Monday, November 28, 2011

Articles & Videos You Should See 11-28

I hope everyone had happy Thanksgiving with their family and loved ones. Here are this week’s Articles & Videos You Should See.

Drink Green Tea – Charles Poliquin provides some great research on the benefits of drinking green tea. Not many young athletes will appreciate the anti-inflammatory benefits, but they will come running to the thought of protecting against alcohol effects.

My Training: Body, Mind and Self Control – Training is much more than gaining a physiological adaption to physical stress placed on the body. Jen Comas Keck gives some good points, and an interesting view by including self-control (it may seem strange, but it fits very well).

Do You Know Someone Struggling to Gain Weight? – I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked about supplements on a daily basis. Most of the people asking are asking for when they START lifting, aka – they aren’t doing anything right now (and looking for the magic pill). Too bad there isn’t one.

Strength – Good article for anyone training boxers/MMA fighters by Chad Howse. I am a big fan of the mindset he establishes in his writing. Attack everything and never, ever quit.

Stevie Johnson TD Dance – Just one video this week, but I thought it was hilarious. If you missed the Jets vs Bills game on Sunday, then you probably missed one of the funniest touchdown celebrations of the season. As you may recall, Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg in New York a couple years ago, then went to prison for it. Well…Burress is now a member of the Jets, and made for a perfect theme for Johnson’s celebration. Too bad Johnson blew a chance to win the game, while Burress had a touchdown of his own to help earn the victory. Lesson for the day – celebrate when the W is in the books.

Let me know any thoughts you may have on the above resources, I hope you find them as useful as I have. If I can ever help you or your program in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Words of Wisdom

If you follow me on Twitter (@DrewBHenley), you know I am a big fan of quotes. They are a great source of quick motivation and can stimulate thought & action in an otherwise docile environment. I find quotes from a wide array of sources including movies, different genres of music, television, athletes, coaches, businesspeople, and pretty much anyone I’ve ever heard or read. It goes to show you can ALWAYS learn from those around you. Below are 20 of my favorite quotes, in no particular order, along with my thoughts on them.

It’s not enough to be good if you have the ability to be better – This is great to use with anyone who is trying to just coast by on raw talent.

Your desire for success must be greater than your fear of failure – I have met a few people through different walks of life who could dominate any field they chose (not just sports, literally anything), only never did because they were crippled by their fear of failure. Failure happens to everybody – Einstein, Gates, Jordan, Mandela – EVERYONE who has succeeded has failed. Don’t let it discourage you.

Well done is better than well said – When I was younger, I knew everything and was capable of anything (and I made sure everyone knew it). I slowly realized no one gave a crap about what I said until they knew my words were supported by action. Now, I don’t need to say too much because my actions have begun to set a precedent.

It’s not that you can’t; it’s that you haven’t – Another one for those afraid of failure. Far too often, people confuse what they haven’t done with what they can’t do The latter is much shorter of a list than most realize.

Don't wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect – If you wait for things to be just right, you’ll likely miss it when they are. Do what you can with the way things are, and you may be surprised with the results.

Make the present good, and the past will take care of itself – What’s done is done, and there’s nothing you can do to go back and change it. All you can do is adapt for the future and eventually, your past will reflect the new success rather than the early failure.

Do the things other won’t do and have the things others won’t have – If you look at the best in any field, they are usually the first to start the day and last to call it a night. Athletes, doctors, writers, and individuals in nearly all fields are led by those who sacrificed in other areas to surpass their peers.

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire – I love this quote and think it’s a great way to get a fire going (no pun intended) inside. 

You're focusing on the problem. If you focus on the problem, you can't see the solution. Never focus on the problem – Stay positive and look for solutions. Don’t become overwhelmed with a problem and be blinded to ways to fix it.

One chance is all you need – Gain some confidence and have some swagger. If you get that one chance, attack it with everything you have and recognize you probably won’t have another opportunity to try again.

