The past year has been very exciting at Dynamic Sports Training -- filled with a lot of great news! As you may have guessed from the blog's picture, Owner Lee Fiocchi has some exciting news. The following is a letter from Lee to all of his athletes - past and current:
Thanksgiving is always a great time of year to acknowledge those who have made an impact on your life. At this point in my career, I have many people to thank for being where I am today. But those who are most deserving are all the athletes who have trusted me with their physical preparation.
This ride has been fueled by seeing so many of you realize your potential - some of you improving in spite of me! So much inspiration came from my weaknesses - sometimes failing to help you with my skill set at the time - it instilled a desire to always keep learning and growing. Looking back, I realize that any time my pride swelled up, I was quickly humbled. I didn’t always know the answer, but I was convinced I could become the resource you needed or help you find the right one.
My only disappointments came when you didn’t accomplish what you set out to do or the injuries you weren’t able to overcome. Those times have deeply troubled and saddened me, but without them, I wouldn’t be pushing forward, trying to become a better version of myself. I know they’ve happened so I can help the next athlete overcome the barriers you had. You have taught me much more than things on the physical side of training. I learned that the confidence gained in preparation can be fallible. We must trust in the process and learn to succeed with our body’s most important real estate… the six inches between our ears. Studying the body was my focus early in my career but, through relationships, I recognized the importance of developing the mental side of things that does more than parallel the physical development. Where the head goes, the body follows.
I have learned so many lessons from you and there are too many of you to thank individually. The gratefulness I feel is beyond the words I can express here. The career ride began in Charleston, Illinois, at Eastern Illinois University as a student assistant and continued to Chicago, Houston, Florida and back to Houston. Now that journey continues. Today, I am happy to announce that the ride is taking me to Anaheim, California, where I have accepted the Head Strength and Conditioning position with the Los Angeles Angels .
Undoubtedly, the physical and mental aspects of training are incomplete without faith. My whole career required me to work relentlessly toward serving you athletes. I couldn’t have had a better time in doing that. What I have learned in my faith is that God’s plans are always beyond anything we could ever hope, imagine or dream. I know this is true because of the amazing woman I married and now, God has shown me again. Starting DST has been everything I had hoped for, and now, He is showing me how much more He can bless me, my family and you - the DST family. This move is completing DST’s long-term athletic development model as we have prepared athletes at EVERY single level (both individually and as teams)! We will continue to be "DST Strong" with the leadership of Kevin Poppe and the entire DST staff at both the West ( Houston Christian ) and North ( Premier Baseball ) locations.DST is doing big things because of you and I am forever in debt to you all!!
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: