Latest News

Returning to Sport After an ACL Injury

By Catherine A. Logan, MD, MBA, MSPT - November 12, 2018

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are among the most common orthopaedic sports injuries in the United States. More than 100,000 ACL reconstructions are performed annually with the goal of restoring knee stability and kinematics. After patients complete a systematic progression through phase of rehabilitation, the final hurdle of returning to their preferred sport or activity awaits them. Fitness professionals have the distinct opportunity in helping clients complete this return successfully.

Overview of ACL Reconstruction Rehabilitation

Individuals work tirelessly to progress through each phase of recovery. Early-on, the emphasis is on the return of motion and reduction of swelling. As time progresses, their focus turns to strengthening of the lower extremity musculature, followed by programming to facilitate return to sport. Historically, these recovery phases were time based (the athlete would move to the next phase at a specific number of weeks after surgery); but modern rehabilitation now utilizes criteria to determine readiness to advance. These athletes must meet certain criteria, for example, range of motion and functional strength tests, before moving forward.

Getting into the Gym Early

An additional focus of modern rehabilitation is consideration of the mental impact of injury on the athlete. Surgeons, myself included, and rehabilitation providers now place more emphasis on understanding how being sidelined can influence an athlete’s confidence and may change their typical socialization patterns since they are no longer practicing and playing with their teammates. While an athlete moving through the early stages of recovery will not be able to do their full team or sport workout, I believe there is benefit derived from getting to the gym early. The upper body and core may continue to be challenged through consistent workouts as long as special attention is paid to keeping the operative knee safe. A creative fitness professional can maintain the restrictions needed for a full and healthy ACL recovery, but keep the athlete mentally and physically engaged in the gym – with other athletes – working out other areas of their mind and body. This modern method entails a collaborative team approach including the surgeon, treating providers and fitness professionals, but I believe this method will optimize the mental well-being of the athlete and ultimately aide in their recovery.

Recovery and Performance

Fitness professionals are in a unique field and have a wonderful opportunity to prepare athletes for that last hurdle after ACL surgery. Agility and sport-specific drills can be challenging for an athlete to maintain proper form and neuromuscular control. During such drills, attention is focused on providing verbal cueing to best prepare the athlete for game-time demands. Video analysis, even via a cellular phone camera, is a great tool to implement, as it may be difficult for some athletes to incorporate verbal feedback with visual feedback. In my office, I also perform a series of functional movement and strength tests during the later stages of recovery – this data helps me provide useful information to patients, therapists and trainers and guides the eventual decision to determine readiness to play.

Author Bio: Catherine A. Logan, MD, MBA, MSPT is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine in Centennial, CO at OrthoONE. She’s also a team physician for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. Logan was a physical therapist and personal trainer for 7 years before attending medical school. She focuses her research on post-surgical rehabilitation protocols and return to play.

Original Post:

Mindfulness in Multiple Sports

By Team Speed Admin - October 2, 2018

The other day, an interesting discussion broke out amongst the trainers and athletes here at Sterling’s Team Speed. When combining multiple sports into your routine, what are the benefits and drawbacks? Do the sports compliment each other? Or, are they potentially detrimental to your body? This conversation is important, so let’s have it.

Some examples of the sports discussed included soccer, swimming, dancing and gymnastics, in addition to other athletics like yoga and pilates. We see a lot of young athletes in here, and about half of them play multiple sports. Now, there are certainly some implications as far as injury potential when athletes specialize in just one sport early on in their life, and this is a topic we covered in one of our more recent blog posts. This post is going to cover ways athletes can be more mindful and practice injury prevention while playing multiple sports.

Body Awareness

Different sports work different muscles and demand specific movements from various areas of your body. Because of this truth, it’s important for any athlete (one who specializes, or one who plays multiple) to practice good body awareness. Knowing which muscle group would benefit from more strength in one sport versus that same muscle group demanding flexibility in another sport is absolutely critical in preventing injury, and maintaining the proper athleticism for both sports. For example, someone who plays soccer is going to have high demand on building strength in their hamstring muscle. If this same athlete also participates in gymnastics, dancing, yoga, or something similar, the hamstring muscle requires flexibility over strength. With the proper body awareness, you can work the two sports to actually compliment the other. However, without body awareness, the athlete may have a higher risk of injury.

