Sports Performance

Mission Statement:
To foster an environment which is positive, enthusiastic, competitive, and intense with the goals of reducing injuries and increasing athletic performance in our student-athletes.  To provide strength and conditioning programs for every sport that are based on sound scientific principles and proven methods to prepare student-athletes for competition.

In accordance to the Mission Statement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Athletics it is our goal that each student-athlete receives a "Championship" experience.

Strength and Conditioning Staff

Paul Arndorfer, Director of Strength & Conditioning 816-235-6309
Clint Dominick, Assistant Director of Strength & Conditioning 816-235-2745
Sam Mitchell, Strength and Conditioning Graduate Assistant

The UMKC Strength and Conditioning Philosophy encompasses eight scientifically confirmed principles that improve athletic performance.  These principles are the following:

Ground Based Movements
Movements that are performed with the athlete's feet on the ground are more productive than movements performed while sitting or lying down.  Virtually all sports skills are executed with the athlete's feet on the ground.  Applying a force against the ground causes an equal and opposite reaction in the direction of the movement.  The greater the force you can generate against the ground, the faster you can run and the higher you can jump.  Ground based power is critical to athletic success.  Training with your feet on the ground requires the athlete to stabilize his or her own body structure, which in turn increases proprioception and strengthens stabilization muscles reducing the risk of injury.

Multiple Joint Movements
Exercises that work more than one joint at a time are the most productive exercises for athletes.  Athletic skills require multiple joint actions timed in the proper neuromuscular recruitment patterns.  A sound strength program is built around multiple joint movements. 

Multiple Joint movements promote the most lean body mass gains through the secretion of growth hormone and testosterone.  In order to take a 275 lb. redshirt freshman and build him into a 315 lb. junior we must stimulate the metabolism through utilizing multiple joint movements such as the squat.

Three Dimensional Movements
Athletic skills involve movement in three planes simultaneously: side to side, up and down, forward and backward.  We must develop functional strength in all three planes, and the primary way to accomplish this is with free weights.  Using free weights develops the primary muscles as well as the stabilization muscles of the torso, hip, knee, and ankle.  Machines do not develop the stabilization structures supporting the major joints.  By developing stabilization strength we prevent injuries and improve body control.

Explosive Training
Athletic movements in power sports, such as football, are very quick and explosive. Training explosively with free weights, plyometrics, and medicine balls stimulates the recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers, thus developing power.  If you train slowly you will become slow.  The biggest difference between strength and power is speed of movement.  Strength alone is useless; power wins football games.  Developing the ability to apply force rapidly improves on field performance.

Progressive Overload
Overload happens when the body responds to training loads greater than normal.  Overload causes muscle tissue to break down and go into a catabolic state.  The body then adapts with proper rest and nutrition.  By compensating repeatedly, the muscles develop strength or endurance depending on the stimulus.  Proper and progressive application of the training load (volume + intensity) is a fundamental component in program design, which will maximize performance while preventing injuries.

Periodization is the progressive variation of training regulated by the period of the year and the maturity of the athlete.  When the neuromuscular system becomes accustomed to a training stimulus over a period of time it will cease to progress.  Periodization promotes continued training progress throughout an athlete's career.

Specificity of Conditioning
The objective of conditioning is to improve the energy capacity of an athlete during competition.  There are three systems of energy for the body: ATP, Lactic Acid, and Oxygen.  ATP provides energy for explosive bouts of exercise lasting up to 8 seconds.  Lactic Acid provides the energy for moderate intensity bouts of 8 seconds to one minute.  The Oxygen system provides the energy for low intensity activities over a long period of time using slow twitch muscle fibers.

The initial step in designing a conditioning program is to determine the energy system used in the specific sport.  The system used in power sports such as football is the ATP system, while the system used for 10,000 meter run is the Oxygen system.  There are physiological reasons why a football player trains differently than a distance runner.  A football player must develop tremendous efficiency within the ATP system.  Research has shown that building an aerobic base can be counter productive to development of strength, speed, and power.  We will invest our time in the development of the ATP system.

Interval training
Interval training is work followed by a prescribed rest interval.  This method is used to develop the ATP energy system.  The athletes must train a work to rest ratio that corresponds with their specific sport.  For football the work to rest ratio is 1:6.  If the interval is too short, the amount of ATP replenished is not sufficient to meet the demands of maximum intensity effort.  This results in a lack of explosiveness and a poor training effect.  We must perform with the same explosiveness in the fourth quarter as we had in the first quarter.

Using these eight principles, along with the evaluation of each athlete's strengths, weaknesses, previous injuries, training maturity, and specific sport requirements, each program will be tailored to meet their needs.  Strong lines of communication must be developed between the coaches, athletes, sports medicine staff and the strength coach for the program to function effectively.

Durwood Soccer Stadium and Recreational Field

Swinney Recreation Center

Coming Soon

Recommended Reading
Student-Athlete Dining Guide (PDF)

Internship Opportunities

Please inquire to: 

Paul Arndorfer, Director of Strength & Conditioning 816-235-6309