Youth Sports, Health, and Nutrition

Since I read the article by Ken Berger about Dwight Howard’s sugar addiction in the weeks before Christmas, I have been thinking about nutrition. Nutrition is far from my expertise, and I  try to avoid it for a number of reasons, but I am starting to believe that I am shirking a responsibility.  Continue reading

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The hype of recovery, overtraining, and burnout or please don’t work too hard

Yesterday, I took a couple of my players through a new resistance training routine. As we talked, recovery came up, and one player said, “You don’t really believe in recovery, do you?” This after talking about the importance of sleep and nutrition after the previous practice and handing out the 24-hour athlete handout earlier in the season. Continue reading

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Core Stability and Basketball Training

Originally published in Brian McCormick’s Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletters, Volume 4. After seeing numerous discussions of the importance of the core, I decided to re-post this article from my book.

During a high school all-star training camp last weekend in Los Angeles, Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony tweeted about the players’ inability to hold basic yoga positions. He further blamed these athletes’ weak core strength and commented about his disbelief.  Continue reading

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Regaining joint health through movement

During my first year of my doctoral program, I tried out a bunch of the activity classes. I convinced the department that it would enhance my teaching if I could take classes from other instructors (for free!!) to learn from them. I dabbled in several classes, but stuck with Pilates for an entire semester (primarily because the time frame fit perfectly).  Continue reading

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Problems with the principle of specificity in sports-specific training

jimmclennan-roger-federer-1Last week, I read an article that focused on training tennis players, especially in relation to injury prevention. Beyond the science and statistics, the article suggested some exercises to help prevent the common injuries, especially shoulder injuries. The article focused on the core, as does seemingly everything these days. However, the first exercises listed by the article were seated exercises, like the bicycle sit-up. Continue reading

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Free Throw Shooting and Practice Repetitions

In our first league game of the season, we went 12/30 from the free-throw line. In our third league game of the season, we shot 15/20 from the free-throw line. In two weeks, we improved 35% from the free-throw line. I am a genius! Continue reading

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Self-Discovery, Exploration, and Coach Development

In the world of education, and coaching, more emphasis has been placed on flipping the classroom or using methods of self-discovery. Rather than tell students an answer, teachers are encouraged to give students the opportunity to discover the answer for themselves. Similarly, new coaching methods favor a constraints-based approach which encourages coaches to pose movement problems for players to solve rather than telling players exactly what to do.  Continue reading

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Evaluating coaches based on the process or the result

On ESPN, Bill Barnwell reviews the decisions of NFL coaches after the weekend. This week, at the beginning of his column, Barnwell opens the discussion of the end of the Green Bay Packers’ game by writing, “You have to evaluate the decision based upon the process that went into the call without evaluating it based upon its one outcome.” Continue reading

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The performance model of injury rehabilitation

Note: I am not a medical doctor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer; I am simply a skeptic who thinks there is a better way. The following is in no way meant as medical advice.

Last spring, at the Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group conference, Bill Knowles spoke about a performance-based model of reconditioning an athlete after an injury, and contrasted this model with a medical model. The following is my example of what I learned and took away from this talk and how it applies to a current situation. Continue reading

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Should basketball players use kinesio tape?

For whatever reason, the last two European clubs who have hired me have relied on kinesiotape (KT) like it is a magic elixir. Nearly every day, I see a new player wearing KT. When I ask, the answer is always, “The physio.” When I ask why they need it, they never have a diagnoses of an injury – they feel pain or tightness, and the physio prescribes KT. It’s like the magic spray that soccer players use to go from writhing on the ground in pain to playing again in a matter of seconds. Since I am not a physio, but I do know my way around research, I looked into the magic KT: Continue reading

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