Perform each move for one minute with no rest between moves for 10 total minutes. Switch sides at the halfway 30-second mark for all single-sided exercises:
TFL/IT Band L/R
Shins (Lateral) L/R
Pay attention to which areas of your body are most sore and tight and be sure to spend extra time on these areas at all other times pre/post-workout. Prioritizing your self-massage in this manner will provide you the biggest bang for you buck.
For knee pain, focus on #1, 4, 5
For shoulder pain, focus on #9, 10
For back pain, focus on #2, 3, 5, and 10. #10 is also great for improving posture.
If you run/jump a lot and/or suffer from shin splits, focus on #6, 7 and 8.
I simply cannot stress enough the importance of daily self-massage. It will make you feel better, move better, and perform better.
If you’re serious about changing your body, feeling better, and making serious gains in the weight room and on the field/court, then “self-massage” days are a must.
After all, you’re only as strong as how well you allow yourself to recover.
All athletes know the feeling of being sore, whether after an intense workout, a tough practice or a closely contested game. The discomfort that comes the morning after a tough physical bout when players step out of bed is called delayed onset muscle soreness.
That pain is the result of muscle damage after strenuous exercise, leading to symptoms of swelling, soreness, pain, stiffness, and weakness, often lasting for several days.
Use these five ways to recover faster, avoid injuries and improve sports performance this season:
Sleep is the most important when it comes to recovery. Adequate sleep helps to provide mental health, hormonal balance, and muscle recovery. You need to get enough sleep, athletes ages 6-13 should sleep 9-11 hours and athletes ages 14-17 should sleep 8-10 hours. Here’s a few tips for deep sleep:
Turn off all electronics an hour before bed.
Drink a glass of milk, which contains “tryptophan” an amino acid which promotes sleep.
Get to bed early. Hours slept before mid-night are proven to be more effective than those slept after.
Drinking proper amounts of water is critical to health, energy, recover, and performance. Typically, athletes are very attentive to hydration levels before and after games, but maintaining proper hydration during training, practices, and during recovery times are just as important. Here’s a few tips for proper hydration:
Water is the best way to hydrate.
After training, practice, competition consume 20oz for every lb of body weight lost.
Check your pee. The darker and more color in your pee the less hydrated you are and the more water you need to drink.
3.) Chocolate Milk.
Chocolate Milk provides fluid, carbohydrates to replenish your body’s supply, protein to promote muscles healing and the sodium that you’ve sweated away. Consume chocolate milk in the first 20 minutes after training, practices, or games. Plus, it’s rather inexpensive and tastes so good!
4.) Self-Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling)
Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points.This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.
Spending just 5-10 minutes a day stretching can increase your range of motion, improve your movement efficiency, and, most importantly, reduce your risk of injury. Plus, after a tough day on the field, it just feels great.
Dedicating additional time to the categories of sleep, hydration, nutrition, self-myofascial release, and mobility will increase your performance, decrease recovery time, and lower your risk of injury. These strategies take very little time, but can make the difference over the course of a long season. Coaches and athletes don’t take advantage of it because they don’t want to dedicate the time to the little things that matter most.
Whether you’ve been blessed with the ability to fly or not, speed is a skill that can be taught—and thus dramatically improved. It starts with learning and implementing proper running form and sprinting technique. Mastering proper sprint technique is perhaps the most immediate way to improve speed.
Below are 10 Common Errors and Corrections of Sprint Technique:
Problem: Upward Emphasis or Not Swinging Arms Back Far Enough.
Correction: Have the athlete pretend he/she is holding a hammer in each hand and pounding nails into a wall directly behind him/her.
Main Point: The faster the arm is swung backward, the faster the leg will pull forward.
Problem: Shoulders Shrugged/Upper Back Tension.
Correction: Have the athlete consciously relax the traps and shoulders to allow more natural movement. Practice in place looking into a mirror.
Main Point: Upper body needs to stay relaxed. Tension can inhibit the free motion required for optimal speed.
Problem: Side-to-Side Arm Movement.
