At Dynamic Sports Training, our Athlete Mission is to “Align the mind and body to achieve athletic mastery.” To help our athletes achieve this, each month we have a Trigger Focus that is comprised of 3 elements: Mindset Principles, Physical Principles and Nutritional Principles. We communicate one principle from each element every month, breaking them down into smaller portions of information that can be communicated easily.
Our owner, Lee Fiocchi, often uses the following quote from Dan Pfaff, “A coach’s best training resource is not his education, certifications or clinics he’s attended. Our best training resource is our athletes.” Our core values of Equipping, Encouraging and Empowering, are the vehicles we use as coaches at DST to organically deliver our Trigger Focus during our training sessions. As a result, our athletes continue to return because we are intentional about imparting wisdom that gives them a physical and mental edge. DST athletes understand that we are putting them in the driver’s seat so that they may reach their destination.
DST’s Trigger Focus Mindset Principles were established by our long-term athletes. We asked them to describe in one word what they believed to be the most consistent mental characteristic of a DST athlete. The results were overwhelmingly uniform. Our 5 Mindset Principles are as follows:
When a DST athlete is dedicated, they naturally set themselves apart. Over the last 6 years of training with DST, Ben Tate has demonstrated tremendous dedication. There are a multitude of examples as to how Ben Tate has set himself apart from the crown. The first being the success he has attained over his entire career. Next, and maybe more importantly, was his handling of not playing during the 2015 NFL season. This was the first season that he was not part of a football team since he was in 3rd grade! He remained in peak physical condition throughout the entire NFL season, showcasing his unwavering dedication and commitment. It is even more impressive when you consider the fact that he did not have an extensive support team that one can find within a large NFL team. Instead, he found his support in his faith, staying focused on what he could control. He also leaned on the support of his family and Team DST.
The Lateral Med Ball T-Position Throw is the second exercise in our T-Position progression with our athletes. The concept is the same: to coordinate the body to be more explosive in rotation, load it. However, the amount of rotation is over a longer arc than the linear position, resulting in higher speeds and more force that must be absorbed.
THE SET UP
The athlete will set their feet wider than shoulder width and perpendicular to the wall with knees bent.
The elbow should be up and in line with the ball on the driving arm.
Fingers turned up toward the sky.
The ball should be at or just under chin height (shot put).
The athlete will rock back (limited rotation) to the side of the drive arm.
Spending as little time as possible at the end of the load, the athlete should rotate to throw the ball violently against a wall (think start throwing the ball before the load is able to stop).
Let your body follow through in rotation. If you catch the ball off the wall, back up and let it bounce to you.
Make sure that the athlete's head stays with the back hip. Often times, athletes want to lead with their head which results in poor rotational mechanics. That isn’t to say that there is no forward movement. As the hips move into the front leg, the head just rides the back hip. Focus on firming up the front leg for maximal power output.
Plyometrics involve repetitive power jumping with quick force production. When muscles lengthen, then immediately shorten, they provide maximal power for an athlete. Plyometrics are an ideal style of training for athletes looking to improve speed and power with varied intensities. When you immediately follow an eccentric contraction with concentric, or “muscle-shortening” contraction, your muscle produces a greater force. This is called the “stretch-shortening cycle.”So that all sounds like something a basketball player would benefit from, right? They need to be powerful and explosive when skying for a rebound, contesting a jump shot or even shooting from 3-point range. This is all true. However, basketball players get the plyometric training they need while playing their sport, so extra plyometric training in the weight room isn't necessary. More does not equal better in this instance.
Okay, so how do you fix this? Easy - practice variations. Two variations to work on are the snatch pull from the floor and the high snatch working into the catch as shown in the video. Now get to work!!
Everything athletes do - from training, to sleeping, to what they are putting in their body - are all small, important pieces to a much bigger puzzle. One vital piece is nutrition and with this month's Trigger Focus being Nutrient Density, I figured I'd address an important question: "Are all calories created equally?" The simple answer is, of course, no. To explain why, I did a comparison case study on what 3,000 calories looks like: healthy, nutrient-dense foods vs. a beloved fast food chain that starts with a 'W' and ends with 'hataburger.'
“ Don’t talk to me about recovery when you're living out of a fast food window .”
I can still hear my collegiate strength coach telling me this as though it was yesterday. He was right, my nutrition habits were trash; I was so used to eating whatever I wanted because I was young, so I thought my body could handle it. I can probably count on one hand how many of us even knew the term ‘nutrient density’ let alone what it meant. So today we are going to EQUIP you with this knowledge.
Simply stated, nutrient density means how many nutrients you get from a food, given the number of calories it contains. A.K.A getting the “biggest bang for your buck”. Why is nutrient density so helpful? Because it gives you concentrated amounts of valuable nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients , to name a few. Adequate consumption of foods high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals is essential for a healthy immune system and for empowering your body’s detoxification and cellular repair mechanisms. This helps protect you from cancer and other diseases. Nutrient-dense foods also provide necessary micronutrients - which are highly overlooked - that are important co-factors in reactions that produce growth, repair tissues, and increase oxygen transport. Being deficient in this will negatively affect performance and could keep you from reaching your athletic potential.
Now let me show you the difference. 3,000 calories at Whataburger looks something like this: