Previous Blogs: Year 1 II Year 2
More Than Just Training
As demand for our training services continued to increase, so did the workload for both Pete and myself. With neither of us really enjoying the behind-the-scenes work, we decided to bring someone on to take care of the business side of the business. My friend Adam Syphers (who I had played college ball with at the College of the Siskiyous ) joined DST and really helped us move forward in year 3. This allowed us to clearly define our individual roles and, in turn, put us in a position to succeed long-term.
That summer, we also brought on our first intern and our first part-time employee. A young, division II soccer player named Tori joined our team as an intern and did a fantastic job helping us with our summer groups. The part-time employee was the college baseball player I talked about in my year two blog, Kevin Poppe.
Kevin was immediately a good fit with our team. So much so, that at the end of the summer, Adam came to me to tell me we should hire him! As much as I liked Kevin, my first inclination was to say ‘no’ because we couldn’t afford to pay him a salary. Adam pressed, telling me if we were able to spend less time working in the business and were able to spend more time working on the business, we would be able to anticipate more and react less. After that pitch, I agreed to set up a meeting with the three of us. We ended up offering Kevin a position with commission-based pay. Thankfully, he had the faith in God, in us, and in himself to accept the position. The combination of Adam’s persistence and Kevin’s belief proved to be a huge catalyst in the story of DST. We definitely didn’t have it all figured out, but the infrastructure to develop and grow our team started to take shape.
In our 3rd year, we had continued growth training athletes but, more importantly, it was a key year in learning that we needed to be able to build processes to create stability, upward mobility and how to coach coaches more effectively. Training athletes is the “easy part”.
- Lee Fiocchi
Check back next week for more DST history!
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: