Fitness, For Parents, Technology

Why Use the Gols Mobile Fitness App? Volume 5 – Social Connectivity

Starting tomorrow, and over the weekend of Friday, January 30th – Sunday, February 1st, we will be showcasing our mobile fitness app, Gols, at the 2015 National Soccer Coaching Conference, held at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Athletic Centre in down town Toronto.  As a lead-up to the event, I will be posting a few brief summaries of the components of our app that make it the best choice for anyone aspiring to improve their fitness in order to help them play the game, regardless of the level at which they play.

In this fifth and final instalment, I will be discussing the feature of our app that helps to motivate our users and keep things engaging throughout the exercise program: social connectivity.  Studies have shown that support from family, friends, and peers is one of the key factors influencing an individual’s ability to remain committed to an exercise program.  The advent of social media in the last 5-10 years has made making – and building on – these connections easier than ever before.

With the Gols app, we have included features that allow our users to compare, compete with, and communicate with their family, friends, and peers while progressing through their exercise programs.  Some of the key aspects of the social connectivity of our app include:

  • “Leaderboard” feature, which lets users compare their fitness assessment scores with other users to see how they stack up
  • Assessment Standards and Norms, that we have built in to all of our assessments, which are age- and gender-specific
  • Sharing through Facebook and Twitter, so that users can let their friends and the online community know about how well they are doing and whether or not they are reaching their “gols”

We are honoured and excited to be a part of the largest coaching conference in Canada, and are looking forward to seeing you all at the Soccer Fitness Gols vendor booth!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic.  Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.

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Fitness, For Parents, Technology

Why Use the Gols Mobile Fitness App? Volume 4 – Practical Workout Scheduling

In less than 1 week, on the weekend of Friday, January 30th – Sunday, February 1st, we will be showcasing our mobile fitness app, Gols, at the 2015 National Soccer Coaching Conference, held at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Athletic Centre in down town Toronto.  As a lead-up to the event, I will be posting a few brief summaries of the components of our app that make it the best choice for anyone aspiring to improve their fitness in order to help them play the game, regardless of the level at which they play.

In this fourth instalment, I will be discussing an aspect of our app that makes it a popular choice for all users with a busy schedule and time constraints: practical workout scheduling.  Having worked in the fitness industry for my entire adult life, I can say that almost everyone, regardless of their age, gender, profession, or level of fitness/athletic ability, cites a lack of time as one of the reasons they do not exercise more.  A second constraint which is common among most adults is that, in combination with a lack of time, they would also prefer workouts that are convenient and do not require fancy equipment and/or expensive gym memberships.  Thus a successful exercise program for busy adults must involve workouts that are convenient and practical, that do not take a lot of time to complete, and do not require access to expensive equipment or facilities.

It was with these ideas in mind that we created the Gols exercise programs.  Each of our 5 components of fitness (strength, power, speed, endurance, and flexibility) comprise 8 weeks of training, with 2 workouts per week (16 training sessions in total).  Each workout, for each of the 5 fitness components, and in each of the 8 weeks / 16 training sessions, can be completed start-to-finish in a maximum of 30 minutes.  What’s more, the exercises and running workouts require no equipment except for your smart phone, and the can be completed anywhere (even on a soccer pitch)!  The practicality of our entire exercise programming in the Gols app means that users can get the results they want with time commitment and expectations that are reasonable for even the busiest individuals.  There are no more excuses for why you cannot get in better shape.  The Gols app has you covered!

We are honoured and excited to be a part of the largest coaching conference in Canada, and are looking forward to seeing you all at the Soccer Fitness Gols vendor booth!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic.  Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.

Fitness, For Parents, Technology

Why Use the Gols Mobile Fitness App? Volume 3 – Performance Tracking

In less than 1 week, on the weekend of Friday, January 30th – Sunday, February 1st, we will be showcasing our mobile fitness app, Gols, at the 2015 National Soccer Coaching Conference, held at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Athletic Centre in down town Toronto.  As a lead-up to the event, I will be posting a few brief summaries of the components of our app that make it the best choice for anyone aspiring to improve their fitness in order to help them play the game, regardless of the level at which they play.

In this third instalment, I will be discussing something we have included in our app that ties in well with everything our parent company, Soccer Fitness Inc., has been doing in soccer-specific sports science for the past 10 years: performance tracking. There is a great quote, from a former baseball player with the New York Yankees in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s named Yogi Berra, that reads as follows:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up someplace else”

I don’t think I could find a better way to sum up and explain the reason why tracking performance in a mobile fitness app is so important.  Anyone who participates in a fitness training program, whether they are an elite athlete or simply trying to shed a few pounds, needs to know how they are progressing through their program and if they are in fact on track to achieve their goals.  With the Gols app, users are assigned specific targets (or “gols”) based on their performance in our standardized fitness assessments.  After completing workouts, users receive live and instant feedback regarding these targets.  Our unique system uses technology such as GPS, to monitor and track performance, and uses the results and data generated to adjust the targets (“gols”) in subsequent workouts.  Individuals beginning the journey to better health, fitness, and on-field play using the Gols app will benefit from our performance tracking because, as the quote says, they will know exactly “where they are going,” and will never “wind up someplace else.”

For Parents, Matches

Article – Apathy toward Canadian soccer is why nothing is going to change – by Jason De Vos

Below is a link to a very interesting article, posted on http://www.tsn.ca, and written by Jason De Vos, former Canadian Men’s National Team member, professional soccer player in Canada, England and Scottland, former coach and Technical Director of the Oakville Soccer Club, and presently a soccer analyst for TSN.  He is commenting on some of the problems with Canadian soccer and how they relate to Canada’s recent failure to qualify for the FIFA U20 Men’s World Cup.

