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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ok so we are going to fire the coach?

Nate Lewis US Sports Network

I just want to get the rhetoric straight. Your head football coach at your school winning 19 out of the last 21 league championships, averaging 10 plus D-1 scholarship offers to your athletes (some of them your sons); unprecedented in High School sports. Instrumental in helping boys become decent young men for over 3 decades is now expendable?

If you follow High School football here in the Washington D.C. area, you probably know that I am talking about DeMatha Catholic High School football. They (the Stags) suffered their worst loss as a program in the 2010 WCAC championship this past Sunday to the Good Counsel Falcons 42-3. Hats of to the Falcons for playing the far better game, and to legendary coach Bob Milloy for having that team ready to play the better game than the Stags.

Coach McGregorWhen it was evident that Our Lady Of Good Counsel High School was going to win their second straight championship; reportedly some players' parents and others were overheard rumbling about firing coach McGregor and his staff as if the game has passed him by.

Granted as the radio play-by-play 'mouth' of the Stags I could be a little biased. Getting to know Coach McGregor personally I could take offense to such rumblings. I also know however not to make business decisions and judgments based on emotion. Emotions can be unreliable if they do not line up with the will of the creator. 'Dats how mah Mama and Dadda taht me.' So let me bore you a little with the facts:

6 undefeated teams
16 full NCAA Division I scholarships 1990 (most in the USA)
2001- 14 Division IA or IAA full football scholarships awarded to seniors
2004- 18 Division IA or IAA full football scholarships awarded to seniors
Over 320 players awarded full NCAA Division I scholarships
11 time WCAC Coach Of The Year
1982 Prince Georges County Coach of The Year
1987 “Big 33” Head Coach-Maryland vs. Pennsylvania
2000- Super 44 Head Coach-Maryland vs. Virginia
2001 Pigskin Club Coach of the Year
2003 Washington Post All-Met Coach of the Year
2003 Maryland State Coach of The Year
2004 Washington Redskins High School Coach of The Week
2005 Washington Redskins High School Coach of The Week
2004 NFL National High School Coach of The Year
2004 Gerald R. Ford High School Coach of The Year

This is just a partial list.

To make a long story short you, me, fans, parents, supporters, boosters, and casual observers are straight up, spoon in mouth, soiled diaper spoiled!

It is one thing to expect excellence. We should all strive for it. We however never reach perfection so we settle for constant improvement. You can say going from winning 17 out of the last 20 WCAC championships to coming up short in the last two is a step back. Maybe maybe not.
I would just pose the scenario to St. John's, Carroll, Paul VI and many of the 38,000 or so high schools in the Continental U.S. I would expect they would love the chance to lose the WCAC championship in true 'Buffalo Bills' or 'Minnesota Vikings' fashion.

It's evident in today's society that we don't enjoy the ride. If the path to consistent success was always smooth then we would all be Billionaires (I get closer everyday insert smile and wink here). I'm no mind reader, but I would guess that coach McGregor and his staff relish this opportunity to overcome this championship drought if you want to call it that.

Football people, I have come to learn, love being behind with the game on the line. That is where you truly find out what you are or are not made of. Can't we find some fun in that? Isn't this just the kind of adversity that will make next season that much more enjoyable? Or am I just weird in not seeking instant gratification, championships every year that come like Thanksgiving heartburn, and 'ho-hum on to Basketball.'

So unless you are not getting my point here no I don't think that Bill McGregor and his staff should lose their jobs, much less be sent to the principal's office or any slap on the hand. You are certainly welcome to have your opinion. That is what soldiers like his former player and Afghan war vet (The late Brendan Looney) fought and continue to fight for.

So here's to another 30 years coach. If you are willing to put up with the occasional grumblings.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Don't be so fast to blame Albert Haynesworth's trainer...

I almost wish his name wasn't out there. But with the 24 hour newscycle, it would have been hard to hide.

Ok you all know the story by now 'Big Al' flunked 3 tries at a standard NFL conditioning test. Albeit trumped up by Mike 'The new Boss not same as the old boss' Shanahan.

That being said he should have been ready and his trainer Tripp Smith has to take some of the responsibility.

It is easy in this business to 'playuh hate' and pile on calling Tripp a 'fraud' however I leave the hate for the '4 letter network' geekaloids of the world.

From the descriptions of his workout regime in a phone interview, it sounded like a pretty solid plan. Boxing style conditioning with a heavy bag and cardiovascular work of up to 45 minutes.

