Frequently Asked Questions About UW Health Sports Performance

If you're interested in speaking with us, use our online form.


Do I need to have UW Health Insurance to train at UW Health Sports Performance?

No. The type of insurance you have does not factor in to your eligibility for enrollment in the sports performance programs. All sports performance programs are open to the public. Some programs are free while all others are fee-for-service.


Do I need to be recovering from an injury to train with UW Health Sports Performance?

No. While we work closely with our Sports Medicine Team (physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers, sport nutritionists and sport psychologists), our job is athletic performance enhancement. If you have an injury that is preventing you from optimizing your athletic ability, see one of our licensed health care professionals. If you just want to get better at your sport, see one of our nationally certified sports performance specialists.


Do I need to be a UW athlete to train with UW Health Sports Performance?

No. UW Health Sports Medicine’s Sports Performance program was created to address the training and education needs of competitive, high performance, elite and recreational athletes locally and regionally. All programs are designed to bring you the same professional-level performance training collegiate, Olympic and professional athletes receive every day.


My athlete is advanced for his/her age, what program should I sign them up for?

We list our programs by chronological age only because there is no way to restrict enrollment online based on developmental age. We know not all 12-year olds are the same. We use an assessment to create an Athlete Development Profile (ADP) for each athlete. Athletes are then recommended the appropriate program based on the results of the ADP. We also use the ADP to track the athlete throughout development to make sure their athletic development is staying on track.


What do I need to do to get started with an assessment?

Request a tour and assessment through our online form to determine your athlete’s athletic profile and most appropriate program.


How is UW Health Sports Performance different than other performance training programs?

The Staff

  • Knowledge - Our coaches have degrees in exercise science, national certifications in strength and conditioning (National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting, National Academy of Sports Medicine) and decades of experience working with developing, collegiate and professional athletes.
  • Innovation - We strive to advance the profession of sports performance by improving methods and tactics of training athletes. We use cutting-edge technology to enhance our coaching and improve the results seen by our athletes.
  • Education - Our staff provides education for youth sports coaches through local workshops, state organization affiliations, regional and national professional presentations. We coach coaches.
  • Quality - Our coaches, coach. We are with your athlete every step of the way. The small group sessions provide a favorable coach to athlete ratio allowing for appropriate feedback and progression.

The Philosophy


Athlete First; Our philosophy is centered around the development of athleticism over time to enhance physical performance, improve health and fitness, reduce the relative risk of injury and develop confidence and competence of athletes. We use our Athlete Development Profile to track progress and recommend appropriate training programs. Athletes completing the 10-level program are proficient at weight training techniques and movement fundamentals at a beginning college level. Training is part of the long-term process encompassing a lifetime of movement and health. We don’t just train athletes for the weekend tournament – we train them for life.


The Team


The sports performance program at UW Health Sports Medicine is part of a comprehensive sports medicine team. This team includes sport nutritionists, sport psychologists, athletic trainers, physical therapists, sports medicine physicians and performance training specialists. This team of professionals have helped mold the Sports Performance program philosophy. Programs are all designed and run by leaders in their respective professions.


The Facility


The Sports Performance Training Center at The American Center is a 22,000-square-foot facility that houses open movement space and highly technical equipment all for the purpose of training athletes. The indoor space includes a full basketball and volleyball court, 6,000 square feet of turf, strength area outfitted with Keiser Power equipment, elevated sprint track and sports movement room with AMTI force plates and 3D cameras. We also have a 4 lane, 25-yard performance lap pool with reaction time starting blocks and Colorado timing system. The outdoor training space includes another 8,000 square feet of turf, medicine ball training wall, agility pit and sprint training hill. In the winter the outdoor turf is home for our 100-foot x 70-foot outdoor hockey rink.


In all, the UW Health Sports Medicine Sports Performance program has been created as an Olympic training center-style resource for youth, junior, prep, adult and elite athletes in greater Madison area and beyond.

What athletes train at UW Health Sports Performance?

  • Athletes from all sports – Quality movement, strength, speed and athleticism are the cornerstones of every sport you play.
  • Athletes ages 9 and up – We don’t believe movement should be learned through sports alone. Sport movements can differ significantly from athletic movements.


Athlete Development Series (Offered monthly)

  • Youth Athletes (ages 9-11) – Sport Foundations
  • Junior Athletes (ages 12-14) – Developmental Speed Strength
  • Prep Athletes (ages 15-18) – Performance Speed Strength
  • Adult Athletes (recreational, collegiate and high performance)

Sports Performance Series (Offered seasonally)

  • Preseason Girls Basketball
  • Preseason Boys Basketball
  • Preseason Cross Country
  • Preseason Hockey
  • Preseason Girls Soccer
  • Preseason Soccer
  • Preseason Volleyball

Academies, Camps and Combines

  • Lower Extremity Injury Prevention (LEIP)
  • Weightlifting Academy
  • Junior Speed Camps
  • Prep Speed Camps
  • Soccer Combine
  • Volleyball Combine

Educational Workshops

  • ACL Injury Prevention for Soccer Coaches
  • ACL Injury Prevention for Basketball Coaches
  • Baseball Coaches Workshop
  • Golf Conditioning Workshop

Can I buy a membership to UW Health Sports Performance?

No. We are not a membership-based fitness center. UW Health Sports Performance is a training center open to the public with fee-based training sessions that run on a monthly and seasonal schedule. Sessions can be purchased online in monthly packages or sessions through our online registration system.


Is CrossTrain similar to other High-Intensity Interval Training programs?

While the name may make you think this program is another in the line of box-style, boutique gym HIIT programs, CrossTrain is nothing like them. Cross training has been a common term used in athletic development since the early 1980s. Traditionally, the idea was to participate in other similar activities to your desired sport so as not to “burn out” or become injured because of the high, repetitive volume of the same activity. Similarly, CrossTrain was created to supplement other things you do in life. We focus on quality coaching of fundamental movement patterns, strength, stability, flexibility and power wrapped in a 60-minute package to compliment what you really love to do.


Can I try out a session to see if it’s the right fit?

It’s really difficult to get a good idea of the breadth of our program in just one session. Because of that, we encourage you to try out any of our training programs FREE for a week. It's a good idea to see how multiple training sessions can really make a difference. Request your free one-week trial through our online form.


How much does training cost?

High performance training doesn't have to be high-priced. Our mission to educate, train and develop youth athletes to improve skills, enhance performance and prevent injury has brought this comprehensive program to you at a very competitive price.


Prices listed are general pricing only.

  • Team Training ($8-$12/athlete/hour)
  • Small Group Training ($12-$20/athlete/hour)
  • Individual Training ($50-$75/hour)
  • Specialty Training ($150-$350/hour)

Can I bring my team in for training?

Absolutely. Not only can we provide the highest quality performance training for your athletes, but we may be able work together to provide facilities for your practice. The focus of our team approach is to work with sport coaches to combine their skills and technical knowledge with our human movement/performance expertise. Teamwork wins championships. Request your team training/practice through our online form.


We have a weight training program at my school. Should I work out there?

Weight training is important. We understand working out with your teammates is more than just building strength. All our programs are the perfect complement to your in-school weight program. So, there’s no reason you can’t do both. Our athletic development and sports performance programs focus on small-ratio, quality coaching of critical athletic skills that complement (not compete with) what you’re doing at school. Our staff of experienced coaches will be able to modify your strength program to complement your in-school weight program.


Why don't you offer a Preseason Hockey program in the summer?

Our hockey training program follows a periodized, annual plan. In this plan, the summer months (June-August) are considered off-season. The off-season is a time when the focus should be on development of motor performance abilities like strength, speed, power, flexibility using “general” athletic training tactics. During the preseason (September-November) these general skills can be transferred into hockey performance abilities. If we did hockey all year long, the athlete would be missing out on very important fundamental athletic abilities limiting their future performance outcomes. This is a simple case of more is not better. Better is better.


