Robert Mora/LA Galaxy

Fitness Insider: Learning a New Language

The first few weeks of preseason always bring a lot of excitement as guys get back to doing what they love.  It also brings a lot of new faces, new terminology and new coaching techniques that everyone has to adjust to right away in preseason. 

While several of our core players, coaches and staff returned from last season, we also introduced 14 new players and a new coach [Jovan Kirovski].

The first couple weeks in a new environment can be very overwhelming as the new players get accustomed to teammates, coaches and technical staff.  [READ: Tommy Meyer fitting right in] As a club, we recognize this and really emphasize communication so that everyone is on the same page.

As we start to build individual fitness plans for all the players, the next major priority from the strength and conditioning side becomes getting them used to the terminology, coaching tips and cues I like to use, as well as how I label or reference each exercise we do in the gym or on the field.  

For example, one day I wrote "single leg squat" and had Dustin McCarty do a split squat, Marcelo Sarvas do a squat to a box and Sean Franklin do a step down from a box. This goes to show that we can't assume the players know what I want them to do and need to communicate, demonstrate and cue them on the mechanics of the exercises.

While there can be confusion at times about what I am trying to get across, the nice thing is that it creates an opportunity for dialog between the players and me which allows us to discuss their goals and the specific things they want to work on. 

What I love about the group of players we have on this team is that they are proactive in their desire to get better and to seek out additional help.  Whether it is some of the new faces like Tommy Meyer, Justin Davies or Stephen Posa coming to me to ask for additional work on their fitness or injury prevention areas or the new goalkeepers Bill Gaudette and Nick Noble asking for various gym exercises that will make them stronger and more explosive. It is very encouraging to see them take the initiative to make sure that we are all on the same page and working toward our goals.

Follow all of Ben's Galaxy Fitness Insider updates at www.lagalaxy.com/fitnessinsider and stay up to date on exercises with his #GalaxyExerciseoftheDay on Twitter. Fans are encouraged to participate by leaving questions for Ben at the bottom of each post, or by sending Ben a tweet @byauss1.