The Importance of Sleep

  • By Dynamic Sports Training
  • 12 Sep, 2016

Why Sleep Is A Critical Component In Your Training Program

Want to excel and get the most out of your hard work? Sleep is the answer.

With September upon us, the freedom of summer has officially ended and students are back in school. Gone are the days of staying up until the early hours of the morning followed by sleeping in past noon. It is now the season of playing “How will I get all of this reading done tonight?”, “How many times can I hit snooze before I’m seriously late?”, “Will I have time for breakfast?” and, my favorite, “If I fall asleep now, I have exactly 5 hours, 32 minutes and 45 seconds of sleep”.

Sleep tends to be the first demoted from our list of priorities when we have a day brimming full of tasks to complete and activities to attend. Picture each day before you as a building -- Sleep is the foundation. Playing a vital role, sleep protects our physical health, mental health and overall wellbeing.

When your body and mind are not well-rested, the processes of how you learn, think, act and perform decline. When sleep-deprived, you may struggle to pay attention, make decisions, problem-solve, control your emotions and produce creative ideas. These factors are all incredibly crucial for students who are seeking to succeed in school.

Not only is sleep a large component of your performance in the classroom, but also on the playing field. Many students today are student-athletes. These students not only spend upwards of 8 hours a day in school or more, juggle many classes and class assignments, but also spend, on average, 4 hours training or performing their sport. That alone is 12 hours! When you add in preparation time, meals, homework assignments and dreaded chores...There is not an allowance of 8 hours left over for a solid night's rest.

Athletes training to reach their performance goals are continuously involved in intense exercise catered to their sport, where muscles are being torn down to some degree.  According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute *, sleep supports healthy growth and development. Proper sleep allows your body to maintain a healthy balance of hormones. The particular hormones, Ghrelin and Leptin, control your hunger levels throughout the day. Other hormones that stimulate muscle repair and growth are triggered during non-REM deep sleep. During this time, the blood supply to muscles increases allowing larger amounts of nutrients and oxygen to be received, helping boost muscle mass, repairing tissue and rejuvenating cells. Sleep is also the longest period that your body has to synthesize protein -- a large factor in muscle repair and growth between meals. Getting adequate rest is extremely important to ensure that your body properly completes the necessary cycles of muscle repair and recovery to grow properly. Below you will find tips from the National Sleep Foundation on falling asleep!


Our athletes at DST put in tremendous amounts of dedication and time training to challenge and maximize their genetic potential in their sports. While we instill the physical training skills, we cannot force you to sleep! So after a long day, in whatever stage of life you are in, make it a top priority for your overall health and performance to achieve the proper amount of sleep. Giving your body the proper rest will maximize all the time spent training. Your body will thank you greatly when it is able to to function properly and perform at its highest capabilities on the field.


Sweet dreams, athletes!

Dynamic Sports Training Blog

By Dynamic Sports Training 12 Dec, 2017

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

  1. The athlete will set their feet wider than shoulder width and perpendicular to the wall with knees bent.

  2. The elbow should be up and in line with the ball on the driving arm.

  3. Fingers turned up toward the sky.

  4. The ball should be at or just under chin height (shot put).


THE MOVEMENT

  1. The athlete will rock back (limited rotation) to the side of the drive arm.

  2. 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).

  3. Let your body follow through in rotation. If you catch the ball off the wall, back up and let it bounce to you.


Pro Tip

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.

By Josh Graber 08 Dec, 2017
We're so excited to bring back our Ping Pong 4 Charity Tournament in 2018. Last year, we were able to raise thousands of dollars to help our community.

This year, we have our sights set on a   much bigger impact! Our cause this year hits home for many of us in the Houston area. When Harvey hit Houston this past August, our city was turned upside down. We don't have to tell you how much damage was done or how rebuilding efforts are far from over. 

Some of the most meaningful stories of community in the wake of Harvey were from those who came from out of state to help -- not because they had friends or family here, but because they wanted to help their fellow man. We want to return the favor.Our neighbors in surrounding cities, states, and countries have been through pain and heartache this year as well. That's why we're partnering with some of our athletes from these surrounding areas and communities to help as many people as possible with this event.

We'd love to have you join in and help us put the FUN in fundraising with the 2018 Ping Pong 4 Charity event presented by Premier Baseball of Texas. Registration is now open !

If you can't join us on January 27th, support our cause by purchasing a Houston Strong tee - all proceeds from the shirt will also go toward hurricane relief efforts.
By Dynamic Sports Training 07 Dec, 2017
Integrity
There are a couple different definitions of integrity we'll be looking into this month: 

(1) The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

(2) The state of being whole and undivided. 

Instilling integrity into athletes is a daily demonstration. Three main areas to focus on are: Fair play, good sporting behavior and character. Character development is not just an instruction, it is a consistent mind set.

Josh Graber will be writing more about Integrity later this month. Keep an eye out for it on our blog on Friday, December 15th!

Supplements
Supplementation is to be used when an athlete is unable to get sufficient nutrients from their daily meals, or in some cases, add more calories when they cannot be consumed. Essentially, supplements serve to bridge the gap in one's diet. Supplements are used to pick up the slack if anything is lacking in the diet or to “shortcut” meal prepping and just taking nutrients directly. In addition, supplementation could help improve meal timing (i.e. meals before and after workouts).

Sammy Knox will be writing more about Supplements later this month. Keep an eye out for it on our blog on Friday, December 22nd!

Periodization
Stated simply, Periodization is looking at the big picture and the end goal, and then breaking it down into actionable, day to day steps to reach that goal. When we create our programs for our athletes, we like to start from the end and work our way to the beginning. Every exercise and movement we program is designed to help our athletes reach their goals. 