What we don't have, and this is where the teachable moments come in, are the specifics of the workout. That being said he must be ready by the time he got to camp. I supported the decision here on local TV to workout on his own with the proviso: 'It has got to work.'

What I mean by 'work' is that Albert had to be ready for any conditioning test that was to be thrown at him. Structuring the workouts is the responsibility of all of us strength and conditioning coaches. But there is one word that is paramount to the success of a strength and conditioning program or you trying to lose that spare tire on P90X: compliance.

That means that I can tell an athlete what to do in a workout, but it is up to him/her to not only follow my instruction, but to give it his/her all and put the level of intensity that will gurantee a desired result. We don't know how many time Albert possiby quit on a drill or durin exercise that Tripp skillfully planned. We do not know and never should know how many workouts he missed, blew off, or just flaked on.

And above all; all of you who are trying to denounce the credibility of Albert's long time trainer, better take a look at yourselves. I am talking specifically to my fellow trainers and strength coaches who know better than to judge these unfortunate results as an indictment of Tripp Smith's ability as a coach.

This conditioning test which consists of 6 shuttle-style sprints totalling 300 yards is not easy by the way. I would like to see many of you try it.

Even though none of us have the full story of why Albert Haynesworth was not ready and not completely in shape for camp; In this case of this conditioning drill, we may have a prime example of a non-compliant client.

So the lesson to be learned here boys and girls is do what your trainer or coaches tell you to do. It could start with something as simple as ...Oh I don't know showing up to off-season workouts?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just a 'quickie' to dot the ''i's" and cross your 't's' athletes

It is that time of year where you and many like you are 'stacking, speeding, turboing,' with supplementation. Just be sure to check the NCAA Banned Substances list before using any supplement.

That goes for your preps and pros too. Chances are if it is on this list, then it is probably on your governing body's too.
Go with a reputable company or store when you are ready to buy your totally 'legal' stack. Where can I find them? you say? ooooh here a couple: Logo
GNC / General Nutrition Centers

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why Nutrition And Exercise Are The Secret To A Longer And Better Life!

Modern humanity has become more physically inactive than any of its predecessors... With the advent of convenience technologies and packaged food, humanity has begun to suffer. Find out how important nutrition and exercise really are!

Article Summary:
  • The appearance benefits of exercise are obvious but there are many other benefits too.
  • The benefits of exercise are so much better when coupled with a nutritious diet.
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle is not that simple it will take a great deal of discipline.

  • Why Nutrition And Exercise Are The Secret To A Longer And Better Life!

    "Take exercise: for whilst inaction weakens the body, work strengthens it; the former brings on premature old age, the latter prolongs youth." -Cornelius Celsus (ca.10-60)

    Exercise as it exists today is presented predominantly in advertisements as a way to look younger and more attractive. It is presented on the covers of magazines promising a smaller waist, and by celebrity fitness instructors on television guaranteeing a more attractive body in a few weeks or your money back.

    Many view an exercise routine as a luxury that enables celebrities to look good, and long for shortcuts in the form of miracle diet pills and plastic surgery to obtain this youthful luster without all the hard work and occupation of what already seem to be busy schedules.

    At the same time, modern medicine constantly pushes the boundaries of science to stave off chronic diseases and increase the lifespan and well-being of the population. What every modern person seems to crave is an attractive body, youthfulness and vigor, and a longer, better life. On closer inspection, this makes sense.

    Modern humanity has become more physically inactive than any of its predecessors have ever been. With the advent of convenience technologies and packaged food, humanity has begun to suffer a degeneration that has produced this dissatisfaction with appearance, widespread chronic disease, and lack of youthfulness and vigor.

    The answer to these problems, however, is very simple. Though exercise is marketed today as a means of improving appearance, it has always been much more than this. More important than any shedding of inches it might bring about, exercise is the most effective way to increase life-span and improve quality of life. (More).....

    Get Your Customized Exercise and Nutrition Plan Click Here

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Cool News! Getting Educators Fit!

    ...From the Washington Examiner...

    Helping teachers get healthy

    06/11/10 12:34 PM EDT

    Washington area teachers could soon be learning a thing or two in free fitness classes.

    Falls Church-based SponsorFit is partnering with corporate sponsors to provide free exercise programs to educators in the region. Participating schools will be paired with sponsorships from community businesses, and certified instructors will visit twice schools twice a week to offer fitness classes to teachers.

    “Our short-term goal is to start locally with a focused group of individuals, the teachers, who can learn and deliver a healthy message to students so we can begin constructing a healthier future,” said SponsorFit’s Ray Middlelthon.

