Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Getting Recruited

We all know that the time is now, and every second we wait is one we're not getting back. Yatta, yeata, yata..... (figured I'd go w/ three different possible spellings.)

Everyone wants a Division I scholarship and it feels cool when you get pulled from class to the principles office and instead of being in trouble it's actually a football coach that's there to recruit you. Then you get to go back to all your buddies, they're asking what's up,why was *so and so* w/ all the *enter school of your choice*'s gear on talking w/ you, and all that jazz. I'm not gonna lie, I remember feeling like a total BAMF.

But that's probably about as cool as it ever got. Really no one tells you how full of crap some of them are. Or that probably 25% of the time it's actually a guy trying to sell you some kind of service that'll supposedly help you get recruited.

Always sucks when you walk in and see this guy.

Guess it's better than being in trouble though.

Now I've heard a few feelings towards the recruiting process.

-If you're good enough you'll be found

-You gotta put on a campaign for yourself and send highlight videos everywhere.

-Go to as many camps and combines as you can, showcase your talents, and network w/ all the coaches and recruiters

-You have to hire a recruiting agency to create highlight videos of you and send them across the country.

-Blah, blah, blah... No, No, NOOO

Okay, here's what you have

Your kids have 4 years of high shool sports period there is no more, and they only have 2 that they'll be able to be recruited during (freshman year no one looks, sophmore's have to be something really special to get on the radar, junior year is the big year to get noticed, senior year scouts have already decided who they're going after).

I grew up in small town Iowa. It's pretty rare that a recruiter is going to come to a small town game b/c s/he's only going to be able to see 1 or 2 potential recruits. So unless your team is very good and you have multiple specimens on one team, then your chances of being found are not as high.

Not every position is going to get the spotlight. If you're a baseball pitcher, you'll probably be found, same w/ a running back and other glory positions, but linemen don't get noticed.

It was a lot less like this

And a lot more like this

But add a few players (I played 11 man) then replace the 'ranch' w/ some trees, corn fields and cows. Not joking.

Here's what you need to do.

1) Take care of yourself. Your performance is everything.

First and foremost you gotta be in top physical shape. By the time your junior year rolls around you gotta be very very focused and have to have put in the work.

-Take your offseasons, but don't sit on your ass

-If you wanna do all 4 sports go ahead, but that doesn't mean you can slack in other areas. If you wrestle that doesn't mean we can be cutting enormous amounts of weight, and not lifting. Just like everything else we have to do it the right way. Power output doesn't mean we have to have huge muscles.

-Sleep, Eat, and Recover correctly

-Train like a madman. You want this then its on your shoulders.

-Eat right: breakfast, stay hydrated, protein throughout the day, lots of fruits and vegetables, time your carbs but get enough of them.

2) Show the world

-Perform. You've prepared, you're ready, now get it done.

-Sending videos doesn't hurt. But remember recruiters get videos all the time. Include your stats in a readable manner:





Pro Agility:


Broad Jump:

L Drill:

Squat: if it's good

Bench: if it's good

Feats of strength don't hurt: For example, if you can do 10 good pullups w/ an additional 100lbs, I'd probably throw it in there.

-No one cares about your track times or your wrestling record. If you placed at state mention it. If you have a wow factor use it otherwise it's just a number.

-Be honest but leave out anything bad. Don't mention any previous or current injuries, ever! Never ever admit to a weak point. I used to be kinda proud of all my injuries, felt like it showed my toughness. Another friend of mine had his scholarship pulled soon as he got a herniation in his back.

-Social media is making things interesting. This is where networking pays off b/c you can expose yourself to friends of friends of friends very quickly. Don't be afraid to post a video on facebook of your squat, deadlift, bench, or performance highlight, even if it's practice.

3) Going to camps is a must. But not at the cost of your season. Training preparation comes before any camp.

I hate to admit that camps are pivotal but it but it's true. The problem I'm seeing is that kids are going to 4-6 camps a summer. This is way too many, and not going to allow enough training time nor rest time. So kids end up going into the season under prepared and not having the season they needed. Remember reason one.

Number one thing an athlete must do to be recruited is to perform. Plain and simple.

-while your at camps, perform. You gotta be the best version of you all the time, no matter what.

-Show character: this means working your ass off (and making that work look easy, don't show weakness), doing things crisp and correct, showing up early, showing leadership (which means be a leader while you're there), etc..

-parents/coaches should spend at least a couple of days observing and networking w/ the staff, coaches and other parents. It goes w/o saying that you should write down peoples names after you meet them so you remember who to look up later.

-Kids should bring a video w/ them if they have it.

-Be forward w/ the team's coaches. You want to be recruited. Say that, "I want to play here." Coaches like that, they'll remember you, and it shows them your commitment and character.

-Always meet the strength coach, and make sure he remembers you.

-Keep it to less than 3 camps/summer. Anymore and we're losing too much time. The season is the first priority to getting recruited and it should be anyway.

4) Follow up immediately

Don't wait one week. Get on email, facebook, w/e and email all the coaches you meet or want to play under as soon as you can. Keep it short and sweet. Under 6 sentences.

5) Do NOT hire a recruiting agency. They're a rip and full of dip shit life failures that probably got fired from selling used cars, women's cosmetics, or vacuums.

