Meet Team DST: Dennis Koenck

  • By Dynamic Sports Training
  • 09 Nov, 2017

Sports Performance Specialist, DST North

Dennis grew up in Houston and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2010. He played baseball at Jarvis Christian where he was a team captain and received a Gold Glove award. He graduated with a Bachelors in Kinesiology and made the Deans/President Lists academically. Dennis loves training because it shows how much passion he has for making people around him better in all aspects - whether it's finishing a rep, or in life itself.

"He's my dawg." - Garrett Kelly

"Dennis used to always say cool beans, so I would say, 'Nah, warm beans.'" - Josh Graber
What do you like most about working for DST?
I'd definitely have to say our family environment. It's such a comforting feeling because it's almost like you're not really coming to work; the passion everyone has for making everybody better who comes through our doors is so fluid with everyone who works at DST. We are all in tune with each other and our closeness as a company makes it fun. 

Tell us about your baseball background?
Man, it's one of the rockiest roads of all time. I went to Bellaire High School, wrestled and played baseball there. At one point I had to choose if I wanted to play baseball or nothing pretty much, so I gave up all sports besides baseball. It was a difficult decision but I love baseball more than any other sport so it was fairly easy at the time. 

I played college ball at a pretty high level, then injuries kind of knocked their way through me. I transferred quite a bit - went to one of the best schools in the country, then I went to one of the worst schools in the country at that time. I finished out at an NAIA school to get my degree and that led me straight here to DST.

How'd you end up at DST?
It was Danny Ruiz at Houston Christian High School. He's a family friend of mine and he referred me to Poppe and Josh. Danny hooked it up and I got the interview. I worked my butt off. I stayed late a lot of nights to see our assessment process and be glued to Poppe's hip so I could learn from him. He ended up offering me the job and gave me the high school group.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
That's a tough question....but I see US at the top of the training industry as a company. As long as we're able to stay together. If everyone pulls a Lee  Fiocchi ( Head Strength Coach for Anaheim Angels organization) it's going to be sad to see people go. I see us up there with the Cressey's and Bomarito's. 

What are some of your nicknames? How did you get them?
I think I only have two. The 'Moose' - my sister calls me that; she's called me that since I was a kid. I have no idea why. And then everybody calls me 'DK' - that came from high school. Dudes used to call me Donkey Kong because I was a big burley guy. So pretty much just DK and Moose..but nobody calls me Moose except for my sister. 

Who inspires you the most?
Definitely my dad. In the roles of being a father and being a man in general. He shows me how to take a lead in multiple aspects, whether that's every day life, relationships, work, he shows me how to be a good person. And I'm trying my best to always be a good person. 

You have tattoos, tell us about them.
So the first tattoo I ever got was the 'DK' on my back, for obvious reasons. I think I was 16 or 17 and I felt like doing something edgy. It's in the Donkey Kong letters, too. The second one I got was a cross on my wrist and then the coolest tribal tattoo anyone could get because everyone loves tribal tattoos. I think I was 18 and I got it done at a flea market - it was the worst idea I could have ever gotten. Then I have 'Our scars become the marks that push us to greatness' on my wrist. I got that at a low point in my life in college. I have a swan on the inside of my arm that says 'Love you bunches' which was my grandma's phrase that she said every night; and the swan was her thing. Philippians 4:13 on the inside of my arm. Then my favorite tattoo for my nephew - the bear reaching around the tree, and the butterflies for my sister. Next to those is my family rose. I got the sapphire color because me, my mom, and dad are all September babies. And the rose also symbolizes purity. Oh, and I also have a moose skull on my chest.. so forever and ever I'll always be the Moose (laughs). 

And I have my grandpa on my leg. Funny story: I got my car towed that night because I was told by the guy at the parlor that I could park there. I went in, got faith written on my wrist, and i walked out to my car being gone. So he offered to give me a free tattoo. When he saw my I.D. he saw my last name was Marini, so he asked if we were with the Original Marini's Empanada House and I was like yes that's my grandpa! So I decided to get the logo tattooed on my leg. He actually drew his own logo it's hilarious.

Most likely there will be more done, I just don't know what or where.

What gets you through long days of training?
BANGS ! That's for sure (laughing) I have to agree with Garrett on this one - Bangs make it through the day. I would honestly say the 4:30 in the morning Snapchat stories between me and Garrett, that definitely starts the days off good; we're the first ones at our locations in the morning. And then the impact on these kids. You'll be tired at one point but then a Walter Weiner will come in and just make you laugh to death, and then you have a guy like Kloff that comes in when I'm trying to take a break, you know, and you understand real reasons why these kids are coming in, and they're looking up to us - you find an extra gear to turn it into, especially when you have Bang involved, that's one of those things that can keep you going. Most of all the kids though, the kids definitely give me the motivation to get after it each day. It's pretty fun to find something different every day to keep you going. 
Follow Dennis on Twitter and Instagram !

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.


  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).


  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
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!

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!

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

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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