X Games Preparation at NAKOA: A Look inside
Some of NAKOA’s top action sports athletes just wrapped up a bountiful trip to Minnesota, bringing back some serious hardware from another successful run at the Summer X Games. We wanted to give you a little glimpse into how our team prepares these athletes for one of the biggest events of the year.
Our BMX SPARTANS
Both Dennis Enarson and Chad Kerley are home-grown San Diego products and absolute LEGENDS in the BMX world. That status has only grown since they began training at NAKOA with Coach John Welch. Based on their hectic travel schedule and natural gifts/talent, coach John typically utilizes a weekly undulating program with the goal of making consistent improvements in their overall power, strength, and endurance. A standard week would include 3 sessions with a different focus, typically RFD (rate of force development) Repeated Effort and Maximum Effort. During the last 3 weeks before competition, John will also trim the volume and intensity slightly to leave more room for soft tissue work, allowing the boys to feel PEAKED physically by the time the contest rolls around. And let’s just say the results speak for themselves- Dennis added yet another Silver Medal in Park to his CLOSET of X Games hardware, and Chad blew away the field to take the GOLD in BMX Street!
The Skate GROMS
It has been so fun to work with both Keegan Palmer and Brighton Zeuner over the last year. Aside from their legitimate early praise as the FUTURE of bowl/park skateboarding, they both bring an unmistakable mix of youthful energy and teenage humor(sarcasm) into NAKOA. With both Keegan and Brighton having a young chronological and training age, we typically focus on the fundamental stages of LTAD (long-term athletic development). This includes proper movement literacy in the primal patterns, basic total body strength training, force production & deceleration skills (jumps/hops) and anaerobic endurance training. At 15, Keegan has been able to transition SEAMLESSLY from amateur to professional contests this season, and qualified for the Park final with the best in the business. And just turning 14, Brighton was able to defend her crown and break our boy Sheck’s record of youngest EVER to have two X Games Gold Medals!!!
If you have been following our social media channels over the last 5 years…you may be SICK of all the Tom Schaar posts. But the reality is, Tom has become arguably the best all-around skateboarder in the WORLD, with Medals/Wins in Vert, Bowl, Park and Mega. However, success like that does not come without TONS of practice and exposure to injury. Tom put in months of quality work with me this year, boosting his strength, lower body power, and core strength while ATTEMPTING to improve his “old man” flexibility & mobility. Unfortunately a couple weeks ago Tom was struck with a painful/nagging knee issue, and well….THAT is why we have Physical Therapy at NAKOA! Both Allison Nelson and Jon Luu worked countless hours with Tom to alleviate pain and restore Range of Motion in his injured leg, making him able to compete up in Minnesota. A freak practice fall that caused a broken toe only ADDED to the stress of competition, but Tom was able to persevere through a difficult week to take Silver in Park and finish top 5 on the Mega Ramp.
As you can see, it takes a TEAM effort from our NAKOA staff to get these elite athletes prepared for their competition, and we are beyond proud/stoked that they represented us so well at this year’s Summer X Games.