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one – This ties in with the two above about failure. Don’t worry about it. Fail, screw up, attempt something you probably won’t be able to accomplish, see how bad you truly want success.

Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action – I’ll keep this one simple. Get off your ass and do something. Get the ball rolling and see what you can accomplish.

The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me – Great one to give athletes some swagger. Show this to your running back and see if he doesn’t hit the hole just a little faster in practice or a game. It puts the thought of “I’m unstoppable, go ahead and try but you don’t stand a chance” into their head.

You can always do more than you think you can – As you may recall, I am a fan of gut check workouts (when used properly), and this goes along those same lines. There are times where you will need to exceed your limits in order to succeed, and for athletes this usually means working beyond complete exhaustion. Whatever it takes, find that last drop you didn’t know you had and do what you thought was impossible.

Crank up the crazy and break off the dial – Stephen Colbert opened one of his shows with this line and I always get a little spark from it. If things are feeling stale or complacent, grab a Fast Twitch, crank up the crazy, and attack the day.

There are three choices in this world: be good, get good, or give up – I prefer the fourth option – get better.

Do more of what is working and less of what isn’t – It’s easy to get caught up in a certain way of operating. When things are going well, it’s not a problem at all, but eventually change is necessary to succeed.

You don't always get to do what you want. But when you can, you better do it – Jump at the opportunities you get. Even if you need to make the opportunity yourself (instead of being handed it), do whatever you need to do so you can do what you want to do.

Ideas are only as good as what we do with them – Along the same ilk as “the world is filled with unsuccessful talent.” There are billions of ideas discussed every day, but only a handful that ever amount to anything. An idea is nothing without an action.

If you don’t make it, it’s your own damn fault – Accept responsibility for yourself and do what needs to be done.

These are just a short sample of the quotes I have gathered over the years, and if you have any that you are particularly fond of, please don’t hesitate to share. Let me know if I can ever help you or your program.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW, CES

Monday, November 21, 2011

Articles & Videos You Should See 11-21

Expanding On The Joint-By-Joint Approach – I first learned about the joint-by-joint approach after reading one of Mike Boyle’s articles a long time ago, but I enjoy Grey Cook’s detailed description even better. This is a great resource for all coaches and trainers to have when assessing an athlete’s deficits, imbalances, injuries, etc. I have read through his book Athletic Body in Balance and after this excerpt, will likely be looking into Movement in the near future.

Communication Rating System – This is a must read for all basketball coaches. I don’t think there’s a sport where effective communication is as powerful a tool as on the hardwood (which I’ve learned as both a player and coach). I am currently working with Mesa Community College’s Men’s Basketball team and they are known across the country for their defense, which derives its strength from their communication. I have been a part of thousands of basketball practices, games, and clinics and can say there is no team that compares to MCC at being vocal. It’s a pleasure to be around and keeps everyone engaged and fired up, NOTHING goes unnoticed. In this article, Alan Stein outlines a great scale for basketball teams’ communication skills. A quiet team is a team ready to fail, get them talking and get them going.

What I Do When I Feel Stale – Everybody has those days (or weeks) they just don’t have it. Maybe it’s boredom, stress, or just being tired, but we’ve all had times where we just felt out of it and unable to produce at our normal levels. Tony Gentilcore provides a few good ways of breaking out of a funk and getting the juices flowing again.

Who Is Your Daddy and What Does He Do? – Throwback to the days of Arnold as the Terminator, Arnold Strong, and Pumping Iron. Who among us HASN’T wished they were the Governator at some point in time? John Romaniello put together an entertaining, although sometimes profane – just a fair warning -  article on the man, the myth, the legend that is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Restoring Movement With Natural Physics – This was a guest post on The Manual Therapist by Dr. Ben Fung about the use of kettlebells in training. If you don’t use kettlebells in your training (or would like to see more ways to utilize them), Dr. Fung shows a multitude of ways and reasons to incorporate them into your programs.

Unsupported DB Rows – Ben Bruno shows another innovative spin on a classic exercise. The added benefit of core activation to resist rotation is great, even at the expense of the heavy weight that can be lifted when supported. Another tool for your toolbox.