Correction: Have the athlete practice in front of a mirror to help him/her understand that this movement is causing excessive trunk rotation. The path in which the arms travel begins with the fingertips even with the chin. The hand should reach the midline of the body, but does not cross. The hand will then travel backwards until it is completely behind the hip.
Main Point: There should be limited lateral movement, as the focus should be on forward and backward movement emphasizing the backward motion.
Problem: Cross-Over Knee Drive (crossing the knees inward over the midline of the body)
Correction: Explain to the athlete that the legs travel in one plane of movement, it’s like riding a bike. Working in front of a mirror may be helpful.
Main Point: Knees need to travel in a straight path.
Problem: Lack of Knee Drive (During Acceleration 10-20 yards)
Correction: Likely needs to strengthen hip flexors and core. Hip flexors raise the thigh and core stabilizes the pelvis.
Main Point: Need to forceful knee drive getting hip 70-80 degrees in relation to the body.
Problem: Toes Point Inward or Outward
Correction: Likely needs to improve ankle flexibility, hip flexor strength. Muscles imbalances in hip internal and external rotation may all need attention.
Main Point: Toes need to point forward and should be in line with the knee and hip.
Problem: Over-striding (plant foot too far in from of the body)
Correction: Explain that the athlete needs to keep a tighter knee bend as the knee drives during each swing phase.
Main Point: During acceleration (first 10-20) yards the foot should strike the ground slightly behind the body. After the first 10-20 yards, the foot will strike slightly in front of the body.
Problem: Under-striding (short, choppy steps)
Correction: Cue the athlete to increase the distance between their thighs on each stride. Likely needs to improve hip flexor flexibility.
Main Point: Stride length comes from by pushing off the ground harder and fully extending hip, knee, and ankle and driving the forward knee to high knee position.
Problem: Landing on Heels (many larger athletes have a hard time with this)
Correction: Make the athletes aware of the issue. Coach athlete on proper foot strike through high knees drills, wall drills, etc.
Main Point: The heel will almost make contact with the ground, but athletes should be coached to stay on the ball of the foot because no weight should be taken by the heel.
Problem: Ankle Plantar Flexed (pointed down, leads to over-striding)
Correction: Coach the athlete to pull the toes to the knees. Coach the athlete to barely keep the heel from hitting the ground. Practice with high knees, butt kicks, wall drills.
Main Point: When foot strikes the ground, the ankle needs to be dorsiflexed (pointed up) in order to deliver a high force into the ground.
True Athlete Performance will be hosting a Linear Speed Clinic Series for $59!
We breakdown the fundamentals of sprinting including proper posture, proper mechanics, and proper rhythm.
Hagerstown, Md – Sundays, May 19th and 26th
Frederick, Md – Mondays, May 20th and June 3rd
Chantilly, Va – Sundays, May 19th and June 2nd
Click Here to Learn More and Reserve Your Spot in the Linear Speed Clinic Series!
If your sport season is coming to a close, it can be tempting to attack the weight room with new enthusiasm. But while you may be itching to hit the ground running, it’s important to take some time for to reflect, rest and recover before you look toward next season. Here are three quick tips to help you re-charge after your season.
Preparation and performance can be categorized in 3 areas:
No matter how good you are in a sport, you can always get better and improve. Few athletes actually take the time to assess, critique, and formulate strategies to improve in an honest and purposful manner.
Try this short exercise…
When answering the following questions, be as specific and detailed as possible in relation to the physical, fundamental, and mental aspects of your preparation and performance.
What aspects of your performance were you pleased with last season?
What aspects of your performance were you NOT pleased with last season?
What is your assessment of your daily preparation during the past season?
How can your preparation improve?
How have you matured as a person and as an athlete since last season?
REST and RECOVER
After the season your body needs a break. There will be plenty of time to train for your next season, and the best way to start preparing now is to give your body enough time to fully recover. Take two weeks off of high-intensity activity and address any injuries.
This rest period includes all structured high-intensity activity—no strength training and no workouts or pick-up games.
Whenever we don’t want to do something like exercising we tend to think of creative excuses to get ourselves out of it. Excuses serve a simple purpose: to relieve some of the guilt associated with not doing whatever it was we said we were going to do.
Ultimately though, these excuses start to add up and disempower and diminish our lives. If you really want to do something, you will make time for it instead of making excuses.
Here are seven of the most common and disempowering excuses that people give for not joining our adult fitness program. Let’s look at each of them and how to overcome them one by one.
1. I am not fit enough.
This is probably the biggest fear of most who are considering joining a new program. Lucky for you, True AP’s Adult Fitness Program is geared for all fitness levels from beginner to advanced. We welcome all ages and all fitness abilities – our youngest current participant is in their 20’s and our oldest is in their 60’s! Our coaches are there to work with all fitness levels and will have modifications and advancements of every exercise. You can work as hard or as easy as you want…it’s your workout! But, we promise we will push you to your limits!
2. I cannot afford it.
Our classes are extremely affordable as our pricing breaks down to $5-$8 per session! Realize, you are working with a certified fitness professional in a personal / individualized setting. Every time you participate, you will get results & that’s why you train – TO GET RESULTS! The better question is… How much time and money have you wasted on fitness memberships, vitamins, supplements, books, and fitness products trying to achieve your fitness goals?
3. I will start next month.
The problem is, next month you will have the same excuse. Think about it…how many times have you ALREADY used that excuse? The longer you wait, the harder it becomes! FORM NEW HABITS TODAY!
4. I don’t have time.
Sorry but this is just another excuse, nothing more. We all have responsibilities, but there’s nothing more important to you and your family than your health. If the only time of the day to exercise is at 5am, then get up early and make it happen. It’s painful at first, but you’ll thank yourself afterwards and feel much better for the rest of the day. Our classes are 1 hour out of your 24 hour day and likely no more than 3 hours of your 168 hour week! You have time, you need to make time – it’s all about your PRIORITIES!
5. I don’t like running.
Great! We don’t like running either! In fact, we do very minimal running during class. Any running that we do is under 30 yards.
6. Exercise is hard work.
Ask any current participant how they feel before, during, and after each training session. My guess… Nervous. Challenged. Accomplished – in that exact order! BUT, just because you will be pushed harder than you can push yourself on your own, doesn’t mean it won’t be the most fun you’ve ever had working out! “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!”
7. I am a member of a gym.
Great! BUT our training program will get your more results in 1 month than you will get in 1 year on your own at the gym. You get a certified coach and individualized instruction every single time without the expensive cost. No gym can give this to you.
THE PRE-HOLIDAY SHRED starts on November 4th in Hagerstown, MD! Flip the script this year and lose fat when everybody else is getting sloppy and pounding Halloween candy 👻🎃.Click the direct link here: trueap.com/shred to signup and get ready to lose 5-8 lbs of fat before 🌽Thanksgiving.
Looking to go on a miraculous run through the playoffs with an average team?
Or are you trying to finally breakthrough and beat one of the elite programs in your sport?
Or are you top-seeded and wondering how your team will handle the pressure of expectations?
Here are five strategies to ensure that your team is motivated, fearless, and focused when it counts the most – the playoffs!
1. Stick to what got you there. Do what works for you. Don’t feel like you need to change up your whole routine and game plan. Stick to what works for you and trust it to work again during the playoffs. Stay consistent with your routine. Remember that consistent preparation leads to consistent performance.
2. Execute the small things. Don’t beat yourself. Championship teams are usually the ones who consistently do all the small things necessary to win. Focus your team on the top 3-5 battles you need to control to win the overall war. By focusing on and taking care of these small things, you force your opponents to beat you and often avoid beating yourself.
3. Know how to quickly refocus teammates.
Coaches and captains must know how to quickly and effectively refocus teammates when they are down, distracted, aggravated, or scared. You can’t allow people to go into the tank when you need their focus, confidence, and performance. It’s the ability to keep their team’s competing play after play, rather than succumbing to the inevitable adversity, distractions, and hassles of competition, that determines the outcome of many games.
4. Compete aggressively. Take it to people, dictate the tempo… Go out and play the game with passion and vigor. Often it is the individual and team that is the most aggressive that comes out on top.
5. Become a team of DESTINY Many of the teams that I have been fortunate to witness win championships felt they were destined to do so. No matter what situation they found themselves in, whether they were down with little time left, had a tough injury to a key player, or weren’t getting the appropriate calls, they somehow felt that it was never enough to deter them from reaching their ultimate goal. They persisted on and trusted the process that it was all meant to be. Give your team every reason to feel they are destined for success. Assuming you have paid the price of success, remind your team that the training, your practices, and the lessons you learned throughout the season have all prepared you for this moment in time.
One of the greatest compliments an athlete can get is the label “mentally tough.” Mental toughness isn’t a quality people are born with. Rather, mental toughness is a skill. Just like any other skill it can be learned.
Coaches and parents are in an ideal position to help young athletes develop a healthy philosophy about success and an ability to handle setbacks when they occur. By teaching mental toughness lessons to kids, adults can give them a priceless gift that will benefit them in many areas of everyday life.
Here are some specific attitudes that can be communicated to young athletes.
Creating Interest and Keeping It – I use a simple metaphor to build interest. I tell athletes to see sports participation like putting pennies in a piggy bank. Every time they show up to practice, that investment pays off with wins and success in the future. After students see their time as valuable, it is harder for them for them to quit or to give less than 100%. Your athlete will feel like they have invested so much, they will go the extra mile when the time comes to dig deep.
Model/Encourage Consistency – Show your athlete what it means to have a confident attitude by continuing to do what you say you are going to do. Your athletes will see you as a consistent force in their life. They will want to honor that commitment by upholding their end of the bargain. Your athlete will have the tools to avoid the pitfalls of modern life, as they model your ‘show up’ consistency. Your athlete will see you as a model to follow, a consistent hero.
Proper Goal Setting – Develop the Why – Setting goals with your athlete allows you to define where they want them to go. Without a clear destination, nobody gets where they want to go. Setting goals allows athletes to judge progress and arrive at a specific destination. Learning goal setting is a tool that carries them far beyond sports. What it would be like to congratulate your athlete for reaching their goals this season?
Expect and Prepare for and Dealing with Adversity – Learning to handle adversity is one of the key skills a human needs to learn. To become a high-achiever, athletes must learn to use tools for handling adversity. To be honest, achievement equates to adversity. True mental toughness comes from the ability to stay positive and on task at the worst of times. Teaching this to your athletes will be a part of your legacy as a parent or coach.
Process oriented not ends oriented – Accomplishing goals is about achieving tiny things over time. Athletes learn that it’s not all about winning. It’s more important to show up and over time you will win through the application of the process. Focusing on the process rather than focusing on results fosters maturity. Establish a system to deliver small victories on a regular basis. These steps lead to guaranteed achievement.
Having and keeping the right attitude – The athlete with the best approach to his attitude will win every game, even if he gets outscored. Attitude is the foundation of every aspect of sports from training to game-day. Teaching attitude comes before you teach a kid how to score. If your kid has a bad attitude, you don’t have a player, you have a problem. We do not win by accident. Attitude gives birth to victory. It is in those moments where we have to dig into some untapped well of strength that we cross the line between student and champion.
Mental toughness is a skill, and any skill can be learned. Ultimately, mental toughness is built through habits, just like any other skill. The habits of consistency and positive attitudes produces mental toughness. Habit is built through the choices we make daily. Mental toughness is a choice. You have to consciously choose to persist until the choice to persist becomes a habit.
While the fundamentals of the game haven’t changed, the way basketball players at all levels train to enhance performance has changed greatly in the past 15 years. The game today requires truebasketball athleticism – a unique combination of strength, power, agility, reaction, quickness, and conditioning.
A basketball player’s athleticism is the foundation of their entire game.
If a player can improve their strength, power, agility, reaction, quickness, and conditioning, then they can perform the skills of ball handling, passing, shooting, rebounding, and defending at a much higher, more efficient level before fatigue sets in.
While it’s true not all players have the genetic potential to be as athletic as Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Every basketball player can make improvements to their athleticism. Keep in mind, basketball athleticism is not just sprinting fast, jumping high or dunking.
With proper and purposeful training, players can make impressive improvements in their hand/eye coordination, footwork, acceleration/deceleration, reaction, strength, mobility, and conditioning level.
Check out this video:
Just as a player’s athleticism is the foundation of their game, the pre-season is the foundation for the upcoming season. What players do from the start of the school year until the day of the first practice will determine the type of season they have.
Your pre-season workouts need to address basketball athleticism and prepare players for the actual demands of the game! As simple as that may sound, many pre-season training programs lack this crucial component.
There are 3 important purposes for pre-season training:
Reduce the frequency and severity of injuries
Improve performance on the court
Have fun and build team unity
If any exercise, drill or concept you use this pre-season doesn’t meet at least one of these three… then it is a major waste of time.
There are 6 primary movements in basketball:
Jumping (and landing)
Boston Sports Medicine Performance Group broke down a basketball game and observed the following:
Average player’s heart rate: 165-170 beats per minute
High-intensity sprints occur every 20-30 seconds
100-plus high intensity sprints per game
40-50 maximal jumps per game
Change in movement every 2-3 seconds
30% of time is spent defensive sliding
15% of time is in high intensity
As you can see, basketball is game of quick, explosive bursts of multi-directional movements with short bouts of rest. In order for your pre-season workouts to be truly purposeful, they need to prepare players for these very specific demands.
Do you need help designing or implementing your basketball team’s pre-season workouts? The staff at True Athlete Performance brings a wealth of valuable experience after years of extensive work with youth, high school, and college players.
Our passion, enthusiasm, and innovative training techniques make us some of the areas leading experts on productive training for basketball players. We hope you consider the work we’ve done, the programs we’ve developed and the teams we have helped!
Knowing how to warm up effectively can be the difference between your players surviving the preseason and thriving in the regular season or your players stumbling through the season due to preventable injury.
Traditional warmups take athletes through a series of static stretches. There’s value in traditional stretch-and-hold, or “static” stretching if done properly and done after a workout. However, static stretching routines performed before exercise increase flexibility only for a short time. There is little scientific evidence that such routines improve performance, reduce delayed-onset muscular soreness (DOMS), or prevent injuries.
The main purpose of warming up is to prepare your body for the upcoming movement. At TrueAP, we progress through a “Movement Prep” process of activating or “waking” the muscles, dynamically stretching them, and then exciting them so it is easier to call on these muscles when needed. As opposed to a traditional warmup, Movement Prep actually makes you stronger and produces long-term flexibility gains. You actively elongate your muscles in a series of movements, which can improve balance, mobility, and stability. Think of it as warming up with a purpose.
Movement Prep increases heart rate, core temperature, and blood flow to working muscles. By strengthening muscles in this new range of motion, you stabilize all the tiny muscles that hold the joints together. That will improve posture and performance and decrease potential for injury. Just doing Movement Prep alone can make your body stronger and more stable, and can also help increase speed and power output. Performing Movement Prep will allow you to keep pushing your body to the level needed while reducing the risk of injury.
There’s a drill that takes just six seconds to perform, but yields significant speed, power and agility benefits. This high-speed exercise is called “rapid response” because you’ll move faster than ever before in your training.
Want to improve quickness on the field? Rapid response. Want to make sharper cuts on the court? Rapid response. Here’s why: Quickness isn’t just about how big and strong your muscles are, but how efficiently your brain can communicate with your body. Rapid response drills challenge both your muscular system and nervous system to function in tandem and with precision, allowing you to move faster and under control.
An example of “rapid response” is quickly moving your feet back and forth over a line. It lasts all of about six seconds, but improves footwork, coordination, and quickness. You’ll also become more skilled at disassociating one foot from the other while maintaining proper posture. On the field, disassociation will help you make sharper cuts and juke past your opponents. Off the field, you’ll move better, and with more coordination, in any activity.
Since “rapid response” drills prepare your brain and body for activity, they’re best performed towards the end of your dynamic warm-up (a.k.a. Movement Prep), either before a training session, practice, or game. And because they’re so fast, you don’t need to worry about them wearing you out.
Try the sample routine below as part of your Movement Prep. Perform each drill for 6 seconds, putting forth maximal effort. Rest for about 30 seconds, and then repeat before moving onto the next exercise.