Saturday, May 30, 2009

PB&J: Progress

Ryan "PB&J" Pierson is now ranked #26 in the class of 2010 centers, according to ESPN.


May, 2009: Pierson has completely changed his body since his injury a year ago. He is playing with more confidence in the low post and is using his strength to get position on his opponents at both ends of the floor. He is a little mechanical in his low post moves but does have a soft touch around the basket and can finish with either hand. He has a nice stroke on his faceup jumper and consistently hit the 15-17ft jumper as well as his free throws. He has ok lateral movement and must improve his fluidity of his low post moves.

I'm not one who is into the basketball recruiting industry, but it is nice to see that our work (since March 2008) has carried over to his sport skill and play. There is much more work to do, but this is one dedicated kid.

Monday, May 25, 2009

State Champions!

The video below features highlights from the semi-final match against rival SLUH (white jerseys)--we had to beat them for the 3rd time this season to advance to the finals. My camera and computer are set up right behind the SLUH student section (meh). But this game illustrates some of the great play and athleticism at the high school-level in Missouri. And for all you boys out there who still think volleyball is a "girls" sport--put your little faces in front of some of these hits and see what volleyball leather tastes like.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Some Not-So-Random Thoughts

This is for all of my friends who are Crossfit trainers.

If you don't subscribe to it yet, I highly recommend you subscribe to Catalyst Athletics' Performance Menu journal. This month's issue is particularly good as it has three articles (by Greg Everett, Nicki Violetti, and Dutch Lowy) that deal with programming and planning. If you don't have a ticket, this can be your ticket onto the clue bus.

As Greg says, varied training doesn't have to mean random training. No coach creates elite athlete through completely random programming. Really. Trainers should know how to vary the intensity, volume and load for each client in his or her class/training session. Injuries and limitations need to be understood and accounted for.

I cannot tell you guys how many people (trainers and clients) I have given advice to regarding exercise selection, intensity and volume, after they have completely jacked themselves up doing stupid stuff. After they've attempted workouts that are more like stupid human tricks--not worthwhile training.

Your job is to first do no harm. Yeah, I know you aren't a physician, but you should understand that improper dosing of exercise can hurt people. Many people survive, and some even thrive, in spite of what trainers do with them. More is not always better. One workout will not make an athlete, but one workout can certainly break an athlete.

Every day you should know why you are doing what you are doing with your clients. And you should be able to explain why it is appropriate for that person at the time. You need to communicate with your clients and harp on them for feedback, especially if they have an orthopedic issue that could be aggravated by certain movements. No matter what the name of the workout of the day is, it is not 1985, and you should not be Bonnie Tyler holding out for a hero. I don't know about you, but drama is not an integral part of my training sessions. Purposeful movement and effort are. From these foundations, athleticism and fitness follow.

Think about what you do. Educate yourself. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Know your own limits and those of the people who put their trust in you. And remember, varied doesn't have to mean random.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Hexlite In Action

I have been using the Hexlite training bar with all of my athletes. Some people have asked whether or not it is too big or two small for some people. I have not had trouble using it with anyone thus far, although I have not had anyone over 250# use it. The athletes in the above video range in height from 5' 2" to 6' 9". The light-weight, dual-handle design makes it a very versatile and portable training tool for those who need to develop hip-to-feet awareness, and lower extremity mobility and strength.