializing
in speed, agility, quickness, and plyometrics.
In the winter months my focus is with
my Baseball Conditioning Program where I have a handful
of professional baseball players, and my NFL Combine Prep
Camp. This is my first year running the NFL camp. I have
draft prospects from major D1 schools such as Florida State.
I spend whatever time I have left mentoring future strength
coaches and working with my website www.optperformance.com.
I have recently opened an online store carrying training
products that I have had success with along the way.
CB: What is your education background?
MG: I attended Concordia University
in Montreal, Quebec (BSc. Exercise Science). I believe that
a lot of my education came after graduating, learning from
top people in the field such as Fernando Montes of the Cleveland
Indians and my good friend Scott Livingston (now with the
Montreal Canadiens). I have realized that a lot the ideas
and theories I have and use today are not from studying
from a book, but from practical learning experiences I have
had along the way with some of the top names in the field.
I became certified by the NSCA as a CSCS in my senior year
at Concordia and I like to attend conferences and seminars
to learn and share ideas with others in the field.
CB: What is your training philosophy?
MG: My philosophy is providing the athlete
with the most personalized training program available. I
train one on one or in small groups so every athlete gets
the attention they need. I like to motivate and push each
athlete to higher levels of physical conditioning and I
like to train the complete athlete.
CB: Can you give the reader some
tips for improving athleticism?
MG: Train at high speeds. Do every speed,
agility and plyometric drill as fast and as explosive as
possible. Constantly change exercises or drills to challenge
the body, increase the difficulty, add stability and balance
into drills. Remember we must not only train the muscles
but also the brain!
CB: Can you describe your clients
a little further?
MG: Strictly elite amateur and professional
athletes. I have worked with athletes such as David Justice
and Roberto Alomar, Vince Carter, Tracey McGrady, and Antonio
Davis when I worked with the Toronto Raptors, and Fred Brathwaite
of the St. Louis Blues, along with hundreds of other athletes
who I have shared ideas with along the way.
While working with the Toronto Raptors,
I implemented more of a maintenance phase of conditioning
throughout the year. The goal was to maintain levels of
strength, agility, power, and overall conditioning of the
players. The players would have if possible two lifts a
week depending on the schedule and travel. Players that
played very little would perform extra conditioning on game
days, and the players on the injured list would condition
every day. I pushed these players hard to maintain high
levels of basketball specific conditioning. They would perform
footspeed, strength, agility, and anaerobic conditioning.
CB: That's amazing! Those are
fantastic experiences that I'm sure have allowed you to
pass on amazing information to the younger athletes. What
are some of your personal achievements?
MG: I get a lot of satisfaction from
being in this profession. Seeing the athletes get drafted
in the NHL, Major League Baseball, receive a NCAA Scholarship,
or simply make the jump to the next level of play. I pride
myself on the success of my clients.
CB: Again, great stuff. Any quick
tips to pass along for building muscle?
MG: Get a proper training program by
a qualified professional, such as MASSIVE
ACTION from CB ATHLETICS. Many people who want to build
muscle are often training with no purpose and no direction
and then wonder why they are not seeing the results they
CB: Misdirected training is often
a big problem. What other common mistakes do you see athletes
MG: Many athletes don't understand the
concept of recovery. Recovery is as important as the training
itself. Many athletes do not hydrate or fuel their bodies
the way they should. They negate the effects of training
by not getting adequate rest and recovery.
CB: You've had a great career
so far. What are your goals?
MG: My goal is to have an impact on
more and more motivated athletes. To push them to new levels
of sports performance and ultimately to make their athletic
dreams a reality. I would love to someday open up a training
facility with my close colleagues and friends.
CB: Thanks Mike! You have been
an outstanding initial profile. Where can athletes contact
you for more information on your programs?
MG: Athletes can contact me through
my site: www.optperformance.com
is getting ready to return to Ottawa to run his summer training
camp. Visit his site www.optperformance.com for more info.
Here is what Mike has been doing all winter...
was my last day for the football guys. The test tomorrow
at the Florida State Pro Day where the "who's who" of the
NFL come to test them. I think that hey are ready. They
have both added 5 pounds of muscle and both have lost some
fat. They have gotten quicker and more agile so it should
be interesting to see what they do. While I have been busy
with them, Ryan Jardine one of my clients and a project
for three seasons made his NHL debut with the Panthers.
I have put in three years of hard work and personal attention
with this kid. I was quite proud.
I also want
readers to know that I feel that the Speed Ladder has a
great transfer ability to on-ice movements. I think that
it is especially great for defensemen doing patterns backwards
keeping their head up, just like they are challenged by
a forward on-ice. Also they usually have slow feet so it's
Speed Ladder drills and other agility ideas, please refer
to Issue 74