Do Your Homework

Take the time to learn more about the demands of the sports you love and what steps you can take to make the most out of each of them.

Often, athletes face the roadblock where they need to choose which sport they are going to specialize in, and participate in the other sport as more of a supplement to the primary sport. For example, swimming would be a great supplement to any sport for endurance and breathwork. Similarly, yoga would be a great supplement for flexibility and fascia mobility.

Do what you can to keep your body safe while being the best athlete possible in each sport you participate in.

Hire a Private Coach or Trainer

There’s many benefits to hiring a private coach or trainer, and certainly one of them is that they’ll do your homework for you. Sports performance trainers already know a lot about the sports you play, what is demanded of your body, and what kind of training will make you a better athlete, so why not also task them with helping you be the best athlete possible in multiple sports? A private coach is going to help you balance out your muscle groups specific to the sports you play, which is going to help prevent injury as well. Injury prevention is huge for elite athletes, and hiring a private trainer is a great way to decrease the likelihood of getting injured. Your private coach will also help you with mental toughness, and how to best practice mindfulness while participating in multiple sports.

The coaches at Sterling’s Team Speed are world-class and ready to work with any athlete. Start today with your Complimentary Private Training Session. Send us an email or give us a call at 303-779-3640.


Why Training In Season is Important for All Athletes

Elite Athletes Don’t Stop Training Once the Season Starts

By Team Speed - September 12, 2018

You don’t get to eat cake and expect to receive the same health benefits as you would with a nutritional, balanced meal, so why would training be that way? Our players train at 100% during the off season, and our elite athletes don’t stop training once the season starts. Here’s why:

Maintain the Gains Made During the Off-Season

Athletes at Sterling’s Team Speed train hard during the off-season. They gain in strength, flexibility, endurance, mental toughness, agility and speed. It’s important to not lose these gains once the season begins and maintain while in season. Often, athletes won’t maintain their gains by attending their team’s regular practices -- They need to commit even further and train with a private coach during the off-season.

Fitness Levels Diminish as the Season Continues

The season starts and athletes are strong. However, as the season continues, athletes only get weaker and fitness levels diminish. Increased risk of injury is one of many implications at this point, and the best way to prevent injury is to continue to train outside of regular team practices.

Maintaining Strength, Power & Mechanics is Easier than Gaining them

It’s difficult, and frankly a waste of time and money, to push the pause button on private training during the season. At our sports and fitness facility in Denver, we highly encourage elite athletes to continue training while their team is in season a minimum of one time per week. This means the athlete is maintaining strength, power and mechanics rather than re-gaining them once the season is over.

Injury Prevention, Injury Prevention, Injury Prevention!

As the season goes on, players have a more difficult time maintaining strength. By mid-season, they are at their weakest, leaving them at greater risk of injury. Athletes can help to prevent injuries by working with a private coach while their team is in season.

The Most Important Games are Toward the End of the Season

It’s our goal to keep our athletes on the field or court at their strongest throughout their team’s whole season. Oftentimes, the most important games are toward the end of the season when players are not at peak performance, so it’s important to not lose momentum from training during the off-season and put athletes at risk of injury.

Minimal Time Commitment

As a general guideline, training a minimum of one time per week while in-season is sufficient to maintain gains made during the off-season. Players don’t train to gain at 100% like they do in the off-season. The focus shifts here at Sterling’s Team Speed to bettering the athlete and preventing injury.

Training Focus Shifts to Better the Athlete

In-season training is different for our athletes here at Sterling’s Team Speed. Don’t expect to come out of private training sessions sweating and exhausted. Players are not training at 100% effort while in season -- We design our training program around the athlete’s practice and game schedule. The training focus shifts from gaining to maintaining fitness, and preventing injury.

