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By Dynamic Sports Training 09 Feb, 2017

We had 64 ping pong players participate in our first annual ping pong tournament. Sixteen played in each of our four brackets named after our two charities and two of our pros - Houston Food Bank, SpringSpirit Baseball, Tony Sipp , Carlos Correa - in a single elimination tournament. Players had a ton of fun and we had a lot of  very  closely-contested matches (including a 36-34 marathon win for our eventual champion) on our road to the final four.

Our bracket champions included Austin Dean (Miami Marlins Organization) representing the Houston Food Bank region, Cade Longmire (Cy-Fair HS) out of the Tony Sipp Bracket, Frank Xu (Houston Christian High School) from the SpringSpirit Baseball Bracket, and Carlos Correa (Houston Astros) fittingly representing his own bracket.

By Dynamic Sports Training 01 Feb, 2017
Most athletes know how important it is to take the time day-in and day-out to train their bodies to perform at a high level. If they want to excel in their sport(s), they need to do whatever it takes to get their bodies into peak competitive shape -- this should go without saying. Since it seems obvious, I’d think athletes would also spend the time necessary to ensure another vital part of their competitive framework is in balance -- their minds.

Unfortunately , it seems quite the opposite is true. While athletes understandably spend extensive amounts of time training their bodies to perform, they fall short when it comes to training their minds. Ultimately, when an athlete hits a roadblock during a competition or feels like quitting, they don't have the mental toughness to recover. When this happens, even athletes in good physical shape can see a great performance turn into a mediocre one.

Sound familiar? It’s highly likely you’ve been in this very same situation yourself or at least know someone who has had a similar experience.

I know becoming mentally resilient takes work, that’s why I’ve put together a few easy tips to help you exercise your mental toughness!

Be nice to yourself. Talk to yourself how you talk to your best friend. You’re probably not hypercritical of everything your best friend does, so don’t be hypercritical of yourself. Instead, be encouraging. And if you suffer some sort of setback, dust yourself off and try again. Be your own biggest cheerleader. If you’re not your biggest advocate, no one else will be.

Believe and achieve. Really. Simply believing in yourself is also important, even if your dreams sound crazy or impossible. You may feel like there’s no way you’ll ever be able to improve, but once you stop believing in yourself you stop improving. As long as you put in the work, you’ll continue to get closer to achieving your dreams, no matter how crazy or impossible.

Attach to a strong phrase. Mantras are simple phrases or statements that are popular among runners as a source of strength. Some folks wear personalized jewelry inscribed with their mantras, so in the midst of a hard workout or race they can see it and get a boost of positive energy. My favorite is “I can do hard things,” but you can choose whatever works for you. Surrounding yourself with empowering words can help you become more mentally resilient during hard workouts or competitions.

Find strength in songs. If you regularly compete or train with music, try creating a specific “powersong playlist.” The songs you include should make you feel revved up and ready to work hard. Power songs, power words, and being kind and supportive to yourself through the positive self-talk you display are important… are you sensing a theme here yet?

Find your why . When you feel like quitting, getting some perspective can really do wonders. It may sound silly, but take the time to have a moment with yourself and remember your origins. What initially compelled you to play this sport? How have things changed for you since then? Are you significantly faster, stronger, more efficient, and so on? How has your community of support changed over time? Sometimes, taking just a few minutes to think about our journey in our sport can really strengthen our commitment to continuous self-improvement.

You get to do this stuff for fun. Relax. Sometimes, when the going gets tough and we feel like quitting, it’s helpful to remind ourselves to just relax and reflect on the hard work we’ve done. Something that’s helped me personally is just realizing that I’m getting to do something I love to do! Doing so -- having a healthy attitude of gratitude for your ability to even do this stuff in the first place -- can work wonders for your training. Don’t squander your gift. Cherish it through all the ups and downs and simply relax.

If building mental resiliency piques your interest, definitely look into reading more of the literature on the subject; the topic of sports psychology seems to have ballooned in recent years, so you should be able to easily track down some titles through your local library or through a bookstore. In addition, you might want to consider working one-on-one with a local sports psychologist if you’re interested in bringing your mental prowess and resiliency to the next level. What matters more than anything, though, is that you get into a routine of habitually working your mental muscle so you’re prepared for unavoidable obstacles.
By Dynamic Sports Training 01 Feb, 2017
Mindset Principle: Integrity

Integrity - “The State of Being Whole and Undivided” 

This definition fits the building analogy we often use with our athletes. We compare our approach of training our athletes to the construction of tall buildings - you have to have a strong foundation, a well-thought out blueprint, and perfect execution to get the result you want. Following that analogy, a structure is said to have “good integrity” when it’s architecturally sound - sturdy and unmovable. The same should be true of our athletes’ bodies and character. To stand for truth and what is right - unable to be moved or shaken.

