Year: 2011

Articles & Videos You Should See 12-5


Articles
Olympic Lifting for Baseball – Joe Meglio brings up great reasons as to why baseball players should not be doing Olympic lifts. I love using them in training, but recognize that they are very technical lifts and improper form can easily lead to injuries. For baseball players, this is especially worrisome seeing as the likeliest injury sites are the wrist and shoulder.

Addressing Weaknesses in Training and Life – When addressing weaknesses in the weight room, it is important not to ignore of your strengths. Mike Robertson provides good insight on the importance of keeping your strengths and the reality of improving weak areas.

Jump Higher & Get More Powerful – Charles Poliquin shows some of the research behind utilizing both bilateral and unilateral plyometric training to elicit the best results. If you train athletes in jumping sports (basketball, volleyball, etc) it is important to note the risk of over training the CNS, as well as wear on the joints.

Videos
Tennis Ball Receiver Drills – I am a huge fan of tennis ball drills for hand-eye coordination. Here is a video showing how the University of Texas wide receivers improve their catching with tennis balls.

20 Battle Rope Exercises – There are a few variations I haven’t seen before on this video. Battle ropes are great on the shoulders, core, and pretty much everything else.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW
480-241-4112
HenleySportsPerformance.blogspot.com
Twitter.com/DrewBHenley
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Articles & Videos You Should See 11-28


I hope everyone had happy Thanksgiving with their family and loved ones. Here are this week’s Articles & Videos You Should See.
Articles
Drink Green Tea – Charles Poliquin provides some great research on the benefits of drinking green tea. Not many young athletes will appreciate the anti-inflammatory benefits, but they will come running to the thought of protecting against alcohol effects.
My Training: Body, Mind and Self Control – Training is much more than gaining a physiological adaption to physical stress placed on the body. Jen Comas Keck gives some good points, and an interesting view by including self-control (it may seem strange, but it fits very well).
Do You Know Someone Struggling to Gain Weight? – I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked about supplements on a daily basis. Most of the people asking are asking for when they START lifting, aka – they aren’t doing anything right now (and looking for the magic pill). Too bad there isn’t one.
Strength – Good article for anyone training boxers/MMA fighters by Chad Howse. I am a big fan of the mindset he establishes in his writing. Attack everything and never, ever quit.
Videos
Stevie Johnson TD Dance – Just one video this week, but I thought it was hilarious. If you missed the Jets vs Bills game on Sunday, then you probably missed one of the funniest touchdown celebrations of the season. As you may recall, Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg in New York a couple years ago, then went to prison for it. Well…Burress is now a member of the Jets, and made for a perfect theme for Johnson’s celebration. Too bad Johnson blew a chance to win the game, while Burress had a touchdown of his own to help earn the victory. Lesson for the day – celebrate when the W is in the books.
Let me know any thoughts you may have on the above resources, I hope you find them as useful as I have. If I can ever help you or your program in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask.
All the best,
Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW
480-241-4112
HenleySportsPerformance.blogspot.com
Twitter.com/DrewBHenley