Hip Openers – If you’re like me, hip flexibility and mobility is your mortal enemy. I hate how tight my hips are and bust my ass (get it? Ass? Hips? Pun? Don’t worry, it’s just for the scholars out there) to loosen them up every day, yet they go back to the immovable piece of junk they were the day before. This video from Fitness Source shows several good exercises to help improve flexibility in this stubborn region. And it’s a great way to get athletes to do yoga without realizing it.

Let me know any thoughts you may have on the above resources, I hope you find them as useful as I have. If I can ever help you or your program in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW

Sunday, November 20, 2011

5 Goals Every Program Needs

Last week, I posted three of my training principles (scroll down to #2) that help dictate the programs I write and how I work with my athletes. These principles help establish my mindset when I am writing workouts and act as starting point in program design. Since we have established some aspects that should be considered prior to beginning a program, today I am going to outline five goals every program should achieve by the end of the training cycle.

#1 Address any Injuries, Imbalances or Deficits – As I have said before (here and here), I believe it’s almost impossible to have a successful training program without a thorough assessment. It is necessary to find any muscular imbalances, range of motion deficits, and learn as much about previous injuries as possible prior to beginning training in order to maximize gains and performance. Athletes will become physically unbalanced over the course of a season, so it is important to restore them to their balanced state. For example, pitchers complete thousands of repetitions of shoulder horizontal adduction, internal rotation, and scapular protraction. To balance this, a program should contain plenty of shoulder horizontal abduction, external rotation, and scapular retraction. Also, a balanced athlete is less likely to be injured, which brings me to my next point…

#2 Minimize Potential for Common Injuries – It’s important to note I didn’t say “Prevent Common Injuries” because that is an impossible promise to fulfill. However, we can train in a manner to reduce the likelihood of an injury by strengthening the tissue that is commonly damaged. Think of a basketball player with weak ankles, instead of consistently wearing ankle braces except that one fateful day, train dynamic balance to strengthen the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the ankle and foot.  Another example is female basketball and volleyball players and ACL injuries. Women are at a higher risk for non-contact ACL injuries (which, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, account for 70-75% of ACL injuries) due to their increased Q angle. A good way of training to limit this is to train more eccentrically to help the athlete learn how to properly stop and change directions safely.

#3 Train Movements, not Muscles – Great lesson I first picked up from Vern Gambetta’s book Athletic Development. The result is to improve how an athlete moves and functions, not just individual muscles. This keeps the focus on the big picture (sport performance) rather than looking good in the mirror or building impressive 1RM numbers. Movements are complex actions involving intricate coordination between several body systems (nervous, muscular, skeletal, etc) and precise firing patterns of muscles across the entire body. By learning to perform sport specific movements efficiently, athletes are able to…

#4 Achieve Automaticity – Don’t ask me to say automaticity because I stammer worse than Nemo trying to tell the class he lives in an anemone (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have lived a sad, sad life and need to stop reading this so you can watch Finding Nemo immediately). Thankfully, phonetics isn’t (always) a requirement to training athletes to achieve automaticity. As I mentioned before, Dr. Gabriele Wulf’s research has shown that an athlete is capable of improved reaction skills when handled on a subconscious level. When athletes are able to move without dedicating conscious effort to the specifics, they can act and react faster to their environment.

#5 Improve Sport Performance – This should go without saying, but the primary goal of a training program should be to improve the athlete’s performance in their sport. Training is a means to an end, not an end in itself. If an athlete adds 50 pounds to his squat 1RM, but does so at the cost of his agility, thus resulting in a decline in performance, then the training program failed. Athletes can always improve, it’s just a matter of choosing the proper areas to address. Be sure everything is geared towards improving the performance in the sports arena, not the weight room.

These are just the five universal goals of every good training program, with plenty of room for addition for individual needs. I hope your programs address all of these goals and your athletes are reaping the benefits. If not, I strongly advise you look through your programs and be sure you can say “yes” to everything listed above.