That's how you get recruited. You gotta prepare and perform, the other stuff just helps a little.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Anterior Pelvic Tilt part 2: What we do at GRIT GYM

2nd installment of Anterior Pelvic Tilt: What we do at GRIT GYM

First off the hips are the center of our bodies, they are also the center of movement, the difference between fast and slow athletes is many times directly correlated w/ the function of their hips, good or bad.

This is interesting b/c what if we can make every athlete's hips better and the whole team takes 1/2 a second off their 40yrd and pro agility times.

Remember these?

They guaranteed to take .2sec off your 40yrd time and we thought that was a huge amount of time.

At GRIT Gym we've been working on extension based exercises, w/ nervous system reaction forces as well as almost zero conventional "core" work and getting incredible results.

Focusing mainly on the function and efficiency of the body seems to have a larger impact than simply seeing how much a kid can lift. Especially in the long run.

Simply by working on getting athletes hips mobile and using specific strength exercises I've seen a consistent .3-.6 sec drop in my athletes times. This is mainly for the 40yrd and pro agility.

What are some of the things we do. Well,
we warm up properly
-Mobility work: mainly thoracic spine, anterior portion of hips, and ankles
-Dynamic flex
we don't do a ton of sprinting
we do quite a bit of movement training
-Med balls
we keep the plyometric volume fairly low
we don't really do olympic lifts
-my feeling is that the difference between a clean, kettlebell swing, and deadlift is mostly the amount of time it takes to learn each. The kettlebell swing and deadlift give more bang for their buck and the learning curve is quick. Cleans take forever to learn, and I feel like the other two better aid in my athletes progress.

We don't do any long distance, steady state cardiac work. Non, Never, Zip, Ziltch, Ever, Ever, Ever!!!

-We do interval work and complexes but we almost never do anything over 30 seconds.
-there's too much fun stuff for this. Prowlers, ropes, dual action bikes (yeah that one isn't fun), but kettlebells are, short sprints, shuffles, competitions. etc....
-and the majority of my athletes are 16 and under so not only is long distance work not going to help them in anyway its actually very dangerous.
-Its been proven repeatedly that volume is directly correlated w/ injury. Simply put, you run too much and you'll get injured
-It also will suppress immune systems
-Decrease endocrine system activity (during a very developmental period of an athletes life)
-Can potentially stunt growth. If an athletes joint capsules aren't fused, which really doesn't happen until about 21-26 years of age.
-Probably the worst is that long distance stuff makes kids SLOW. You can't get faster by moving slow all the time. You'll just be getting better at moving slow and that's about it.

We do quite a bit of barefoot training, but we're not doing anything stupid like sprinting, and cutting w/o shoes.

The atmosphere is fairly light until it's time to get to work then we go hard.

Kids learn to make better life choices. Like what goes in their bodies (they know what a good breakfast is, and don't drink a ton of pop), how to stand up for themselves, lifting and training naturally raises your self esteem and confidence, working smart and working hard exacerbates this.

I've said for a long time that the first step in self improvement is elimination.

I stand by this. You want to make your life better, remove the crap. You want to be a better athlete remove the crap and stick w/ what works. We don't fill programs to make the athlete "feel" like they're getting better (and I use the quotes for a reason, I'm being extremely cynical). Sure they might be getting stronger on another program doing it that way. You're body will react to imposed demands, but that doesn't mean that you are becoming a better athlete. Talk to me when you can move faster while using less energy, that's what we're going for, b/c that's the program that's gonna take an athlete to another level. When s/he can be tons faster at the beginning of the game and strong enough to last to the end.

Simply put, get a kids hips to open up after 7 hours of sitting in a desk (w/ mobilization drills), take a minute to activate the areas that are going to be lacking (particularly the glutes and probably psoas) and we'll have given our athletes a drastically different chance of being successful and healthy.

I'm off to the gym to take some videos of what I'm talking about. Let me know your thoughts below.

Anterior Pelvic Tilt

You gotta figure out your pelvic tilt. Until then your performance will suffer, no matter what sport your participating in.

Pelvic tilt goes something like this:

And it's caused by tight hip flexor muscles. You have 4 hip flexor muscles: the Psoas, TFL, Iliacus, and Rectus femoris but non the less your hips tilt fwd and you put yourself in a poor mechanical position that can lead to nagging injuries and you just plain and simple wont be able to perform as well, plus you'll look like you have a belly (see above).

Your glutes wont be able to fire correctly or as efficiently as they could b/c they are inhibited by the tight/shortened hip flexors.

This will put the hamstring in a pre stretched position b/c the posterior portion of the hips are higher than they should be. This is bad. You know any athletes w/ nagging hamstring's probably b/c their pelic tilt sits to far anteriorly.......Not good.

Anterior pelvic tilt will also lead to an increased lordosis. In other words your lumbar spine (lower back) is going to have too much of a curve.

Sounds like no big deal right? I mean, it already curves right? Well, increasing the curves of your low back means you aren't as tall, your belly will stick out further making you look like you have more bodyfat than you really do, it's really bad for your back, will probably lead to pain, and its potentially not healthy for the nerves that innervate that area.

What to do
Working on stretching your hip flexors will go a long way.
Most people will need more than that though, and that's where activation and strength comes in.

Next post will be on stretching and lengthening the hip flexors, activation, and strength work.