Let's Get Started...

We'd love to get you in here for private training during your season (or during your off-season). Get started by booking a Complimentary Private Training Session. No stipulations or commitments required. Let's just see if we have what you're looking for.

Email us at

Practice Above 100% Game Effort to Unlock New Levels of Performance

By Team Speed - August 14, 2018

Every athlete strives to be the best version of themselves in games, yet so many struggle to maintain consistency or to rise to the occasion during the biggest moments.

It’s easy to build confidence going through the same repetitions over and over again in practice, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to chaotic, unpredictable game situations. What can you do to give yourself the best chance to deliver when it matters most?

At Sterling’s Team Speed, we pride ourselves on helping athletes of all ages, in all sports, reach their peak performance consistently. The secret to better in-game performance is raising the level of your practice and training. We know that better than anyone, but we also love to hear the perspective of other experts in the field of sports performance training.

We recently had a great conversation with sports performance expert Lowell Wightman about the mental side of translating practice to real game situations. Read on to see what he has to say.

Translating Practice/Training Into Better Game Performance

Lowell Wightman is the founder of 360 Mindset, which helps athletes achieve peak performance through mental conditioning.

Wightman developed his performance coaching skills by working with the Colorado State University football team, as well as Illinois athletes, such as Antwaan Randle EL (Washington Redskins), Eddie Curry (Chicago Bulls), and Curtis Granderson (Toronto Blue Jays).

From 1998 to 2000, he coached the Illinois Wolverine basketball club and in 2000 he coached the U16 team to an AAU National Championship.

We asked him for his best advice to athletes looking to do a better job of translating practice into real game situations.

“As a sport coach and sport performance coach, I believe in practicing harder than the effort you typically produce in a game. Why would you do that? If you produce beyond what you need in a game during practice, you will be well prepared for the competition. So, during practice bring more than 100%.

Energy and being physical is only one of three skill sets to being your best. The skills you learn in practice transfer to each game because you practice them until you master them. Sometimes games show up when you have not mastered the needed skills, and this is where the third skill sets arrives.

No matter how many errors or games lost, you need to bring your desire for your sport to every game. Your love and passion for the game will carry you through failure to the next practice, delivering improvements you create for the next game.

Finally, you must connect all three parts in order to bring your best. So, connect your energy with your skills while you feed them with your passion for the sport you love.”

Start Training Today

At Sterling’s Team Speed, we are committed to helping athletes of all ages better understand how to train and stay focused to improve your consistency in in-game situations.

Stay tuned to our blog for more expert opinions on achieving peak performance. If you’re ready to take your training to the next level, get started by booking youth sports performance private training sessions at our facility in Centennial.


The Key to Injury Prevention During the Season

By Team Speed - August 10, 2018

It’s no surprise that many athletes begin specializing in one sport at a very young age. While this is great for their unique athletic development, this also leads to chronic overuse injuries.


Once an athlete specializes, the demand to train and play in their sport is extensive. They are often only given a few days off and competition continues to increase year after year.


Much of our focus with the athletes that we train year round is on injury prevention and keeping them on the field. The days of “no pain, no gain”, and training at 110% off the field year round are gone. During the off season, athletes can train at a high rate while in season, the focus becomes about maintaining fitness and keeping them healthy.


Our athletes that train consistently, even just one time per week, stay healthy and strong. They have a significantly lower rate of injury, which is one reason we have produced so many National Champions.


Here’s some tips for what to focus on from our world-class trainers in preventing injuries during the season:

  • Unilateral Strength (i.e. one leg training versus two)
  • Mobility
  • Flexibility
  • Stretching (before AND after training sessions and practices)
  • Proper Diet and Hydration

At Sterling’s Team Speed, we believe the key to injury prevention during the season is including a recovery session (whether it’s with your private coach, team, or individually) in your weekly routine.


If you’re interested in learning more about injury prevention, contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our private trainers.


Already injured and looking to recover? We have a Return to Sport program that may be just what you need to get back to good health. Schedule your complimentary session here.