Let me know your thoughts on these five goals or how you work with your athletes to achieve them. If I can ever be of assistance to you or your program, please feel free to contact me.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW

Monday, November 14, 2011

Articles & Videos You Should See 11-14

I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend for the holiday and showed their support for all those in our armed forces for their sacrifices they have made to allow us to enjoy our way of life. Here are this week’s Articles & Videos You Should See.

Resistance Training vs Static Stretching – In sports where flexibility is at a premium (swimming, gymnastics, baseball pitchers, etc.), it can be difficult to convince athletes to participate in weight training. They fear that the strength gains somehow come at the cost of their flexibility. This study will give you something tangible to get them into the weight room.

This Christmas Help an American Business – This is NOT a sales pitch of any sort. It is actually a great message and way to give during this holiday season that not only provides a service to your loved ones, but also helps others in your community by supporting local businesses. I will certainly be incorporating this into my holiday shopping this year.

The One Arm Press – I’m a big fan of unilateral training, especially single arm presses (great for hitting the core as well as smoking your shoulders). I’m not saying they should be in every program, but Dan John does a good job describing his method and use of the exercise.

Technique Highlight: SLR with Traction – An…interesting technique for improving hamstring flexibility and ROM of the hips. But Dr. Erson Religioso makes a point of reserving it for clients or athletes you’re sure can handle the technique. I’ve always been intrigued by the use of traction in therapy and this is another reason why.

Thoughts on the FMS Level 1 – Another appearance by Dr. E, this time his thoughts after attending the Functional Movement Systems seminar. I have used some of the aspects of the FMS in assessing athletes, but have not yet had the pleasure of attaining the certification. It is certainly on my list, right after I finish studying for the NASM CES advanced specialization. I liked his recognition that this industry needs the collaboration of all areas – strength & conditioning, physical therapists, ATCs, and doctors – in order to thrive.

The Myth of Symmetrical Programs – Great post by Mike Robertson on program design. To oversimplify it into a single sentence, programs should only be balanced if the athlete is balanced to begin, otherwise the goal is to ATTAIN balance. I highly recommend taking the link regarding row and bench as counterparts, lots of good information in there as well.

Hands On Neutral Spine – If your athletes are having problems with their deadlift technique, specifically rounding the back, Tony Gentilcore provides a great training tip. Have the athlete slightly bend the knee, then lower their shoulders until they rest with their hands on their knees. From this position, have the athlete lower their hips and shoulders at the same rate.

Volleyball Practice Warm Up and Strength Training – Great video by Joe Bonyai. I especially liked the mobility drills he has throughout the clip and would recommend most sports (not just volleyball) utilize them in their programs.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Developing a Successful Training System – Part II

In Part I, I outlined 6 aspects you “Need to Have” in order to develop a successful training system. Today, I will cover 6 common mistakes that can derail an otherwise sound training program.

Need to Avoid

#1 Need to Avoid: Getting too Fancy – As I’ve detailed before, I think “functional” is thrown around too freely in the industry. Performing overhead squats on a stability ball isn’t a function in any sport I’ve ever seen. Don’t get me wrong, overhead squats are one of my favorite exercises and stability balls are a great training tool, but two good things don’t always equal something great. It’s important to train sport-specific movements, as well as improve balance, mobility, reaction, and other fine motor skills not commonly associated with the weight room, but there is a point where it’s just eyewash. “Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.”  If you only focus on auxiliary lifts and ignore some of the basics, your athletes will make little, if any, progress. Everything has its place in a training program, but you can’t build a Mercedes by focusing solely on the stitching of the seats.