    A recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association said that roughly 1 in 3 Americans are overweight or obese. More about Sponsorfit here:

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Climb The Agility Ladder For 'Cat Like' Change Of Direction

    Watching these amazing athletes that are soccer players during the first day of the World Cup, I can't help but think: "The way they are able to go full speed and stop on a dime, they must do agility ladder drills like it's second nature." Well having trained many a soccer player at many a level I already knew that to be true.

    The agility ladder drills can be applied to many sports and the routines can vary. Even though a good 30-60 second routine can be tough and taxing, there is an element of fun that can be incorporated. Really even though I have heard many a theory the agility ladder has its roots in the kids game hopscotch. Incorporate some jumps, hops, spins, and even sprints into your routine to mimic the action that you will using it for. The agility ladder, rings or even a square drawn out on the street with chalk, should be a staple of your speed, agility, and quickness workout.

    Which finally brings me to tonight's sample from the US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning System:
    #1831 Zigzag in ladder
    Speed and Agility (ladder)
    Exercise Description:
    Zigzag in Ladder
    Speed and Agility (ladder)
    1. Start by standing with the Ladder to your right and cross over with your left foot into the first square.
    2. Step with your right foot behind your left foot so that it lands into the first square.
    3. Then step back out of the Ladder with your left foot to land outside the second square.
    4. Repeat according to the desired repetitions.
    Get Your Customized Strength and Conditioning program from the US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning System. Click Here To Get Started FREE

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    A Nutritional Supplement is Just That. To Supplement Your Good Eating Habits


    When using a thermogenic product (such as Ripped Fuel, Hydroxycut, EPH 833, etc.) to stimulate fat loss, be sure to take in sufficient amounts of protein at least 20 grams every 3 hours to prevent your body from cannibalizing muscle tissue. The easiest, most effective way to do this is with a low-fat protein powder or MRP.

    If you frequently experience painful muscle cramps during or after your training, then you should try taking 1 or 2 grams of the amino acid taurine approximately 2 hours prior to training it has powerful and proven anti-cramping properties.

    As far as thermogenics or so-called fat-burners are concerned, ephedrine is still the king of the hill, but when you're deciding on your weightloss supplementation program don't overlook hydroxycitric acid (HCA).

    HCA is derived from the tamarind fruit and seems to work by inhibiting excess carbohydrates from being stored as bodyfat. MuscleTech's Hydroxycut is a popular product containing HCA.

    The chemistry of 19-norandrostenedione is telling. Basically, 19-norandrostenedione is structurally identical to a testosterone molecule right up the chain with two key exceptions: first, it is missing the hydrogen atom in the 17th position and second, it also lacks a carbon atom in the 19th position.

    What happens is that when the liver processes the norandrostenedione molecule it adds a hydrogen atom in the 17th position. The liver, however, has no mechanism for adding the carbon atom in the 19th position.

    What results is virtually a testosterone molecule missing the carbon atom. This molecule has the anabolic properties of testosterone (it may in fact have 2 or 3 times the anabolic effect of testosterone) without the level of androgenic side effects typically seen with extended testosterone use.

    If you're looking to drop fat and get lean, you'll benefit from 3-5 cardiovascular training sessions per week. Ideally, each session should be 30-45 minutes in duration.

    For fat burning, it's actually more beneficial to train at a consistent level of intensity throughout the session rather than using some sort of interval training (as with some of the machines which stimulate a series of inclines and declines).

    It"s also crucial for you to do your cardio training on an empty stomach otherwise you'll simply be burning up glycogen stores (sugar rather than fat). First thing in the morning is the best time for cardio training. If this isn't possible, at least try not to eat for 3 or 4 hours prior to your cardio session that way you'll be primarily burning fat stores.

    Get you customized Nutrition and Meal Plan Now at US Sports Online Strength And Conditioning System

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Will Weightlifting Help or Harm My Future Superstar?

    One of may favorite subjects! Many a concerned parent wonder if heavy weight lifting for their preteen student-athlete is healthy and be a hindrance to their growth.

    Now that we are much better informed on the subject; the answer is that a safe, well planned, strength and conditioning program can implemented for any child at any age. Heck you can hand them a 4 gram Dumbbell as soon as your next 'Peyton Manning' exits the womb! Because Mom and Dad may be busy with such things as medical bills and cribs, might be a good idea to wait a while after the blessed event.

    Because unfortunately so many parents will opt to not have their youngster pump iron along with athletic skill training, the child that does incorporate weight lifting with speed, agility, and quickness will have a decided advantage when he/she hits the field in the fall.

    I have found the key with most children under the age of 15 is to make weight training fun while challenging. I can't emphasize enough though that the primary reason for weight training for sport is to reduce or eliminate the chance of injury. With that in mind the weight training has to be progressive. Conservative in the beginning, with a gradual increase in the overall weight lifted.

  • All strength-training activities should be supervised and monitored closely.
  • Remember that children are physiologically immature.
  • The primary focus, at least initially, should be directed at learning proper techniques for all exercise movements and developing an interest in resistance training.
  • Proper techniques should be demonstrated first, followed by gradual application of resistance or weight.
  • Proper breathing techniques (i.e., no breath holding) should be taught.
  • "

    Essentially weight training is no more dangerous than your child riding their bike. It is just as natural for them to swim, climb trees, and certainly more beneficial than video games.

    So get that future Heisman Trophy winner into the gym pronto!
    Here is today's feature exercise from the US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning System

    Saturday, June 5, 2010

    You're All Wet! (Hydrated that is)

    This is an issue thankfully that many organizations have taken seriously in the last 15 years.
    I still swap stories with some of my fellow 'Ole Heads' on how not only were not allowed to drink water during practice (football), but some genius thought it was a good idea to take salt pills during intense sport activity!

    Thank the creator those days are long gone. It is a forgone fact that the more active you are, the more fluids you need to take in. Let's get this straight: By fluids I mean water! Not some caffeine laced so call energy drink that gets you 'high' one minute and has you on an IV the next!

    Adequate Fluid Intake for for Athletes
    Because there is wide variability in sweat rates, losses and hydration levels of individuals, it is nearly impossible to provide specific recommendations or guidelines about the type or amount of fluids athletes should consume.

    Finding the right amount of fluid to drink depends upon a variety of individual factors including the length and intensity of exercise and other individual differences. There are, however, two simple methods of estimating adequate hydration:

    Monitoring urine volume output and color. A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are hydrated; dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.
    Weighing yourself before and after exercise. Any weight lost is likely from fluid, so try to drink enough to replenish those losses. Any weight gain could mean you are drinking more than you need.

    Hydration should be a significant part of your meal planning. Start pounding the water days before any exercise takes place. Your active muscle is always absorbing water, so 'whaddya' think? Maybe you should have a constant intake of water? Hmmmm.

    Get your customized strength and conditioning, nutrition, and hydration plan here

    Here is today's feature exercise from the US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning System:
    This one has many uses in sport. Great for basic balance, leg drive, and core strength for football and other sports.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    How Kobe Bryant Does it!

    Have to be careful here. Most of you who don't know better will assume this is another praise-crazy article about arguably the best basketball player in the game. Well I do have a lot of good things to say about Kobe, but let's focus on one aspect that many are learning throughout basketball and in the sports landscape in general: Kobe Bryant is one of the physically, brutally strongest athletes in the NBA!

    The scene is familiar. Kobe brings the ball down or gets it via a quick pop-pass from Derek Fisher on the wing near half-court. In that Triangle offense he dribbles at a 45% angle to the basket towards the top of the key steps right into the paint where he usually draws a double team. Steps back jumps into the air usually drawing contact from another strong professional athlete. Is somehow able to square his body up to the basket in the air to shoot over hands in his face and 'swish' another through and frustrate the opposition's otherwise good defensive efforts.

    This is outside of raw talent, and ability folks. Kobe has to work on his strength immensely to be able to consistently shoot over, under, around, and right into defenders.

    As it turns out Kobe is a real 'Meat-Head' (Once again that is the utmost in compliments in Gym lore in describing a professional athlete) this means that he has to take his weight training 'deadly serious' particularly in the off season. In a recent interview with Muscle and Fitness magazine Kobe summed it up in a way that should be a lesson to all of you Hoops Hotshots out there: MF: So specifically though, in the off-season, what kind of weight lifting are you doing? Is it explosive movements, like plyometrics?

    Kobe: Not really, it's all Olympic lifts. I do a lot of track work.

    MF: So like snatches, things like that?

    Kobe: Yeah, clean-pulls, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, back squats, things of that nature.

    Well what do you know? The best basketball player of our time (whose team is up 1-0 in the championship series at the writing of this blog) has to work at it? And includes actually stepping in the weight room? Have you noticed as well that even though Kobe has been injured in his career that he seems to be able to bounce back rather quickly? Ya think his off season training has anything to do with that?

    So hoopsters unlike your football brothers and sisters you have close to 6 months to get ready to play. Be ready! Hit the gym hard now! You could help your team hoist a championship trophy in March.