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Words of Wisdom


If you follow me on Twitter (@DrewBHenley), you know I am a big fan of quotes. They are a great source of quick motivation and can stimulate thought & action in an otherwise docile environment. I find quotes from a wide array of sources including movies, different genres of music, television, athletes, coaches, businesspeople, and pretty much anyone I’ve ever heard or read. It goes to show you can ALWAYS learn from those around you. Below are 20 of my favorite quotes, in no particular order, along with my thoughts on them.
It’s not enough to be good if you have the ability to be better – This is great to use with anyone who is trying to just coast by on raw talent.
Your desire for success must be greater than your fear of failure – I have met a few people through different walks of life who could dominate any field they chose (not just sports, literally anything), only never did because they were crippled by their fear of failure. Failure happens to everybody – Einstein, Gates, Jordan, Mandela – EVERYONE who has succeeded has failed. Don’t let it discourage you.
Well done is better than well said – When I was younger, I knew everything and was capable of anything (and I made sure everyone knew it). I slowly realized no one gave a crap about what I said until they knew my words were supported by action. Now, I don’t need to say too much because my actions have begun to set a precedent.
It’s not that you can’t; it’s that you haven’t – Another one for those afraid of failure. Far too often, people confuse what they haven’t done with what they can’t do The latter is much shorter of a list than most realize.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect – If you wait for things to be just right, you’ll likely miss it when they are. Do what you can with the way things are, and you may be surprised with the results.
Make the present good, and the past will take care of itself – What’s done is done, and there’s nothing you can do to go back and change it. All you can do is adapt for the future and eventually, your past will reflect the new success rather than the early failure.
Do the things other won’t do and have the things others won’t have – If you look at the best in any field, they are usually the first to start the day and last to call it a night. Athletes, doctors, writers, and individuals in nearly all fields are led by those who sacrificed in other areas to surpass their peers.
Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire – I love this quote and think it’s a great way to get a fire going (no pun intended) inside. 
You’re focusing on the problem. If you focus on the problem, you can’t see the solution. Never focus on the problem – Stay positive and look for solutions. Don’t become overwhelmed with a problem and be blinded to ways to fix it.
One chance is all you need – Gain some confidence and have some swagger. If you get that one chance, attack it with everything you have and recognize you probably won’t have another opportunity to try again.
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one – This ties in with the two above about failure. Don’t worry about it. Fail, screw up, attempt something you probably won’t be able to accomplish, see how bad you truly want success.
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action – I’ll keep this one simple. Get off your ass and do something. Get the ball rolling and see what you can accomplish.
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me – Great one to give athletes some swagger. Show this to your running back and see if he doesn’t hit the hole just a little faster in practice or a game. It puts the thought of “I’m unstoppable, go ahead and try but you don’t stand a chance” into their head.
You can always do more than you think you can – As you may recall, I am a fan of gut check workouts (when used properly), and this goes along those same lines. There are times where you will need to exceed your limits in order to succeed, and for athletes this usually means working beyond complete exhaustion. Whatever it takes, find that last drop you didn’t know you had and do what you thought was impossible.
Crank up the crazy and break off the dial – Stephen Colbert opened one of his shows with this line and I always get a little spark from it. If things are feeling stale or complacent, grab a Fast Twitch, crank up the crazy, and attack the day.
There are three choices in this world: be good, get good, or give up – I prefer the fourth option – get better.
Do more of what is working and less of what isn’t – It’s easy to get caught up in a certain way of operating. When things are going well, it’s not a problem at all, but eventually change is necessary to succeed.
You don’t always get to do what you want. But when you can, you better do it – Jump at the opportunities you get. Even if you need to make the opportunity yourself (instead of being handed it), do whatever you need to do so you can do what you want to do.
Ideas are only as good as what we do with them – Along the same ilk as “the world is filled with unsuccessful talent.” There are billions of ideas discussed every day, but only a handful that ever amount to anything. An idea is nothing without an action.
If you don’t make it, it’s your own damn fault – Accept responsibility for yourself and do what needs to be done.
These are just a short sample of the quotes I have gathered over the years, and if you have any that you are particularly fond of, please don’t hesitate to share. Let me know if I can ever help you or your program.
All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW, CES
480-241-4112

YouTube.com/DrewBHenley

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Articles & Videos You Should See 11-21

Articles
Expanding On The Joint-By-Joint Approach – I first learned about the joint-by-joint approach after reading one of Mike Boyle’s articles a long time ago, but I enjoy Grey Cook’s detailed description even better. This is a great resource for all coaches and trainers to have when assessing an athlete’s deficits, imbalances, injuries, etc. I have read through his book Athletic Body in Balance and after this excerpt, will likely be looking into Movement in the near future.
Communication Rating System – This is a must read for all basketball coaches. I don’t think there’s a sport where effective communication is as powerful a tool as on the hardwood (which I’ve learned as both a player and coach). I am currently working with Mesa Community College’s Men’s Basketball team and they are known across the country for their defense, which derives its strength from their communication. I have been a part of thousands of basketball practices, games, and clinics and can say there is no team that compares to MCC at being vocal. It’s a pleasure to be around and keeps everyone engaged and fired up, NOTHING goes unnoticed. In this article, Alan Stein outlines a great scale for basketball teams’ communication skills. A quiet team is a team ready to fail, get them talking and get them going.
What I Do When I Feel Stale – Everybody has those days (or weeks) they just don’t have it. Maybe it’s boredom, stress, or just being tired, but we’ve all had times where we just felt out of it and unable to produce at our normal levels. Tony Gentilcore provides a few good ways of breaking out of a funk and getting the juices flowing again.
Who Is Your Daddy and What Does He Do? – Throwback to the days of Arnold as the Terminator, Arnold Strong, and Pumping Iron. Who among us HASN’T wished they were the Governator at some point in time? John Romaniello put together an entertaining, although sometimes profane – just a fair warning –  article on the man, the myth, the legend that is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Restoring Movement With Natural Physics – This was a guest post on The Manual Therapist by Dr. Ben Fung about the use of kettlebells in training. If you don’t use kettlebells in your training (or would like to see more ways to utilize them), Dr. Fung shows a multitude of ways and reasons to incorporate them into your programs.
Videos
Unsupported DB Rows – Ben Bruno shows another innovative spin on a classic exercise. The added benefit of core activation to resist rotation is great, even at the expense of the heavy weight that can be lifted when supported. Another tool for your toolbox.
Hip Openers – If you’re like me, hip flexibility and mobility is your mortal enemy. I hate how tight my hips are and bust my ass (get it? Ass? Hips? Pun? Don’t worry, it’s just for the scholars out there) to loosen them up every day, yet they go back to the immovable piece of junk they were the day before. This video from Fitness Source shows several good exercises to help improve flexibility in this stubborn region. And it’s a great way to get athletes to do yoga without realizing it.
Let me know any thoughts you may have on the above resources, I hope you find them as useful as I have. If I can ever help you or your program in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask.
All the best,
Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW
480-241-4112
HenleySportsPerformance.blogspot.com
Twitter.com/DrewBHenley
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5 Goals Every Program Needs

Last week, I posted three of my training principles (scroll down to #2) that help dictate the programs I write and how I work with my athletes. These principles help establish my mindset when I am writing workouts and act as starting point in program design. Since we have established some aspects that should be considered prior to beginning a program, today I am going to outline five goals every program should achieve by the end of the training cycle.
#1 Address any Injuries, Imbalances or Deficits – As I have said before (here and here), I believe it’s almost impossible to have a successful training program without a thorough assessment. It is necessary to find any muscular imbalances, range of motion deficits, and learn as much about previous injuries as possible prior to beginning training in order to maximize gains and performance. Athletes will become physically unbalanced over the course of a season, so it is important to restore them to their balanced state. For example, pitchers complete thousands of repetitions of shoulder horizontal adduction, internal rotation, and scapular protraction. To balance this, a program should contain plenty of shoulder horizontal abduction, external rotation, and scapular retraction. Also, a balanced athlete is less likely to be injured, which brings me to my next point…
#2 Minimize Potential for Common Injuries – It’s important to note I didn’t say “Prevent Common Injuries” because that is an impossible promise to fulfill. However, we can train in a manner to reduce the likelihood of an injury by strengthening the tissue that is commonly damaged. Think of a basketball player with weak ankles, instead of consistently wearing ankle braces except that one fateful day, train dynamic balance to strengthen the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the ankle and foot.  Another example is female basketball and volleyball players and ACL injuries. Women are at a higher risk for non-contact ACL injuries (which, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, account for 70-75% of ACL injuries) due to their increased Q angle. A good way of training to limit this is to train more eccentrically to help the athlete learn how to properly stop and change directions safely.
#3 Train Movements, not Muscles – Great lesson I first picked up from Vern Gambetta’s book Athletic Development. The result is to improve how an athlete moves and functions, not just individual muscles. This keeps the focus on the big picture (sport performance) rather than looking good in the mirror or building impressive 1RM numbers. Movements are complex actions involving intricate coordination between several body systems (nervous, muscular, skeletal, etc) and precise firing patterns of muscles across the entire body. By learning to perform sport specific movements efficiently, athletes are able to…
#4 Achieve Automaticity – Don’t ask me to say automaticity because I stammer worse than Nemo trying to tell the class he lives in an anemone (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have lived a sad, sad life and need to stop reading this so you can watch Finding Nemo immediately). Thankfully, phonetics isn’t (always) a requirement to training athletes to achieve automaticity. As I mentioned before, Dr. Gabriele Wulf’s research has shown that an athlete is capable of improved reaction skills when handled on a subconscious level. When athletes are able to move without dedicating conscious effort to the specifics, they can act and react faster to their environment.
#5 Improve Sport Performance – This should go without saying, but the primary goal of a training program should be to improve the athlete’s performance in their sport. Training is a means to an end, not an end in itself. If an athlete adds 50 pounds to his squat 1RM, but does so at the cost of his agility, thus resulting in a decline in performance, then the training program failed. Athletes can always improve, it’s just a matter of choosing the proper areas to address. Be sure everything is geared towards improving the performance in the sports arena, not the weight room.
These are just the five universal goals of every good training program, with plenty of room for addition for individual needs. I hope your programs address all of these goals and your athletes are reaping the benefits. If not, I strongly advise you look through your programs and be sure you can say “yes” to everything listed above.
Let me know your thoughts on these five goals or how you work with your athletes to achieve them. If I can ever be of assistance to you or your program, please feel free to contact me.
All the best,
Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW
480-241-4112
HenleySportsPerformance.blogspot.com
Twitter.com/DrewBHenley
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