#2 Need to Avoid: Focusing on the Wrong Goals – Everyone loves moving big weights and having impressive maxes on bench/squat/etc but how much does that transfer to the athlete’s sport? Everything I do with my athletes has a purpose, and that purpose is to improve their performance in their sport. It’s easy to focus on the improvements that happen in the weight room (and it looks better for marketing to say athletes improve their bench by an average of X pounds at your facility), but those gains are meaningless if they are detrimental to the athlete’s performance in their arena. If I’m interested in increasing an athlete’s raw strength and 1RM bench and squat, I am going to focus on exercises that will yield greatest gains on those lifts. This is great if you’re focused on improvements between initial and exit testing, but terrible if your goal is to prepare the athlete to perform at their peak for an entire season. Training is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Always remember, the ultimate goal is to help the athlete improve performance in their arena, not in the weight room.

#3 Need to Avoid: Talking Out Your A** – You don’t know everything, that’s ok, no one does. Just don’t pretend you do. If an athlete comes to you with a question you don’t have the answer for, admit it. Don’t make something up to protect your pride, instead, say “I’ll check on that and get back to you” and FIND the answer. Providing incorrect information to your athletes does nothing but put them at risk (as they are likely to trust in you and act on what you tell them, even to their detriment) and damage your credibility when they learn your full of it. I do everything I can to learn as much as I can, and if an athlete comes to me with a question I can’t answer, I take that as a reason to learn everything I can on the subject. It helps me improve as a coach and the next time it comes up, I’ll be prepared to provide an accurate response.

#4 Need to Avoid: Incomplete Coaching – For most athletes, strength and conditioning professionals will be the only resource they have available. As such, it is imperative that we provide as much guidance as possible and help ensure a more complete development. Most athletes, especially high school or collegiate, won’t realize they have mobility restrictions, or realize their lingering pain may be a significant injury, or recognize the effect of their diet. I am not saying you need to wear the label of therapist/doctor/dietician/etc (in fact, quite the opposite – see #3), but provide what you can and recognize when you should refer them to another professional who can help. As far as applying this to your training system, ensure that every athlete dedicates time to a proper warm up, mobility work, corrective exercises, proper recovery, and soft tissue work to gain the most from their training. The system needs to be as thorough and complete as possible with the available resources, or athletic development may suffer.

#5 Need to Avoid: Monotony – Repetition = good, monotony = bad. It’s that simple, but unfortunately not that easy. If you want to improve at a task, repetition is required, but this can quickly lead to monotony and boredom in training. It’s a fine line to walk, but as coaches it’s our responsibility to find new ways to train the same concepts and provide the repetition necessary to improve, while having enough variety to maintain interest & focus. For sports coaches, this means varying drills to train the same specific skill. For strength & conditioning professionals, this means manipulating exercise selection, volume, rest, speed, or periodization by using a plan such as the Hybrid Model of Periodization. Training is only effective when the athlete is engaged in the activity, and nothing kills interest quicker than monotony and boredom.

#6 Need to Avoid: Accepting Mediocrity – This is one of my biggest pet peeves, not only in training, but life in general. I firmly believe mediocrity is below me and strive to stay above average by working harder than others, so when I see athletes wasting natural abilities with laziness, it sets me off. I wasn’t always this way, I attempted to coast through college, doing as little as necessary to get my degree, but I realized if I want success in this world (and this industry), it’s going to take more than average. This is even more true for professional athletes because there will always be another person with their same skill set just waiting for an opportunity. If your athletes are complacent, do what’s necessary to change that mindset and get them motivated. Never accept mediocrity – not from your athletes and certainly not from yourself. Force yourself to be great, because no one else can and no one else will.

I hope this has provided some insight and useful information to help you improve your training system. Remember, it’s more than exercises and weights – training is made of several integrated pieces, and if there are any weak spots ,the entire system will collapse. Be the best possible coach you can be, and strive to improve on that every single day.

“A single day is enough time to get a little better.”

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Developing a Successful Training System - Part I

When it comes to developing a training system, most of the effort (and consequently, the research) is aimed towards program design and exercise prescription. Exercise A has the greatest endocrine response in Study X and Exercise B reduces the likelihood of Common Injury Z, so they need to be in our program! Now, I’m not saying either of these are bad ideas, quite the contrary in fact, I think they belong in a training system, but they are merely pieces of the puzzle. With these next two posts, I will show some other pieces that combine to form a successful training system. Today, we will be covering 6 “Need to Have” aspects, and tomorrow I will go over 6 “Need to Avoid” pitfalls.