Kevin Poppe will be writing more about Periodization later this month. Keep an eye out for it on our blog on Friday, December 29th!
By Dynamic Sports Training 07 Dec, 2017
Ryan Henry is a Business Operations Associate at DST. He received a bachelor of arts degree in multidisciplinary studies with focuses in business, communications, and math, graduating in December of 2016 from the University of Texas in San Antonio. He was president of the club baseball team for three years where he managed, coached, and played. He was named pitcher of the month in May of 2012 where he led his conference in strikeouts and ERA. He joined the DST team in 2017.

"Ryan is kind of the jack of all trades for us. He works really hard, and he makes sure that day-to-day operations run smoothly for the rest of our staff while also managing all of our accounts [at DST North]." - Kevin Poppe , Director of DST North
By Dynamic Sports Training 05 Dec, 2017
The Linear Med Ball T-Position Throw has been a staple in all of DST's rotational programs for years now. The concept is simple: to coordinate the body to be more explosive in rotation - load it. This “load” is light enough to be at a high-velocity profile while heavy enough to create adaptations in the body and in rotational mechanics. Enough with the boring stuff! The video is pretty detailed but here are the main points:

The Set Up

  1. The athlete will set their feet wider than shoulder width, facing the wall with knees bent.
  2. The elbow should be up and in line with the ball on the driving arm.
  3. Fingers turned up toward the sky.
  4. The ball should be at or just under chin height (shot put).

The Movement

  1. The athlete will rotate back to the side of the drive arm.
  2. 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).
  3. Let your body follow through in rotation. If you catch the ball off the wall, back up and let it bounce to you.

The #1 Rule

As with all of the medicine ball work we do, I tell everyone that the number one rule of med ball work is to throw the heck out of it. No “off” reps. You want to be explosive? Move as explosively as possible on these types of exercises.
By Dynamic Sports Training 01 Dec, 2017

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.

A major disadvantage of plyometric training with basketball players (or other jumping athletes) is that there is a high risk of injury. These athletes are already jumping enough in their sport, so why should we jump even more during training? One of the biggest issues with basketball players is the overuse injury with the taller athlete who’s already injury-prone due to force production with increased leverage between the joints (simply stated, they have longer legs).

"Examining recent high draft picks reveals that taller players have gone on to miss a larger percentage of games than their shorter peers. The percentage of games missed generally increases as height increases. Players 7’0” or taller have missed nearly 24 percent of their games." ( FiveThirtyEight )
By Dynamic Sports Training 28 Nov, 2017
In our last video of our Snatch Series we are talking all about the Catch. So we have pulled from the floor and avoided our floating bar and we have made nice contact at our hips; now we must catch the bar correctly!

Common problems people have with the Snatch rarely have to do with the technique.  Many people have overhead mobility and stability issues.  First and foremost, if you do not have the required amount of overhead flexion and your shoulder (anterior & posterior) and scap stability is lacking, you should not be performing a snatch. First, I recommend working on gaining the required mobility, add stability on top of it, and then we can talk.  

Now back to the people who are free of overhead mobility and stability issues: One common mistake is flipping the bar at the top of the catch.  This is incorrect as your wrist should already be under the bar at this point.  The catch should involve a push or a punch, not a flip. Side note: you technically never stop pulling on the bar. When we make the mistake of flipping the bar, it causes a lot of forward/backward movement. This causes us to lose the bar behind us or we may end up trying to run under the bar and lose it forward.  

A few coaching cues I like to use are
  1. up 
  2. under
  3. punch
The cues are simple, the execution may take a little more work. I would start with pulling a pvc pipe or empty bar and begin working on your turnover.  Now you have the fourth and final key to fixing your snatch! Watch the video below and get to work!
By Dynamic Sports Training 21 Nov, 2017
Bang!!!

Yes, that is my favorite…drink.  Not something I encourage during your snatch.  I am sure by now you are probably thinking, “what the heck is this guy talking about?” I am talking about when your hips meet the bar in your snatch .  Bar-body contact is a huge topic in the weightlifting world. For today, we are going to keep it simple.  

There is a fine line between what we call the Brush crowd and the Bang crowd.  Let me define these for you real quick. The Brush crowd believes the bar should brush the hips on the way through extension and encourages the bar to stay tight to the body. The Bang crowd believes in more violent hip extension and encourages it. My take? I like both! I believe it’s an in between, like most things in athletic performance.

So you might be wondering, “why is Garrett covering banging the bar as our third mistake in our Snatch Series?” Because most people take it to an extreme! Most people overcompensate by banging the bar so hard it gets out from their body and they aren't able to recover; they end up trying to run under the bar to no avail.  We want the bar to remain as close to the thighs as possible without being in contact, and the shoulders to remain at least very slightly in front of the bar until the bar is up into the hips in the snatch .  Think of the bar as being pushed back into the hips as the hips finish the snap.  The key is not driving the hips through the bar (banging) so far that vertical force is lost and the bar gets pushed away from the body.

Make sense?

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!!

By Dynamic Sports Training 20 Nov, 2017

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:

By Dynamic Sports Training 16 Nov, 2017
Jordan is our Off-Site Trainer at DST. He has a CPT certification through ACSM. Prior to working at DST, Jordan played basketball at the collegiate level and coached at the high school level. He received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Kinesiology from Mississippi College. Since joining DST, Jordan has become an expert at prepubescent development and become proficient in training athletes of all ages and all levels. His knowledge and experience continually prepare our athletes for the next level.
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