Smart Group Training for Sports Performance

As most of you know we spend a lot of time traveling to get quality education. In the process, we meet a lot of great minds and make some great friends. Jared Markiewicz happens to be both.  He is also someone we would love to help contribute to the Smart Group Training website.

Jared works almost exclusively with athletes and we want to make a stronger effort towards putting out more info on Smart Group Training for Sports. Since Jared has been using the Smart Group Training system to perfection in his group sports performance, we know he is a great contributor.  Check out Jared M’s first SGT article below, it’s a great one!!

Take it away Jared!


Used by teams of all ages, group strength training builds camaraderie, chemistry, motivation and unified competitiveness.  However, coaches often use cookie-cutter programs that hardly consider each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

So, what can be done to address the issues of ‘cookie-cutter’ programs and their blatant abundance across the athletic community?

Enter SMART Group Training.

This system is directly influenced by the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), an assessment tool created by Gray Cook and Lee Burton which help coaches train athletes, improve strength and move more effectively.

While many see the FMS as an excellent tool for fixing muscular imbalances, some fail to recognize the important role this system plays in building strength.

It’s imperative that strength coaches ensure athletes do not become injured within the training facility. In fact, staying healthy and free of injury should always be the top priority. However, free from injury does not imply that a program should be easy or even minimized.

By knowing what movements can be performed safely, strength coaches can more accurately modify programs and elicit greater performance gains. Athletes become stronger, faster, more agile and in turn more explosive in their respective sport.

Going into any athletic season, athletes need focused conditioning and strength training for the rigors that a full season presents.

With information from the FMS and Smart Group Training tools, a strength coach can take a team of athletes through a challenging and customized pre-season training program. Theses tools allow the strength coach to individualize the program so each athlete is properly loading certain movements while correcting others.

For example, two athletes are working in the same group while super-setting front squats and pushups. Athlete #1 received a failing score on the trunk stability pushup test, while athlete #2 failed the deep squat test. During the superset the first athlete can load up heavily while performing the front squat, but must use a lower progression such as band-assisted pushups during the second exercise. Conversely, the second athlete should work at a lower progression, perhaps a band-assisted squat, on the first half of the superset. However the same athlete will use an upper-level exercise for pushups, like chain weighted or band resisted pushups. Both athletes make great strength gains and build foundational movements they otherwise lack, all while maintaining a safe training environment.

Without a screening protocol, a strength coach cannot and should not develop a training program for any individual. Moreover, when it comes to large group training, a screening tool like the FMS is optimal. The FMS is very effective and extremely efficient. Following the protocol developed by Smart Group Training, a coach needs merely 10 to 15 minutes to screen a group of three athletes. Once armed with this information, a strength coach then has the capacity to take a pre-designed team program and individualize movements for each athlete.

When used as a screening tool, the FMS helps a group of athletes become stronger, faster and more explosive without compromising movement quality. Smart Group Training incorporates the strengthening and movement focuses that are essential to building a team of well-educated, performance-driven athletes. Unlike cookie-cutter programs, these essential tools can be used to create systems that decrease the risks associated with training. Smart Group Training structured with the FMS will lead coaches to precise, result-driven programs that will revolutionize the athletic community.


Jared Markiewicz BS, ACSM, IYCA, FMS, TPI

Jared M FMS Specialist

Bachelors of Science-Exercise Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Certified Personal Trainer-American College of Sports Medicine

Youth Fitness Specialist-International Youth Conditioning Association

High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist- International Youth Conditioning Association

Speed and Agility Specialist-International Youth Conditioning Association

Functional Movement Screen Certified Specialist

Golf Fitness Instructor-Titleist Performance Institute

Jared opened his first Performance Facility in July of 2012 and was able to grow to 100+ clients within the first 6 months. His client list includes young athletes from ages 6-13, High School athletes performing in various sports, triathletes, weekend warriors, and golfers. He specializes in sports performance training and utilizes his knowledge gained from multiple certifications to adapt to a vast array of athletic endeavors. Five of Jared’s current high school Seniors in 2012 will go on to play collegiate athletics. His adult triathlete clients have set numerous personal records and won a variety of endurance races. Jared’s training programs blend foundational movement re-training with strength, speed, and conditioning philosophies from some of the best coaches in the world. He believes in pushing his training knowledge and is in a state of constant education, learning from his strength and conditioning mentors. Jared believes in practicing what he preaches and is currently training to compete in Olympic lifting at a Regional level. His long-term training goals are to qualify for Nationals in Olympic lifting.