Need to Have

#1 Need to Have: Positive Energy – People feed off their surroundings, and if your athletes walk into their workout/practice and their COACH is dragging or pissy about being there, why would they bring their best effort? This isn’t something that can be hit or miss, you need to bring it EVERY day, be the one lifting your athletes out of whatever funk they’re in and get the best possible effort they have for that day. They’re going to be tired, sore, hungover, upset about their loved one, worried about school, or have any one of a million distractions, but when they walk through that door, it’s your job to get them in the right mindset. It’s more than just being over-caffeinated optimist (let’s be honest, no one wants a coach who fawns about how glorious the morning frost is), good music, competition between the athletes and against their previous bests are excellent ways to increase the energy.  Keep it light and fun, but don’t cross the line into accepting complacency. Your athletes need to enjoy their training, training partners, coaches, and training environment in order to put forth their best effort.

#2 Need to Have: An Identity – Quick, what is your training philosophy? Describe your principles and how you use them to help your athletes improve. If you can’t answer this, it’s important you figure it out and quick. Athletes have thousands of options for training or competing, and your identity is what will lead them to you and believe in your system. New research, methods, and devices bombard the industry on a near daily basis, but it is important to filter this and suit it to fit your system, not the other way around. There are three principles to my training philosophy –
o   Everything has a purpose – have a reason for everything we do and be able to explain it to the athletes.
o   Injured athletes can’t perform – prehabilitation and maximizing an athlete’s ability to move are a top priority. Don’t prepare them for a day or a season, but for their career and time after it.
o   Training is a means to an end, not an end itself – I’m not interested in my athletes being the best lifters, I want them to be the best players in their sport. How we train reflects that, that’s why I personally prefer the title Sports Performance Coach over Strength & Conditioning Coach (it’s my version of how annoyed an ATC gets when called a trainer). I am preparing athletes to perform in their sport, not just increasing their strength and conditioning levels.
Whatever you do with your athletes, do it to the best of your abilities and stay true to your beliefs. Methods will change over time (mine sure have), but you can stay true to your goal of helping athletes succeed.

#3 Need to Have: A Thorough Assessment – It’s difficult to know what an athlete needs to improve, or how far they’ve progressed, without a proper initial assessment. I am fortunate to be working with a terrific group of physical therapists and ATCs at Fischer Sports, as well as with the Houston Astros organization, who provide a very thorough assessment, addressing any deficits or weaknesses an athlete may have. Without this information, the risk of injury drastically increases and an athlete’s development is going to suffer.

#4 Need to Have: A Proper Warm-Up – This should go without saying, but some people still go about this the wrong way in my mind. The body needs to be warmed up and prepared to train or be effective during activity. Think of a diesel truck – sure you CAN turn the key and go, but if you want a good life out of the engine, you need to let it warm up a bit. Get the body moving, use full range of motions to mobilize joints in a controlled manner, raise the core temperature, and prepare the CNS.

#5 Need to Have: An Occasional “Gut Check” – For athletes, there will come a time when they can’t go on, yet they will NEED to in order to succeed (look no farther than Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals). The body can handle much more than we dare imagine, but the wrong mindset (such as allowing “can’t” to enter your thoughts) can derail all of what an athlete has worked for. Athletes should train harder than they play so when that time comes, they won’t think they can persevere, but rather KNOW they can. The best way of doing this is to simply crush them (safely, of course) mentally and physically for a day or week of training. The goal is to shatter preconceived notions of our limitations and find a deeper strength to attack, attack, and attack again even when the pain and fatigue is unbearable. Give every ounce you have, and then keep going because sometimes, your best won’t be good enough, so you’ll need to exceed it and succeed in doing what’s necessary.