You don't have to dig too far to find stories of athletes who had all the right pieces physically but didn't meet their potential due to issues outside of their sport. That's why we want to work on more than just physical preparation. The way you talk and the way you act matter on  and  off the field. 

"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."
- Proverbs 22:1

Nutrition Principle: Supplementation  

Supplementation is a large part of many athletes' nutrition plans. And, just like in training, there isn't a 'silver bullet' when it comes to taking supplements. Every athlete has different demands (in-game, training, etc.) and should plan both their diet and supplementation intake with those demands in mind. Typically, we recommend getting most, if not all, of your necessary nutrients from natural food sources. We know sometimes this isn't possible -  especially  for extremely active athletes or people with deficiencies outside of their control. In these instances, a well-planned supplementation strategy can be very effective to help you get all the nutrients your body requires to prepare and recover. Below are some supplements that our trainers recommend looking into (*note: this is not an exhaustive list).

  • Supported for use  (In specific situations in sport using evidence-based protocols):
    • Sports drinks, Gels, and Bars
    • Whey Protein
    • Iron & Calcium Supplements
    • Multivitamins
    • Vitamin D
    • Probiotics
    • Caffeine
    • Beta Alanine
    • Creatine

*For any specific questions about certain supplements, or a supplement strategy, get in touch with any of our trainers*

Physical Principle: Periodization  

One of the core principles for our athletic development processes is the concept of periodization. Having goals is vital for all athletes. You need to know where you want to go before you can take the proper steps to get there. However, constant fixation on an end-goal can be detrimental to actually achieving it. That is where the idea of periodization helps immensely. 

Periodization is taking the end-goal and breaking it down into smaller, more achievable steps. Think of it this way: Your end-goal is a finished bookcase from IKEA . Periodization is what helps you build it with steps A through J.  This process-oriented mindset creates daily opportunities for little victories, which helps sustain the motivation required to accomplish long-term goals. Focusing on, and believing in, the process is what periodization is all about.

"Rome wasn't built in a day,  but  they were laying bricks every hour."

By Dynamic Sports Training 20 Jan, 2017

I noticed a long time ago the stronger and more flexible a person is the more they thrive and “rock at life.”

In fact, I changed the phrase “survival of the fittest” to “survival of the flexible.” Being flexible opens up a whole lot of possibilities, definitely keeps you in the game longer and even improves mortality rate.

Baby humans are born flexible. Remember putting your toes in your mouth or sitting in a deep squat to pet your dog or play in the dirt? But then we hit the growth spurt, grow up and start working, we become less active with less variety of movement. Gradually, we lose flexibility, hunch over and start shuffling … unless we move a lot and work out to maintain it!

Yes, it’s easy to see how world-class athletes are mobile. When you add strength to range of motion, a whole lot of possibilities open up! Strength + Flexibility = MOBILITY which means…..better movement quality, resilient joints, greater capacity to generate power from multiple joints for greater overall power.  Examine the long strides of a world-class runner, a first basemen doing the splits to make a catch and get the runner out or the incredible backswing reach of PGA Tour players swing. All are mobile and able to control great range in order to do difficult things.  

But how is mortality rate tied to mobility? Well, test yourself right now with this mobility challenge. Attempt to get down to a seated position on the floor and get up off the floor with no arm or hand assistance. The more assistance you need in getting down or getting up correlates to less mobility which correlates to less independence. Basically, when we get to the point we cannot get up or down even with assistance then we must rely on outside care. This is why mobility affords one more longevity and a higher quality of life.

Everyone can create more mobility. Remember the phrase “use it or lose it”. By "using it" - or going through all joint ranges - you will be able to maintain what you have and even create more.

Do your daily C.A.R.S. The best way to create more mobility is to strengthen all ranges of motion. Traditional exercises are typically done in one or two directions or planes and not done in all ranges. Learn the C.A.R.S (controlled articular rotations) routine for all joints. By slowly moving and contracting all joints (from head to toe) through all end ranges, you will gain control and strength of those ranges as well as develop greater ranges, i.e. mobility.

Here are some examples:
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