Strength and Speed Program


Modern soccer players must be strong technically, tactically and dynamic athletically.  The Strength and Speed Academy enhances general athletic attributes such as power, speed, strength and mobility through age appropriate energy system training.  These attributes greatly translate to the game of soccer and the means by which these attributes are developed are constantly evolving.  The strength and speed program is innovative and aggressive at adding to the total development experience.  

In addition to weekly technical skills training sessions, players will participate in strength and speed sessions operated by D1 Sports Training, one of the top performance training systems in the country amongst current NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, and U.S. National Team athletes.  Strength and speed sessions will include age-appropriate workouts aimed at developing balance, coordination, core/ relative/absolute strength, and proper speed mechanics.  All players will be tracked accordingly to identify and address weaknesses, determine growth, and chart progression for future scouting opportunities.

Mike Whiteman, Director of Sport Science for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, and his performance training staff will assess each player throughout a set of tests designed to determine athleticism.  Known as the “Continuous Evaluation Process”, the program will serve to streamline the evaluation protocol that began with the inception of The Strength and Speed Academy in the summer of 2011.  Data will be compiled from each session with the objective of holding players accountable to the high standards established by The Riverhounds Academy and The Strength and Speed Academy.

Strength and Speed Program Contact  

Mike Whiteman

Director of Sports Science

Player Testing

 Players will be tested on the following:


- Tests acceleration and linear speed

-Tests agility and change of direction
-Tests horizontal power
-Tests speed endurance


Brower Test Center (TC) Timing System

  • World’s premier portable, wireless timing device that allows coaches to measure time, speed, count reps/splits, input as well as save data
  • Accurate to the thousandth of the second
  • More precise and capable of reproducing consistent results than a typical handheld stopwatch

Legend Half Racks (5)

  • Power racks designed for developing strength through squats, dead lifts, and bench pressing.  Squats and dead lifts are the foundation to creating a strong and explosive athlete.
  • Pins for partial range of motion, developing strength at particular points in the lift
  • Pull up station and freely rotating pull up handles for controlled instability
  • during the vertical pull
  • Each station is fully equipped with suspension trainers for enhanced proprioception and muscle recruitment during pushes, pulls and core work.
  • Landmines at each rack allow for strength, power and core development through all three planes of motion:  sagittal (linear), frontal (lateral), and transverse (rotational)

Belt Squat Machine, Glute-Ham Bench, Reverse

  • The “Big Three” when it comes to auxiliary lifts and posterior chain development, which are essential for effectively developing athletes.  Athletes are built from the group up and development of the glutes, hamstrings and lower back necessary.  Strengthening these “drive phase” muscles makes athletes stronger, faster, and safer.  These machines strengthen hamstrings and greatly increase joint stabilization through the knee, thus decreasing catastrophic knee injuries, such as ACL tears.

Weight Sleds, Prowler, Tires

  • Increases General Physical Preparedness (GPP) and one’s capacity to do work
  • Strengthens, conditions and increases mental toughness

Viper Cords

  • Resistance increases force production during acceleration phase
  •  Over-speed work excites the nervous system and stimulates greater stride frequency