#6 Need to Have: Adequate Recovery – This is a good time to mention that the workouts discussed above should not be a regular occurrence, just a reminder to the athlete that their limits are more mental than physical (and help get through them). Gains are made after the workout, not during, and it’s necessary to recognize the importance of proper recovery. Nutrition, sleep, soft tissue therapy, and rest (from training or between training sessions) all play integral roles in an athlete’s development. Failing to address these in a training system is a quick and easy way to achieve overtraining or injure athletes. Be sure your athletes are aware of the importance of the 20+ hours each day they AREN’T training.

Athletes can achieve gains from a variety of training protocols, some more effective than others, but these are six additional needs to developing a successful training system. Far too many coaches fail to address all six, and their athletes suffer for it. Tomorrow, I will cover 6 things you “Need to Avoid” in order to develop a successful training system.

If you feel I missed something, or if I can ever be of assistance to you or your program, please feel free to contact me.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW

Monday, November 7, 2011

Articles & Videos You Should See 11-7

Here are this week’s articles and videos I think contain valuable information for coaches & their athletes. I hope you find the same value in them as I do.

7 Habits for Highly Effective Training - Simple concepts and habits that every athlete should keep in mind when training. If you’re a coach, I recommend going over these with your players. It might be common sense to you or me, but it may be novel to them.

How to Squat Deeper - If mobility is an issue for you or your athletes, Joe Meglio provides several methods of helping improve joint function in this article.

Simple Thoracic Spine Mobility Exercises - More mobility exercises, only Mike Reinold focuses solely on the thoracic spine and is able to go into greater detail.

Leave Your Mark“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Even for the most determined of us have trouble finding motivation occasionally, Chad Howse does a good job of reiterating what it takes to “Be Legendary.” These are more good points to discuss with your athletes to keep them in the present, but looking to the future.

Single Leg Barbell RDL/Row Combo - Big fan of this exercise, though I would instruct athletes to maintain a proper lower back arch, even if they can’t get all the way down (in the video, he rounds his back slightly to touch the weight to the ground).

Workout Finishers For Basketball Players and Teams - Alan Stein provides another great video for basketball coaches to use with their players. If you work with basketball players, be sure to subscribe to his channel on YouTube or follow him on Twitter because he is an EXCELLENT resource to have. He produces tons of great videos and articles.

Pike Rollback – At about the 2:30 mark, Nick Tumminello actually gets around to demonstrating this exercise. If you’ve ever seen any of Nick’s videos, you know he likes to talk as much as anyone I know, but fortunately it’s usually stuff I want to learn, so it works out quite well. This is no exception and I am excited to work this exercise into my programs.

Later this week, I will be putting up a big post on what you should have, as well as what you should avoid, for a successful training system. If I can ever be of assistance to you or your program, please feel free to contact me.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kinesio Capture Q&A w/ Rob Harris

A lot of people had questions about Kinesio Capture, so I asked Rob Harris, Vice President and Director of Sports Performance for Kinesio Capture, to come and answer a few questions.

First, let me thank you for taking the time to tell my readers more about Kinesio Capture. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was quite impressed when I first saw your product at the NSCA AZ Clinic.

Rob: Thanks Drew!  In the three months since we've launched Kinesio Capture the response has been nothing short of amazing. Never in my wildest dreams did any of us expect the level of positive feedback we've received from strength coaches, physical therapists, chiropractors, athletic and personal trainers.  It's funny because when we attend conferences to promote KCap, but the product really sells itself.  It's the easiest thing I've ever tried to promote in my life! 
To those who are truly passionate about analyzing human movement and understanding why their athletes, clients and patients do what they do, it just makes sense to have Kinesio Capture in your toolbox.

I agree, when I saw it I was blown away by what it could do. What advantages are there to using Kinesio Capture instead of the other motion analysis software available?

