Albert Lea Family Y offers program for young athletes

Published 8:39 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Albert Lea Family Y program director Bill Villarreal has worked with local athletes for many years and now he has helped create a program aimed for teenage athletes.

The program is based on a similar program he initiated during the summer when 10 youngsters participated in the pilot program.

The program tests athletes in eight areas and then posttests them in those eight areas after eight weeks of training.

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It’s all in an effort to produce better athletes in the area, something Villarreal cares deeply about it.

“I believe in this, I believe that to get the kids to another level this is what they have to do,” Villarreal said. “I truly believe if you can increase a team’s strength, I don’t care what sport it is, by 15 percent, you could just take their team to a whole new level.”

Greg Lorezel and Thunder player Danny Wood are on board to help the 13 and 14-year-old athletes improve their core strength, flexibility and physical fitness.

The eight areas tested include the sit and reach, pushups, situps and the 30-meter dash.

Villarreal and his staff will have the athletes build their strength by working on their leg strength and arm strength.

“What we’ll do is go with lighter weights with more reps early on, get the tendons nice and strong, get the joints nice and strong before we start becoming more explosive,” Villarreal said.

The program runs three days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays and costs $50. The program is open to anyone interested and not exclusive to Family Y members.