“I impact the athletes around me as much as I can daily; whether it be through training, through nutritional advice, or mentally if they are struggling in certain aspects of their day-to-day life. I try my best to make each athlete feel as if they are the most important person I am talking to and make sure they know I will do everything I can to have the biggest impact on their careers and their lives.”
Swift In The Collegiate Setting
Keith Ferrara is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach training collegiate athletes at Adelphi University, located in Garden City, NY. He is in charge of the entire strength and conditioning department, including design, programming, and implementation for 19 teams. Keith has been at Adelphi for close to a decade, and prior to his position, served over 3 years at the United States Tennis Association.
From an interview with Keith Ferrara, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Adelphi University…
Swift is a huge part of our daily assessments training collegiate athletes and constant evaluation of our athletes. We do speed work on a daily basis with each one of our teams, and the gates are extremely handy in autoregulation as well as feedback to the athletes on how fast they are running and how we can improve those times. As we progress to resisted-sprints, we also use the gates to make sure we are training in the appropriate zone to get the biggest benefit of speed. When it comes to our testing, we design tests that fit our individual teams. The swift equipment allows us to not only test speed, but also test reactiveness, agility, and movements that are specific to their sport. The use of the Swift gates coincides with our jump testing for autoregulation purposes and shows how the athletes’ bodies are responding to the training block we are on. Swift Performance is at the forefront of technological advancements. The products are amazing in their capabilities and reliability. As an educator and presenter in the industry, Swift has heightened my efforts to support the betterment of the field and has increased the positive impact I have on every athlete.
The Industry Is Changing
Along with being the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and training collegiate athletes at Adelphi, I’m also a certified sports nutritionist. Having that background is important to me because I don’t like to guess when providing nutrition recommendations for my athletes. It’s all from experience, and that’s another factor that contributes to success. Another thing we do at Adelphi is GPS tracking. I monitor and review the GPS data on a regular basis and give my recommendations to coaches on what can change. The industry is changing. Strength coaches just don’t have an impact in the weight room anymore but are having an impact on practices, game routines, and recovery procedures. For example, we opened a refuelling station where a lot of our athletes can grab one shake and one bar per day. I give input here on a daily basis, make adjustments, and experiment to get them in the best position before the game.
I’m also a Level 2 Reflexive Performance Reset. That’s another thing that I do. Athletes come in when something doesn’t feel right, I do some manual muscle testing to see how the nervous system is firing, and then pinpoint the issue. Now it’s not completely full proof, because nothing is truly definitive. Although when people say they know 100% of the answer, they really don’t know the answer themselves. This reset work has been very beneficial to our athletes to help them re-pattern, develop a better quality of movement in training, and move the right way out on the field. All in all, I think this is where the field is going and if you’ve noticed; I haven’t even mentioned lifting. Nor have I mentioned running. That’s just one subsection of the many. I believe that strength and conditioning professionals need more respect, because this is what we do and this is what we’ve always been doing. Many of us don’t even realize that our impact goes much further than the weight room we work in or within the work that we do. You literally can help change someone’s life by the daily advice you give them and attacking the athlete at a total 360° view, as opposed to just lifting. Lifting is just one part of the pie. It’s not the whole pie.