Rob: The advantages that stand out right away are the portability and ease of use.  Wherever you're at, you just simply pull out the iPad, tap on the KCap icon, capture movement, mark it up and review.  You can be on the side of a pool, on a track, in an indoor practice facility, on a mountain, you name it.  You can move with your athletes, clients or patients wherever theyre at so you can capture movements in authentic, dynamic and sometimes chaotic environments which is where our athletes function - right? My athletes do not function in a lab, they move up, down and around on a court, on a field, on the track, or in the pool, and for me to really understand how I can help them improve I need to see them move in their environment. 
Once you've captured the movements, KCap features are easy to integrate into your analysis techniques. You can easily demonstrate joint angles, level changes, range of motion, distance and ground contact times instantly.

I know from experience that when I can show an athlete as opposed to just telling or demonstrating, the learning curve is cut drastically. I can imagine how the portability and the ability for immediate feedback can benefit coaches, athletic trainers, and physical therapists. Who are some current Kinesio Capture clients and how are they using the software with their athletes and clients?

Rob: Well I'm really excited that the US Women's Bobsled Team is using it as they prepare for the World Championship Season.  The Women's Head Coach Todd Hays has been a KCap user from the beginning and he's been giving us some great feedback on how he's been able to use KCap during their starts and then reviewing it with them between runs.  Brandon Marcello at Stanford is using KCap with his Olympic Sport Athletes in the weight room. Will Greenberg has been using it with the Women's Basketball Team at Clemson in the weight room and during practice as has Kyle Tarp at University of Maryland.  Ted Rath with the Detroit Lions has had some good results with his guys in the weight room. Michael Torres at IPI has been using it with his general population clients for the instant feedback.  COR Systems have been using KCap in research to show the ROM gains their clients are getting using the COR bench compared to traditional flat benches. NY Islanders, Toronto Mapleleafs, Gray Institute, Missouri Tigers, Florida Basketball, Core Functional Fitness, New Orleans Saints, Vern Gambetta, Texas Basketball, T2 Motion, I mean the list just goes on and on....

Wow, so maybe I was a little late saying KCap is going to be huge. I know the software is available for both the iPad and the iPhone. Are there any differences between the two versions?
Rob: The iPad obviously has a larger screen, enhanced frame by frame, side by side and video overlay features.  The iPhone screen is just too small to get these features on it but we've pretty much maxed out what both the iPhone and iPad operating systems can give us at this point. We'll continue to improve on both iPhone and iPad versions as the iOS continues to get better and better

There are some sacrifices when gaining that ultimate portability the iPhone offers. I think its difficult to truly appreciate how impressive this product is by just reading about it. Do you have any events coming where coaches can experience Kinesio Capture first hand?

Rob:  Yep, we'll be at the Chain Reaction 3D seminar in San Diego November 10-12, NSCA Coaches Conference in San Antonio January 6th-7th 2012, University of Tennessee Strength and Conditioning Clinic March 2nd-3rd 2012, CSCCa National Conference May 9th-12th 2012, NSCA National Conference July 11th-14th, and all three Perform Better Summits next summer. 
Also, we hope to visit with as many MLB teams during 2012 spring practice in Flordia and Arizona so if anyone is interested, feel free to give me a call and we'll set something up.

For my readers who would like to see some of what Kinesio Capture can do, but arent attending any of those events (or dont want to wait until then), do you have any videos they can view online to get a feel for it?

Rob: Well because we live in a virtual world just about everything you need to know is on our website:
And for those who like an interactive opportunity to gain even more information about KCap we can set up a live high def video feed and do a Q and A with you in the comfort or your office or facility. 

Great, here's the link to those videos, I recommend checking them out. Its some great stuff. If anyone has any other questions, what would be the best way for them to contact you or a member of the Kinesio Capture team?

Rob:, friend us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter:@kinesiocapture 

Well Rob, thanks for taking the time today, I appreciate it and I know my readers are grateful as well.

Rob: Thank you for having me Drew!  Best of luck with Henley Sports Performance and I hope to see you again soon.

If I missed anything you would like to know about KCap, don’t hesitate to email Rob whatever questions you may have. As always, if I can ever be of assistance to you or your program, please feel free to contact me.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW