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Tag Archives: deliberate practice

  • Any Moron Can Make You Sore - by Randy Sullivan, MPT, CSCS

    “Man! My trainer crushed me today! My legs are toast! I’m gonna be sore tomorrow for sure! That was a great workout!”

    I hear it all the time, and it’s a common flaw in thinking and in training.

     

    Any moron can make you sore.

    All we need to do to make you sore is to require you to something different than what your body is used to. Or, we can take you to muscle fatigue outside the ATP/CP system, entering the glycolytic system that kicks out lactic acid as a byproduct, and you will be sore…

    One problem…

    Sore does not equal good!

    Let’s start this discussion by asking the simple question, “What is the purpose of the weight room?”

    Answer:

    TO MAKE YOU PLAY BETTER… PERIOD!

    If the training doesn’t transfer to improved performance, it is nothing more than a circus act or a parlor trick.

    Many strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers, and coaches claim to have workouts and exercises that transfer strength and power training to improved on-the-field performance. Often they provide anecdotal evidence or testimonials about player X who “added 20 lbs of muscle in the off-season” and then had a great year.

    However, as Dr. Frans Bosch points out, there are no good studies available that clearly demonstrate the transfer of classical
    strength training to improved performance. That’s understandable. Such a study would be very difficult if not impossible to perform, and I don’t know how one would begin to measure or quantify the contribution of strength training to overall performance.

    Over the last 12 months as I’ve studied for my Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist exam, a flurry of ideas on training have bombarded my brain. Let me start by saying, I don’t have all the answers and I know I never will. But, I recently finished reading Dr. Bosch’s book Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach (for the third time) and now a few important, formerly hazy points have come into clear view.

    One thing I am sure of is that simply grinding through the same workouts or crushing heavier and heavier weights will not get it done. Bigger and stronger won’t necessarily make you throw harder. It’s far more complicated than that.

    Social media has been abuzz with videos of Aroldis Chapman crushing it in the weight room. People are marveling at the intensity of his high load workouts. The inference is, “Lift heavy things and you’ll throw harder.”

    Well, as long as we’re talking anecdotes with no scientific backing, let me share something with you. At the beginning of spring training this year two 10-year high level major leaguers came into The Ranch for their preseason evaluations. Both guys have thrown fastballs in MLB games greater than 100 mph.

    When they removed their shirts for the precursory scapular evaluation, it became clear that they were in incredible shape… if
    you consider “pear” a shape.

    Many other upper 90s guys, one very popular on the internet, don’t have rocked up bodies either.

    My point is this: for every sculpted Adonis, Calvin Kline model-looking MLB flamethrower, there are a dozen or more guys with bad bodies who do just fine. So, is the work in the weight room really responsible for their success?

    Maybe…

    but maybe not.

    For starters we have to understand how a dynamic system learns/adapts. According to Dr. Bosch, “Dynamic systems must be panicked into adaptation. The human body is not interested in what it knows or with what is familiar. It only wants what is new or different from the norm.” So, if you just keep hammering the same exercises and adding load, it won’t be long until your body will begin to accommodate to the stress and no further adaptation will occur.

    Furthermore, if your workout rep scheme consists of 8-12 reps to muscle fatigue, your muscles will hypertrophy (they’ll get
    bigger), and that isn’t always a good thing. Even if you’re able to maintain your mobility while you add mass, every time you create hypertrophy, you change the orientation of your muscle fibers, and that requires a new motor program to control it. For all the anthropology majors out there, that means if you jack up your bi’s and tri’s and kill a lot of bench press, you’re going to have to learn a new throwing pattern. Sure, you might be able to pull it off… or it might have significant negative consequences.

    Let’s say you’re not working for hypertrophy, but instead you’re pounding out pure, unbridled strength. If you’re in the gym doing dead lifts and squats at less than 5 reps per exercise and close to your 1 or 3-rep max, you’re working in the strength zone. But, the problem with lifts like that can be found in a concept known as rate of force development (RFD). When you perform a slow, heavy lift you reach your maximum force production at about 2 seconds into the movement. Compare that to a pitch that from start to finish which takes about 1-1.5 seconds, and you’re training your body to be about ½ second late.

    Some would argue that Olympic lifts like power cleans, high pulls and snatches would solve the RFD problem. Athletes
    performing these lifts do reach their maximum force development within the time demands of a pitch, but in my opinion, they are not similar enough to the throwing movement to produce the intended adaptation.

    What we’re talking about here is an exercise and therapy tenet known as the SAID principle. That’s an acronym for a “Specific Adaption To An Imposed Demand.” Your body will adapt specifically and predictably to the exact demands you place on it. It has to. It has no choice, because human tissue has no free will. It cannot decide not to participate. It must respond to the stresses we force it to endure. That means you had better be sure the stresses you are placing on your tissue are specific to the activity you are trying to improve. And, if you closely examine classical strength training, most programs fall woefully short in  many ways.

    According to Dr. Bosch, there are some huge flaws in the current approach to training as it relates to transfer and specificity. “Strength training,” he says, “should be coordination training with resistance.” Strength training must be specific to the motor control and coordination demands of throwing.

    That sounds like the only appropriate training for a throwing athlete is… throwing.

    But, you can’t just stand and throw 5 oz baseballs at 60’ 6” all day. That would indeed be specific, but the more specific an activity becomes, the less you will be able to shock the body into adaptation by adding load. Obviously, one can’t imagine standing on the mound and hurling 20 lb dumbbells, but it goes deeper than that. Clearly that would not be safe. However, throwing only 5 oz baseballs off the mound, avoiding variable weighted balls or not changing the distances of throws (as in long toss) might even have dire negative consequences.

    Let me explain.

    When it comes to coordination and specificity, you have to remember that the unicorn known as a “repeatable delivery” does not exist. You cannot repeat your mechanics. As early as the 1920’s, Dr. Nikolai Bernstein, the father of motor learning, and the guy who coined the term “biomechanics,” proved it with his famous Blacksmith Experiment. He took some of Russia’s greatest blacksmith, fitted them with lights at key places on their arms (the first wearable biomarkers) and used serial photography and motion pictures to track the path of their arms as they performed the singular task of pounding a nail into a log. Remarkably, none of the subjects in the study were able to repeat their arm path on any of the trials.

    Similarly, every throw you make will result in a subtle deviation or error. You will not be able to make the exact same throw twice. Instead of searching for a repeatable delivery, you should be working on becoming a world class, real time, in flight adjuster to all the errors you make. To do that you must practice making the adjustment and you must do so subconsciously. There is not enough time for the neuromuscular system to make any meaningful adjustments to a throw by way of a cognitive or conscious input. You must use variable stimulus to train that adjustment.

    That brings us to a perplexing training problem. You have to load the system to elicit an adaptation and at the same time you have to make that load specific to the throwing movement. But, specificity and load are often opposed. The more you load an activity, the less specific it becomes.

    To solve this problem we must investigate the nature of specificity. As Dr. Bosch admits, “There is no proper research or summation as to how the specificity matrix is structured, only a set of vague assumptions.” In his book, Dr. Bosch asks us to consider five categories of specificity when making training exercises similar to the targeted movement.

    1. Similarity in muscular coordination. He breaks this down into:
      • intramuscular coordination – the activity must target the muscle or muscles needed to perform the movement and
      • intermuscular coordination – it must simulate the required cooperation (timing and synergy) between recruited muscles.
    2. Similarity in outer structure of the movement. That is, similar excursion of the joints (planes of movement).
    3. Similarity in energy production. For example, long distance running requires a different energy system than throwing a baseball (see my previous blog called “Why We Don’t Run Long Distances”).
    4. Similarity in sensory pattern (as it relates to environmental stimulus and/or internal proprioception). An example of this would be flat ground versus mound throwing.
    5. Similarity in the intention of the movement. Training done at 100% intent will require a vastly different coordination pattern than ½ speed or slow motion drills.

    Specificity and load characteristics can be divided into 3 categories:

    Type 1: High specificity, low/no load

    Type 2: Moderate specificity, moderate load

    Type 3: Low specificity, heavy load

    For a training program to be effective it must include exercise doses that span the spectrum of the specificity/load continuum.

    Based on our experience at The  Florida Baseball Ranch we recommend the following ratios:

    15% Type 1: high specificity, no/low load

    70% Type 2: moderate specificity, moderate load

    15% Type 3: low specificity, heavy load

    Type 1 exercises: Some examples of Type 1 exercises would include bullpens, live batting practice, weighted ballS, wrist weights, long toss, elastic bands and the Durathro Training Sock. These are all highly specific to the throwing motion, but the load and variability are low.

    Type 2 exercises would include many of the plyometric activities we use in our power building circuit training. These exercises use various implements like medicine balls, slam nets, plyo boxes etc., to add moderate resistance to exercises that offer moderate similarity to the throwing movement. We program these workouts so they are specific to the ATP/CP energy system and we try to ensure that 80% of the time they are performed under one or more of the types of movements we call “the four pillars”. Our four pillars are the result of an in-house pseudo-study we did back in 2011-2013.

    When we opened our doors in 2009, we assembled a toolbox of over 500 different exercises using a wide array of apparatus. We worked hard within the ATP/CP system, but I knew that not all of the exercises were transferring to increased power on the mound. So, I hired a computer guy to design a customized software program we called our “training manager.” It allowed us to collect in real time, the number of reps per second our athletes could perform on each of the exercises. We used clips of 5, 8, 10
    and 12 seconds. After 2 ½ years we grouped the exercises into 6 categories: frontal (coronal) plane exercises (exercises moving from side- to-side), transverse plane exercises (exercises rotating around a vertical axis), sagittal plane exercises (exercises moving forward and backwards), diagonal plane exercises, exercises done predominantly on two legs (bilateral), and those done on one leg (unilateral).

    At the time of the study, we had 16 guys throwing 90 mph. We compared those 16 guys’ performances to those of a group of similar size, age, and experience who were throwing in the low to mid 80’s. When we analyzed our information, it became clear that the 90 mph guys were way better than the 80 mph guys at 4 types of exercises. They were better at frontal plane exercises, transverse plane exercises, diagonal plane exercises and exercises done on one leg. We named those types of exercises “The Fab Four Pillars.” The two groups showed no difference on exercises done in the sagittal plane or on exercises done on two legs.

    We could not draw any definitive conclusions from the research. There were too many variables we could not control. The primary lack of control was evident in the technique, during the performance of the exercises. While striving to break personal records on every trial, many of our athletes began cheating or shorting the range of motion excursion to achieve more and more reps.

    Even though we knew our investigation was not completely scientific, we decided to take action any way. After all, it seemed to make sense since pitching definitely involves a side-to-side plane, a rotational component, diagonal movement and the pitching movement is essentially a one-legged maneuver. We concluded our study in March of 2013 and reorganized our power workouts so that 80% of our exercises were performed in one or more of the 4 pillars. By August of that year we had seen an additional 42 pitchers eclipse the 90-mph threshold. The types of exercises we do in our power circuits are representative of moderate specificity and moderate load.

    Type 3 exercises are would include traditional lifts such as deadlifts and squats. Slow/heavy lifts are very low in specificity but very high in load.

    THIS IS NOT SPECIFIC

    No matter how you program your workload, all three types of exercises must be laced with some degree of specificity. When we are working on Type 3 exercises, we try to weave in some specificity by integrating movements in the 4 pillars. For example, instead of performing traditional deadlifts or bilateral squats, we employ single leg squats, Bulgarian split squats or single leg RDLs. Throwing a baseball is essentially a one-legged maneuver. You have to be able to control and accelerate your center of mass while moving down the mound on one leg. Then you must absorb the forces you create after you shift to a strong, stable front leg.

    Dr. Bosch, referencing his work with Olympic level high jumpers says, “I have a lot of experience with people who do a lot of double leg squatting and they’re very poor on one leg.”  This would imply that perhaps a heavy dose of double leg squats and dead lifts might have a negative transfer effect on throwers who must operate largely on one leg.

    You also need to introduce some degree of overload into the Type 1 exercises you employ. It’s important to note that “load” doesn’t necessarily have to mean adding weight or resistance. When it comes to stimulating adaptation, “load” can also mean variability. Variability alerts the system and elicits adaptations in coordination and motor control similar to the manner in which overload with heavy weights produces hypertrophy and strength gains.

    Variability can be achieved in one of 3 ways. 1) You can change the athlete. 2) You can change the task or 3) You can change the environment

    Changing The Athlete:

    In Dr. Bosch’s book he refers to fatigue-induced adaptation. As an example, you could have the athlete perform one arm biceps curls to fatigue, then have him throw. That seems a little sketchy to me from the standpoint of safety and I’m not yet ready to climb out on that limb. A more reasonable approach to variability within the athlete might be to have him throw in various states of overall fatigue. My high school basketball coach used to have us shoot free throws at various times during practice so we would learn to perform in different states of fatigue. Performing your conditioning prior to your throwing routine is a reasonable method for producing fatigue and for learning to throw with an elevated heart rate (which might simulate the psychological stresses of a competitive game).

    Changing The Task:

    This can be achieved in a variety of ways. Our series of graduated weighted balls alters the task between each throw. Long toss alters the task. The Durathro Training Sock alters the task, as do the wide array of drills we utilize to correct mechanical inefficiencies. Variability in drill work can be vital to the development of adjustability in a throwing athlete.

    Changing The Environment:

    At The Florida Baseball Ranch, we strive to constantly challenge the sensory and motor control demands on our athletes. We tilt mounds toward the glove side, away from the glove side, uphill and downhill. We throw off of flat ground and we throw off of BOSU balls. We perform a combination of running throws, stationary throws and mound pitches. Our purpose is to add as much variety (load) to the specific throwing movement as we can.

    One more note of importance about adding variability: Variability added by manipulating the athlete, the task or the environment must be treated just like adding resistance during classical strength training. Variability must be on-ramped and increased gradually. The idea is to alert the neuromuscular system with an ever-changing novel stimulus without overwhelming it.

    Attractors and Fluxuators:

    If you’re going to find most efficient and effective way to train, another extremely important concept to understand is the presence of what Dr. Bosch calls “Attractors and Fluxuators.” Understanding the difference can guide you toward workouts that emphasize the most stable parts of a movement while allowing freedom and adjustability to a variable environment.

    In all human movement there are an infinite number of ways to accomplish the same goal. In motor learning, researchers call this “degrees of freedom.” But, there are also a few characteristics of every movement that serve to stabilize the entire pattern. These are known as attractors.

    Bosch notes, “Attractors can be identified by searching for common movements, time pressures and at-risk positions.” All other components of the movement are known as “fluxuators.” Fluxuators are necessary to allow the athlete to adapt the movement to dynamic stimuli, such as environmental changes or movement deviations. For a movement to be as efficient as possible, the attractors must be stable and the number of fluxuators must be limited. Identifying the attractors must be the starting point for any movement analysis.

    Here’s my take on the attractors in pitching. I’m not completely settled on these, but hopefully this will be the foundation for further discussion.
    1) Inverted iron pyramid weight distribution at the peak of leg lift on the back leg with co-
    contraction of all the muscles around the back hip.

    2) Double crow hop depth of knee flexion on the back leg during the glute load — butt behind heel, knee not forward of toe indicating glute dominance, not quad dominance.

    3) Stable foot foot plan from above at weight bearing foot plant on lead leg. Lead foot lands from above (as opposed to sliding in) as a result of back hip rotation and lead hip extension prior to foot strike.

    4) Co-contraction around the knee at weight bearing foot plant of the lead leg (no forward leakage or lateral instability of the front leg).

    5) Arm at or near 90 degrees of abduction, elbow flexed 90 degrees or less with co-contraction of entire rotator cuff, and scapular musculature at final connection (weight bearing foot plant of lead leg).

    6) Late launch by way of proper hip/torso rotation at ball release.

    In my experience, all other disconnections are either coached into a pitcher’s delivery or they’re a compensatory move for instability in one of the attractors.

    Unfortunately, the current traditional coaching paradigm often fails to understand that if you get the attractors right, the fluxuators will usually minimize themselves. Trying to force unnatural compliance of the fluxuators into a mythical “ideal model” through verbal cuing or cognitive input goes against the natural flow of motor learning. Examples of fluctuators in the pitching movement would include: postural tilt, timing of hand break, and activity of lead leg while it’s in the air. Nothing corrupts a movement faster than training the fluxuators while ignoring the attractors.

    In the gym, our focus is to force co-contraction of musculature around the attractors. How do we do that? By adding instability/variability. When attractors are faced with perturbations or instability, they automatically go into cocontraction, allowing the fluxuators to adjust to the environment and accomplish the task.

    Aqua bags, Khaos balls, plates dangling from elastic bands with a bar across upper traps are great tools for adding variability (load)  and forcing co-contraction of atttractors. Adding these to task specific exercises like single leg RDLs, Bulgarian split squats, pistol squats and other innovative exercises in the frontal, transverse and diagonal planes, can improve both load and specificity.

    The FBR Summer Training Program will adhere to the principles set forth in this article. We’ll be collecting data on the performance of all students. We can’t wait to share the results with you.

    For more information about our world class summer training program, CLICK HERE. If you’re interested in joining us for 2-10 weeks of life-changing work, call us at 866-787-4533 before April 22nd and receive a huge discount.

    Last summer, Jordan Conti from Gaenton, Michigan spent a couple of weeks with us. Here’s how it worked out for him.

    “I came to the ranch in August for two weeks, best decision of my baseball life thus far. (jumped from 83-89 off the mound with no arm pain)!!!

    Add rocket level velo, improve your secondary stuff, turbo-boost your command and eliminate your arm pain!

    We’ll see you at the Ranch!

    Randy Sullivan, MPT, CSCS

     

     

     

     

     

     

    References:

    1. Bosch F, Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach, 2010 Publishers, 2015.
    2. Boone, Jerry. 2016. Coach Your Best Podcast. Strength Training and Coordination pt 1,2,3. www.athletebydesign.com/bosch
    3. Burke,Robby.2016/Podcast All Things Strength and Wellness. Episode 100:Interview with Frans Bosch – Strength Training and Coordination. www.upmentorship.com

     

  • Can Command be Learned in Season? BY: Gunnar Thompson, NASM-CPT, PES, CPPS

     

    The coach looks down the list of pitchers he has available on his roster. He has to make a choice on who starts, who comes in relief, who closes, and who sits on the bench. The majority of the time the coach is going to select his harder throwers. He may decide to pick a few guys who have deception in their delivery like the old Dontrelle Willis or Chris Sale. He also may choose a couple lefties, if any are available, because there just aren't that many of them out there. But the coach will ALWAYS have to pick someone with command. Before we get into a debate about command and what that word means, my simplified definition for the purpose of this post is the ability to throw strikes and to not walk multiple batters in a row. Notice, I did not mention the ability to hit the glove on every single pitch, or the ability to throw off-speed pitches in the strike zone at will. The truth is that those abilities are not the norm and are typically the skill of an elite pitcher. But the bottom line is that a coach cannot allow runs to be scored without a chance of defending against them. Now some of the pitchers reading this post may have just felt their heart sink. You may be thinking that it is impossible to gain command in the middle of the season, and that you have no choice but to wait until the off-season to work on your command, but I can tell you from experience that it is possible.  Let me share with you how I approached control that I think can be of benefit to pitchers who are currently in season.

    The first approach to throwing strikes for me was to continue throwing at normal intensities. I found that every time I tried to slow things down and guide a pitch in to the catcher's mitt I would either get hit hard or the ball would be in the dirt. I found that throwing at my normal intensity was critical for throwing strikes and having my best stuff. I was a 100% max effort every throw kind of guy, and I am certain that I needed to throw that way to have better command.

    The next step in my progression was to play the “Giant Game of Darts."  This "game" was introduced to me by Ron Wolforth.  The premise is simple: if you missed low, aim higher next time. If you missed outside, aim further inside. Now this sounds like common sense, but I still see pitchers who aim for the same spot every time even though they continuously miss to the same spot each throw. As an athlete, you must make adjustments every single play. As pitchers, there must be adjustments made before the play starts. I cannot tell you how many times I would be missing high out of the strike zone, and I would have to aim in the dirt in order for it to be a strike. This may sound extreme, but it worked for me. One thing to keep in mind, the game of darts is ever changing. From batter to batter and inning to inning, it is crucial to know where you missed on the previous pitch, and make sure the next pitch is not a miss to the same location. To me, this is what makes the Advanced Command Trainer an invaluable tool because you can clearly see if you miss the target.

    The most commonly overlooked component with command is an athlete's breathing. Before I lose your attention, let me explain just how important breathing is. You take over 20,000 breaths in a single day. The majority of these are taken with poor posture and shallow chest inhalations. This means your body is already lacking oxygen and has an abundance of CO2 which changes the PH level in your body, making it more acidic. This change will not allow the body to perform at its best. During my certification of CPPS last year, we spent an entire day talking about the importance of breath and the correct manner in which to breathe and brace. Looking back at my playing career, I didn't give my breathing as much attention as I should have, and I believe this was a major contributing factor to my injuries and poor performance. If you are interested in learning to breathe properly, I highly recommend you spend approximately ten minutes to watch the video below. It is a game changer.

    Last, something that may surprise a lot of people is adaptive training or “Khaos Training” in season. I have written a series of blogs on the importance, implementation, and equipment needed to create an ever changing training environment for an athlete. The majority of people believe this is designated for the off-season, but I believe it is a necessary component in season as well. Obviously, the volume and workload of the training will be different in season versus out of season, but an athlete needs to keep forcing his body to adjust to new stimulus.  Training these constant adjustments is critical for having command of pitches during a game. Training should not end when the season begins. It should just change and become more specific and precise.

    In conclusion, the above are several things that I believe to be beneficial for increasing a pitcher's command in season. A pitcher must be able to throw strikes and not walk batters in order to benefit himself and his team. In the end, it is all about making adjustments. You must have the right mindset, intent, and training demands in order to succeed in making those adjustments. If you are struggling with command are you going to just throw your hands up in despair and wait for the off-season or are you going to make changes now that will help you and your team?

     

    Be unique and #BeELITE!

  • Are you evidence “based” or evidence “led” in your training? By: Gunnar Thompson, NASM-CPT, PES, CPPS

    Evidence and research can be a great thing. It is the basis for our never-ending quest for knowledge. But what if I told you relying on evidence and research could be harmful or even set you back in your training? I would venture to say most people would highly doubt such an opinion. After all, SCIENCE is ALWAYS RIGHT! I am not here to argue the validity of research, but I am here to ask if you need to be absolutely assured by scientific evidence that something is right before you place it into your training program? In my opinion, the answer to this question is no, not really. Let me explain.

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  • Athletes' Performance Pyramid

    Having on-the-field success is the ultimate goal for all athletes. But how is that achieved? The vast majority of people focus on (1) sport specific training and/or (2) athletic abilities, such as strength and speed. Yet, there are more factors that contribute to success than just those two. We all know people with tremendous physical abilities that never achieve success on the field. I think the following graphic is a great example of the building block components that make up a successful athletic performance.

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  • Throwing Weighted Dogs Can Increase Velocity! Wait… What? - by Randy Sullivan

    Seems the rage these days is about these new weighted ball things and how they increase velocity.

    Funny…

    When we started using weighted balls as part of our process in 2009, in my community you
    would have thought I was Jack the Ripper! Naysayers unfairly blasted me privately, and publicly to the point that I finally gave in and stopped using them for a few months.

    I soon came to the realization that critics will be critics and accepting their slings and arrows is simply the price I must pay for the privilege of working with all the fine young men in my care.

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  • How to Implement Khaos Training in Your Program By: Gunnar Thompson, NASM-CPT, PES

    By now you know that unpredictable training is the missing link in the majority of performance training programs, and you know some of the tools that can help you train using this potent method which will result in a greater transfer to on the field performance. If you have not read the first and second part in this series of blogs about “Khaos Training,” I recommend you start with those first ("Khaos" Training Old But Becoming New Again, and "Khaotic Equipment" - Unpredictable Training Equipment, Part Two). For those that have read these blogs, it has probably left a question in your mind: “How can I implement this into my programs?”  These are the questions that I will answer in this post.

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  • Denial is NOT a River in Egypt - by Ron Wolforth

    I wish I had a dime for every young athlete who complained to me about working hard and yet… is underachieving in some way… velocity, command, pain/recovery/durability, and/or consistency, etc.

    They are frustrated. They are discouraged. They are sad. They are melancholy. They are despondent. They are at their wits end.

    Coach Gary Ward referred to it as the ‘ain’t it awful’ mindset.

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  • "Khaotic Equipment" - Unpredictable Training Equipment Part Two, by Gunnar Thompson

    “Khaos Training,” or unpredictable training, is a key component that is often missing when developing a training program for athletes. The demand for players to adapt and make adjustments in their sport is critical for success. It is really easy for coaches to say “make an adjustment,” but the words are meaningless unless athletes have trained to thrive in a chaotic environment.

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  • A Different Type of Core Exercise

    Every athlete has experience with core exercises. We have all sat on a dirty gym floor and hammered out abdominal crunches. But have you ever thought about the usefulness of those crunches? I sure hope so (hint: they are worthless). In fact, studies show they don’t even help burn off fat, but I digress.

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  • Why Do Plateaus Occur?- Part II by Ron Wolforth

    A reminder of key points of Part I:

    • 1) Plateaus are natural parts of EVERYONE's growth.
    • 2) Very frequently I see solid and steady incremental growth being categorized and labeled by athletes and parents as 'disappointing' and 'discouraging' simply because the gains were 'so small'.
    • 3) To truly be exceptional you must first learn to become discouragement proof... or at the very least... discouragement resistant.
    • 4) At the Ranch we say... “To become great, you first must learn to enjoy the plateaus.”

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