Why don't you offer preseason programs for other sports?

Our preseason programs are selected based on interest and past enrollment numbers. We would be interested in offering additional preseason programs if there is interest. Request information on how to get a preseason program started through our online form.


How can I sign up for individual training?

  1. Schedule a 1-on-1 interview – Meet, no charge, with one of our sports performance specialists to discuss your goals and what you hope to achieve with 1-on-1 training. If your goals and our program are a good fit, you will advance to Step 2. Request an initial interview through our online form.
  2. Create your 1-on-1 training schedule – Working with your schedule, we will create a training plan that fits your goals and your busy schedule. The number of training sessions scheduled will dictate the per session training cost. The hourly rate for 1-on-1 training is discounted for 10, 20 and 30+ sessions.
  3. Schedule a 1-on-1 performance assessment – After you have approved your training schedule, we will schedule an Individual Athletic Performance Assessment to evaluate you to determine a performance baseline and identify movement/performance deficiencies. This will be the guide to your program design. Each training session will then be tailored to your specific needs and goals. Additional assessments will be performed as determined by the sports performance specialist. (1 charged visit).
  4. Attend your scheduled 1-on-1 training sessions – You will train 1-on-1 with a sports performance specialist who will design a program specific to your goals and needs for your sport/position. Sessions will be scheduled for 60, 75 or 90 minutes; 2-4 times per week based on your training goals.


What is Specialty Training?

We offer 1-on-1, highly specialized assessments, training and education for a variety of individual and team sports. These programs are led by coaches with in-depth biomechanical, medical and performance training knowledge specific to the movement of the sport. Examples of some of the programs we offer are:

  • Golf Performance (Fitness Assessment)
  • Throwers Performance (Baseball and Softball)
  • Swim Performance (under-water video analysis)
  • Runners Performance (running video analysis)
  • Cyclists Performance (bike fit and cycling analysis)

When should athletes begin weight training?

This topic has been studied extensively. The National Strength and Conditioning Association advocates the use of a properly designed and supervised resistance training program for youth under 13 years of age. We believe getting started with proper strength training progressions is very important. While there are many forms of resistance training athletes can utilize, our sports performance coaches use an athletic strength training approach that progresses through four distinct phases:

  • Foundational Strength (body weight)
  • Fundamental Strength (stability in posture)
  • Maximal Strength (force production)
  • Explosive Strength (rate of force development)

At every level, the emphasis is always on quality over quantity. While others say they focus on technique first, we actually require it. Weight is not added until the movement technique is demonstrated for the assigned set.


What should I expect when I attend a training session?

The exact formula applied to each session varies based on the program, athlete and focus of the day’s training session. However, the general outline of each training session includes:

  • High Quality Coaching Athletes are not left on their own to perform exercises or drills for a set time period or number of reps. Our coaches, coach.
  • Movement Preparation – Preparing the athlete to move. After sitting in class all day, the body is not prepared to be athletic. The first step is movement preparation. This includes joint mobility training, flexibility, core stability, a dynamic warm up and neuromuscular preparation geared toward the day’s training session. This step is critical to get the most out of the day’s training session.
  • Power Training – Athletic performance on the field, court, ice or track requires total body power in multiple directions. There have been a vast number of studies demonstrating the preference of rate of force development (power) over maximal strength in the transfer of strength to sport performance. Each session will challenge the athlete to produce force fast.
  • Speed Training – Linear speed is a valuable asset in many individual and team sports. We incorporate speed training in the form of starting speed, acceleration, deceleration, reactive speed and maximal speed using drills, exercises and skill-based work.
  • Agility Training – Agility training is the ability to decelerate, control posture and re-accelerate - quickly. We call this multidirectional speed. Each training session will include multidirectional speed training progressions including lateral quickness, power steps, repositioning footwork and change of direction agility.
  • Athletic Strength Training – Strength training to improve athleticism is the focus of our program. While this can include common strength training exercises, the common goal is to improve athletic positions, movement and ability for optimal transfer of strength to sport.