The main point De Vos makes in this article is that Canada’s soccer problems stem from the bottom of the “pyramid of play” (poor youth development) rather than from the top (lack of a Canadian professional league).  Supporters and/or followers of soccer in Canada at any level should be interested in hearing what he has to say:

http://www.tsn.ca/apathy-toward-canadian-soccer-is-why-nothing-is-going-to-change-1.189326

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic.  Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.

Fitness, For Parents, Technology

Why Use the Gols Mobile Fitness App? Volume 2 – Customized Workouts

In less than 2 weeks, on the weekend of Friday, January 30th – Sunday, February 1st, we will be showcasing our mobile fitness app, Gols, at the 2015 National Soccer Coaching Conference, held at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Athletic Centre in down town Toronto.  As a lead-up to the event, I will be posting a few brief summaries of the components of our app that make it the best choice for anyone aspiring to improve their fitness in order to help them play the game, regardless of the level at which they play.

In this second instalment, I will be discussing one feature of our app that separates it from hundreds of other fitness apps of the market today: customized workouts.  In keeping with our philosophy at Soccer Fitness of only providing science-based programming, we have developed a unique system that truly customizes the workouts in our Gols app to each individual.  We have accomplished this objective by combining some of the latest smart phone technology (including GPS and accelerometry) with our own soccer-specific and standards-based fitness assessment protocols for each of the 5 components of fitness (strength, speed, power, endurance, and flexibility).  Users of the Gols app must perform our fitness assessments, and the data taken from these assessments is used to customize the intensities and workloads of each workout, based on each individuals’ specific physical capacity and level of fitness.

Because all workouts are customized, users will always be presented with targets – “gols” – for each individual workout that will be challenging, but not too easy or too difficult to achieve.  As users’ fitness levels improve, subsequent fitness assessments built into every program will ensure that the targets or “gols” change to reflect each individual’s increasing physical capacity.  In the long run, anyone who begins training with our Gols app – regardless of their present level of physical ability, will constantly be pushed to achieve simple, customized, realistic, and science-based goals, helping them to increase their fitness level and improve their performance of the beautiful game.

We are honoured and excited to be a part of the largest coaching conference in Canada, and are looking forward to seeing you all at the Soccer Fitness Gols vendor booth!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic.  Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.

Announcements, Science, Technology

Why Use the Gols Mobile Fitness App? Volume 1 – Soccer-Specific Training

In less than 2 weeks, on the weekend of Friday, January 30th – Sunday, February 1st, we will be showcasing our mobile fitness app, Gols, at the 2015 National Soccer Coaching Conference, held at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Athletic Centre in down town Toronto.  As a lead-up to the event, I will be posting a few brief summaries of the components of our app that make it the best choice for anyone aspiring to improve their fitness in order to help them play the game, regardless of the level at which they play.

In this first instalment, I will be discussing probably the most unique component provided by our Gols app: soccer-specific training.  Everything about the exercises and training programs in the Gols app is specific to the sport of soccer.  Drawing on my 30 years of experience as a player, coach, fitness coach, and soccer-specific sports scientist, the Gols app combines proven science-based training principles with easy to follow exercise routines that will allow any athlete or person to improve their soccer-specific fitness.  Examples of soccer-specific training in the Gols app include:

  • Programs sub-divided into the 5 components of fitness that are the most critical to soccer performance:  strength, speed, power, endurance, and flexibility
  • Strength exercises that involve all the major muscle groups and movement patterns used while playing the sport, and which can be done anywhere, including on a soccer pitch
  • Speed exercises and workouts designed to improve performance of the same types of sprints (forwards, backwards, sideways, and changing of direction) and distances (5 to 30 metres) used in the sport
  • Power exercises and workouts designed to mimic the explosive movements (single- and double-leg jumps, forwards, sideways, and backwards) and total numbers of those movements, done in the sport
  • Endurance workouts including variations of high intensity interval training, anaerobic power training, and speed endurance training, specifically designed to improve aerobic and running performance on the field
  • Flexibility exercises and workouts designed to address the specific body parts (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders) and functional movements that can give rise to injuries and impaired performance if not trained properly

We are honoured and excited to be a part of the largest coaching conference in Canada, and are looking forward to seeing you all at the Soccer Fitness Gols vendor booth!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic.  Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.

For Parents, Matches

Red Nation Online Podcast: “From the Black Hole” Episode 41, State of the Game

Below is a link to a podcast done by Red Nation Online, a Canadian on line soccer magazine that I write articles for.  It contains an interview with my friend and colleague Dino Rossi of the Ontario Soccer Association and Ontario League 1, and and Steven Sandor, publisher of the E-Mag Plastic Pitch as well as the on line news site the11.ca.

The podcast, titled “State of the Game”, covers a history of Canadian soccer from Mr Rossi’s and Sandor’s perspectives, as well as their thoughts about the future of the game in Canada, from grass roots development to the professional and Canadian National teams.

There are a lot of interesting issues being discussed here.  The past year, 2014, saw several changes to the soccer system here in Ontario, including the introduction of semi-professional Ontario League 1, the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL), addition of a USL-Pro team and younger (U10/U12) youth teams to the Toronto FC Academy, and the introduction of the Regional-Excel Program (REX Program) to the Canadian Women’s National Team.  This discussion centres, among other issues, on some of these changes and how they may impact player development and the success of our National Team programs in the future.

I hope you enjoy listening and would love to hear your feedback!

http://www.rednationonline.ca/Podcasts2014/FromtheBlackHoleEpisode41StateoftheGame.aspx