Meet Katie Newman | Evolution Performance Trainer (Gainesville, VA)

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Background:

Katie is originally from Alexandria, VA and has been involved in the world of sports since the age of six. Growing up in Northern Virginia, she played high school sports, mainly basketball and lacrosse, as well as year-round AAU basketball for the Fairfax Stars and Cardinals. Katie has remained heavily involved in training and coaching over the last 10 years, and is passionate about everything health and fitness. She is a certified Nutrition Coach from Precision Nutrition, Crossfit Level trainer, and Adaptative and Inclusive Athlete Trainer. She is also an Evolution Basketball Clinics trainer and has helped coach teams with Team Evolution. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Salisbury University with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Katie serves in the United States Navy Reserves as an RN and has experience training active-duty military members inside and outside the gym for the past five years. 

Below Katie answers a series of questions:

  1. What are the benefits of performance training for basketball?
  2. What are the areas of focus?
  3. What separates his program from the competition?
  4. What are some misconceptions about youth players and performance training?

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What are the benefits of performance training for basketball?

The benefits of performance training can be astronomical to the athlete, especially if they have the desire to take their performance to the next level and want to play in college or beyond. Exposing youth athletes to performance and strength training can help support healthy bone and joint development, reduce injuries, decrease recovery time, improve brain function and mental health, and so much more.

How can it be useful in the game of basketball? Basketball is such an explosive, physically demanding sport that requires a great deal of physical stamina, strength, and mobility. Change of direction, jump height, sprint speed, and conditioning are just a few of many things that can be improved off the court with performance and strength training.  

What are the areas of focus of your performance training program?

I am a big believer in ‘Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast’. When it comes to performance training and coaching, I really focus on the fundamentals and making sure that athletes are performing safe and effective movements and building a good foundation in strength movements. I compare it to teaching an athlete how to make a layup or a jump shot – one step at a time. I’m not going to have my athlete practice 3-pointers if they still can’t pick the correct leg up on a layup and I’m not going to have an athlete put a barbell on their back if they can’t do an air squat properly.  

I like to utilize an array of different movements and workouts when I train athletes. There are fundamental movements that all athletes should be able to perform properly – squats, bench press, push press, and deadlifts. I really like to focus on these basic movements and then also incorporate different agility and conditioning drills that are specific to their sport.

In general, you can expect three phases to every workout:

  • Phase 1: Flexibility and Mobility
  • Phase 2: Speed and Agility
  • Phase 3: Power and Strength

What separates your program from the competition?

What sets my coaching style apart from others out there is my innate ability to personally connect with my athletes and provide them with more than just a training program. I like to create relationships with my athletes and get to know who they are outside of the gym. I want to know what their goals are, be there as a mentor to help them achieve their goals, and educate them on more than just training. In the gym, I am not shy about pushing my athletes and getting them to where I know they can perform well while also making it a fun and enjoyable experience. 

What are some misconceptions about youth players and performance training?

I have always believed that ‘Strong is Cool’ and it’s one of my passions that I want to pass on to the younger generation, especially young females, that want to be outstanding athletes. Girls belong in the weight room just as much as the boys, and being a role model for young athletes that want to get into the gym is one way I want to create impact for my athletes.  As a female trainer, I think it is so imperative that youth athletes get involved in strength and performance training. Being an athlete does not stop when players walk off the court and I believe that performance training plays a key role in overall athlete development, creating stronger players both physically and mentally. Getting youth athletes into a strength training program helps develop healthy and strong movement patterns, creates confidence on and off the court, and can help prepare athletes who are looking for ways to outshine their competition. 

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